Middle English , from likken Old English , from liccian Proto-Germanic (compare *likkōną Saterland Frisian , likje Dutch , likken German ), from lecken Proto-Indo-European (compare *leyǵʰ- Old Irish , ligid Latin lingō ( “ lick ” ), ligguriō ( “ to lap, lick up ” ), Lithuanian , laižyti Old Church Slavonic лизати ( lizati ), Ancient Greek λείχω ( leíkhō ), Old Armenian լիզեմ ( lizem ), Persian لیسیدن ( lisidan ), Sanskrit लेढि ( léḍhi ), रेढि ( réḍhi )).
Yellow River in rural Indiana, USA - example of a lick.
lick ( plural )
licks The act of
licking; a stroke of the tongue.
The cat gave its fur a lick. The
amount of some substance obtainable with a single lick.
Give me a lick of ice cream. A quick and careless application of anything, as if by a stroke of the tongue, or of something which acts like a tongue.
a lick of paint to put on colours with a lick of the brush 1774, Thomas Gray, “The Candidate”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name) , Strawberry Hill Press:  When ſly Jemmy Twitcher had ſmugg'd up his face / With a lick of court white waſh, A
place where animals lick minerals from the ground.
The birds gathered at the clay lick. A small
watercourse or ephemeral stream. It ranks between a rill and a stream.
We used to play in the lick.
( colloquial ) A stroke or blow.
Hit that wedge a good lick with the sledgehammer.
( colloquial ) A bit.
Synonyms: see Thesaurus:modicum
You don't have a lick of sense. I didn't do a lick of work today. 2011 , "Pilot" (season 1, episode 1):
Allen Gregory Allen Gregory DeLongpre: Why don't I call Jean-Michel at Il Portofino? We'll get a table outside? Ooh, I'm not getting a lick of service. Babe, can I hop on your landline?
( music ) A short motif.
There are some really good blues licks in this solo.
Speed. ( Always qualified by good, fair, or a similar adjective. )
The bus was travelling at a good lick when it swerved and left the road. 1852, John Denison Vose, Fresh Leaves from the Diary of a Broadway Dandy, page 109: Dandy Marx, a perfect gentleman in the true sense of the word, now drives forth under single harness ; whereas “once upon a time,” he rushed over the ground at a “big lick,” reigning his four beautiful roans, and continually kicking up an extra excitement among the “fashionables.” ( slang ) An act of cunnilingus
You up for a lick tonight?
amount obtainable with a single lick
place where animals lick minerals from the ground
small watercourse or ephemeral stream
colloquial: a stroke or blow
lick ( third-person singular simple present , licks present participle , licking simple past and past participle )
( transitive ) To stroke with the tongue.
The cat licked its fur.
( transitive ) To lap; to take in with the tongue.
She licked the last of the honey off the spoon before washing it.
( colloquial ) To beat with repeated blows.
1876, Mark Twain [pseudonym; Samuel Langhorne Clemens], chapter XX, in , Hartford, Conn.: The American Publishing Company, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer , OCLC 1000326417 page 163: "What a curious kind of a fool a girl is! Never been licked in school! Shucks! What's a licking! That's just like a girl -- they're so thin-skinned and chicken-hearted. [… ] "
( colloquial ) To defeat decisively, particularly in a fight.
My dad can lick your dad.
( colloquial ) To overcome.
I think I can lick this. 1957 December 30, Ren Grevatt, “Concensus Tabs Stereo Disk Still in Research Stage: Diskery and Phono Toppers Sound Tempering Notes of Caution”, in , page Billboard 11: This week, diskery and phono manufacturer spokesmen sounded tempering notes of caution as they discussed the many problems still to be licked in developing truly compatible stereo with fidelity standards equal to those now available in monaural disks.
( vulgar , slang ) To perform cunnilingus.
( colloquial ) To do anything partially. ( of flame, waves etc. ) To lap.
