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v. licked, lick·ing, licks
1. To pass the tongue over or along: lick a stamp.
2. To lap up: The cat licked the milk from the bowl.
3. To lap or flicker at like a tongue: The waves licked the sides of the boat.
4. Slang
a. To beat or thrash.
b. To defeat soundly: licked their rivals in lacrosse.
c. To deal with effectively; overcome: licked her weight problem.
To pass or lap quickly and rapidly: The flames licked at our feet.
1. The act or process of licking.
2. An amount obtained by licking: a lick of ice cream.
3. A small quantity; a bit: hasn't got a lick of common sense.
4. A deposit of exposed natural salt that is licked by passing animals.
5. Slang A sudden hard stroke; a blow.
6. Slang An attempt; a try: Why not give those skis a lick?
7. Informal Speed; pace: moving along at a good lick.
8. Music A phrase improvised by a soloist, especially on the guitar or banjo.
lick and a promise
A superficial effort made without care or enthusiasm.
lick into shape Informal
To bring into satisfactory condition or appearance.
lick (one's) chops
To anticipate delightedly.
lick (one's) wounds
To recuperate after a defeat.
lick (someone's) boots
To behave in a servile or obsequious manner toward someone.

[Middle English licken, from Old English liccian; see leigh- in Indo-European roots.]

lick′er n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
"S-s-st," cautioned one; "here comes the licker of feet," and all eyes were turned upon the approaching E-Thas.
"Yeh must allus remember yer father, too, child, an' remember he never drunk a drop of licker in his life, and seldom swore a cross oath.
LEADING Scottish owner Willie Hyslop has purchased Rural Hawaii Unraced contender Da Window Licker and the dog will in future race as Toolmaker Me Dad, writes Michael Fortune.
In the Claire demos, Kanda showed us the encounter with Sherry, the William Birkin fight, as well as the Licker gameplay.
Wishart, a former member of Runrig who held his seat by just 21 votes last June, said: "In the last few days, I've been called a 'poster boy' for the ultra unionist Scotland in Union and an 'Etonian boot licker'.
"It's startling to know there are individuals on the brink of adulthood who have spent their entire lives in a climate that, largely due to human activity, is vastly different from the one their parents experienced growing up."--Rachel Licker, a senior climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a research and advocacy group, after learning that last year was one of the warmest on record.
Now Mark wants to rekindle good memories of the man known as the 'Leamington Licker.'.
Jess is a face licker, she will find a way of getting to your face, even if you don't like dogs Names: Bobby and Biscuit Ages: 7 and 1 years Owner: Lottie Live: North Shields We love lots of cuddles and lots of walks.
I feel she's a face licker." Karen had to get her tongue round a foreign accent too.
Tommy Mellis currently owns the belt that 'The Leamington Licker' won as a light-heavyweight in the 1950s having previously joined the British boxing greats by taking the world middleweight title from Sugar Ray Robinson.