licoriceGlycyrrhiza glabra

Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English lycorys, from Old French licoresse, from Late Latin liquiritia, alteration of Ancient Greek γλυκύρριζα (glukúrrhiza): γλυκύς (glukús, sweet) + ῥίζα (rhíza, root) (English glucose, English rhizome). See also glycyrrhiza.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈlɪ.k(ə).ɹɪʃ/, /ˈlɪ.k(ə).ɹɪs/


licorice (usually uncountable, plural licorices)

  1. (countable) The plant Glycyrrhiza glabra, or sometimes in North America the related American Licorice plant Glycyrrhiza lepidota.
  2. (uncountable) A type of candy made from that plant's dried root or its extract.
    Synonym: sugarallie (Scotland, informal)
  3. (countable and uncountable) A black colour, named after the licorice.
    licorice colour:  
  4. (uncountable, chemistry) A flavouring agent made from dried root portions of the aforementioned plant.

Usage notesEdit

The American spelling is nearer the Old French source licorece, which is ultimately from Greek glykyrrhiza.[1] The British spelling was influenced by the unrelated word liquor.[2] Licorice prevails in Canada and it is common in Australia, but it is rarely found in the UK. Liquorice is all but nonexistent in the US ("Chiefly British", according to dictionaries).[3]

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


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.

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit


  1. ^ licorice” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2020.
  2. ^ Ernout, Alfred; Meillet, Antoine (2001) Dictionnaire etymologique de la langue latine, Paris: Klincksieck, →ISBN, page 362
  3. ^ Peters, p. 321.

Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of lycorys