1895, H. G. Wells, The Time Machine Chapter XI
Now, in this decadent age the art of fire-making had been altogether forgotten on the earth. The red tongues that went licking up my heap of wood were an altogether new and strange thing to Weena.
to stroke with the tongue
ケㇺ ( kem ) Albanian:
lëpij (sq) Arabic:
لَحَسَ ( laḥasa ), لَعِقَ ( laʿiqa ) Armenian:
լիզել (hy) ( lizel ), լպստել (hy) ( lpstel ) Assamese:
চেলেকা ( seleka ) Asturian:
llamber (ast) Azerbaijani:
yalamaq (az) Belarusian:
ліза́ць impf ( lizácʹ ) Bengali:
চাটা ( caṭa ) Bulgarian:
ли́жа (bg) impf ( líža ) Burmese:
လျက် (my) ( lyak ) Catalan:
llepar (ca) Cebuano:
, dila , tila tilap Chinese:
Mandarin: 舔 (zh) ( tiǎn ), 舐 (zh) ( shì ) Czech:
lízat (cs) , impf líznout pf Danish:
slikke (da) Dutch:
likken (nl) Esperanto:
nuolla (fi) French:
lécher (fr) Friulian:
, lecâ lenzi Galician:
ლოკვა ( loḳva ) German:
lecken (de) Gothic:
𐌱𐌹𐌻𐌰𐌹𐌲𐍉𐌽 ( bilaigōn ) Greek:
γλείφω (el) ( gleífo )
Ancient: λείχω ( leíkhō ) Hawaiian:
לִקֵּק ( likek ) Hindi:
चाटना (hi) ( cāṭnā ) Hungarian:
nyal (hu) Icelandic:
sleikja (is) Indonesian:
jilat (id) Irish:
leccare (it) Japanese:
舐める (ja) ( なめる, nameru ), 舐ぶる ( ねぶる, neburu ) Kazakh:
жалау (kk) ( jalaw ) Khmer:
លិឍ (km) ( lɨt ), លិទ្ធ (km) ( lɨt ) Korean:
핥다 (ko) ( halda ) Kyrgyz:
жалоо (ky) ( caloo ) Lao:
ເລຍ ( līa ) Latgalian:
, lambō lingō Latvian: laizīt
laižyti (lt) Macedonian:
лиже impf ( liže ) Malay:
jilat Middle English:
, likken licken Mongolian:
долоох (mn) ( dolooh ) Neapolitan:
litchi ( Jersey ) Norwegian:
, slikke sleike (no) Nynorsk: , slikke , sleike sleikje Occitan:
lecar (oc) Old Church Slavonic:
Cyrillic: лизати impf ( lizati ) Old East Slavic:
лизати impf ( lizati ) Old English:
څټل ( caṭᶕl ) Persian:
لیسیدن (fa) ( lisidan ) Polish:
lizać (pl) impf Portuguese:
lamber (pt) Quechua:
, llaqway , lampiy , llagwai llunk'uy Romanian:
linge (ro) Russian:
лиза́ть (ru) impf ( lizátʹ ), обли́зывать (ru) impf ( oblízyvatʹ ), лизну́ть (ru) pf ( liznútʹ ), полиза́ть (ru) pf ( polizátʹ ) Scottish Gaelic:
лизати , impf лизнути pf Roman: lizati (sh) , impf liznuti (sh) pf Slovak:
lízať impf Slovene:
lizati (sl) , impf polizati pf Sorbian:
lizaś impf Upper Sorbian: lizać impf Spanish:
lamer , (es) lamber (es) Swedish:
slicka (sv) Tajik:
лесидан ( lesidan ) Telugu:
నాకు (te) ( nāku ) Thai:
เลีย (th) ( liia ) Tibetan:
ལྡག་པ ( ldag pa ), ལྕེ་ལྡག་རྒྱག ( lce ldag rgyag ), ལྕེ་ལྡག་བརྒྱབ ( lce ldag brgyab ) Turkish:
yalamak (tr) Turkmen:
лиза́ти impf ( lyzáty ) Urdu:
چاٹنا ( cāṭnā ) Uyghur:
يالىماق ( yalimaq ) Uzbek:
yalamoq (uz) Vietnamese:
liếm (vi) Welsh:
llyfu (cy) Yiddish:
לעקן (yi) ( lekn ) Zazaki: lêsen
to lap, to take in with the tongue
colloquial: to defeat decisively
vulgar slang: to perform cunnilingus
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Translations to be checked
Derived terms Edit
Terms derived from the noun or verb