leach

noun

less common spelling of

1 : either vertical edge of a square sail
2 : the after edge of a fore-and-aft sail

leach

verb
\ ˈlēch How to pronounce leach (audio) \
leached; leaching; leaches

Definition of leach (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to dissolve out by the action of a percolating liquid leach out alkali from ashes
2 : to subject to the action of percolating (see percolate sense 1a) liquid (such as water) in order to separate the soluble components
3a : to remove (nutritive or harmful elements) from soil by percolation (see percolate sense 1a) soil leached of its salts by torrential rains
b : to draw out or remove as if by percolation all meaning has been leached from my life

intransitive verb

: to pass out or through by percolation Nutrients leached out of the soil with rainwater.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from leach

Verb

leachability \ ˌlē-​chə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce leach (audio) \ noun
leachable \ ˈlē-​chə-​bəl How to pronounce leach (audio) \ adjective
leacher noun

Examples of leach in a Sentence

Verb Even a small amount of rain can leach the toxic material from the soil. Certain kinds of treated wood can leach chemicals into the soil. The chemical eventually leaches away from the soil.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Heavy metals can leach into fruits and vegetables from soil or water contaminated by pesticides, fertilizers and other sources. Washington Post, "FDA to urge limits on heavy metals in baby foods, starting with arsenic and lead," 12 Apr. 2021 Researchers reported in Angewandte Chemie International Edition that when exposed to water, the pyroclasts leach fluoride ions—charged particles that can combine with other ions to form a salty crust on Pompeii's famously vivid murals. Lakshmi Supriya, Scientific American, "Volcanic Ash Threatens Pompeii’s Buried Murals," 26 Mar. 2021 The chemicals leach into groundwater, are carried through runoff into rivers and lakes, and are lifted into the air and carried to remote regions in dust particles. Greg Stanley, Star Tribune, "Insecticide known for killing pollinators found in deer across Minnesota," 1 Mar. 2021 When these chemicals in the plastic come in contact with food, the phthalates leave the plastic and leach into the food. Grace Hauck, USA TODAY, "Add falling sperm counts to the list of things threatening human survival, epidemiologist warns," 27 Feb. 2021 Vitamin C is water soluble and can leach out of the pineapple if it is cooked or sauteed. Katy Severson, chicagotribune.com, "What are the health benefits of pineapple?," 26 Feb. 2021 Mining cobalt produces hazardous tailings and slags that can leach into the environment, and studies have found high exposure in nearby communities, especially among children, to cobalt and other metals. New York Times, "How Green Are Electric Vehicles?," 2 Mar. 2021 Only one, Sphingomonas desiccabilis, was able to leach rare earth elements from basalt at all three different gravity conditions -- microgravity (sometimes called zero gravity), Mars-like gravity and under standard conditions on Earth. Katie Hunt, CNN, "Bacteria from Earth could potentially be used to mine on the moon or Mars," 10 Nov. 2020 Some plastics can slowly leach chemicals like benzene over time, and this could go on for months to years, depending on the scale of contamination and water use. Ars Technica, "Plastic pipes are polluting drinking water systems after wildfires," 28 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'leach.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of leach

Verb

1796, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for leach

Verb

leach vessel through which water is passed to extract lye

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about leach

Statistics for leach

Cite this Entry

“Leach.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leach. Accessed 15 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for leach

leach

verb

English Language Learners Definition of leach

technical
: to remove (a chemical, a metal, etc.) from a substance by the action of a liquid passing through the substance : to release (a chemical, a metal, etc.) when a liquid passes through
of a chemical, a metal, etc. : to be removed from a substance by a liquid passing through the substance

leach

verb
leached; leaching

Kids Definition of leach

: to remove or remove from by the action of a liquid passing through a substance Water leaches minerals from soil. The soil was leached by the constant rain.
\ ˈlēch How to pronounce leach (audio) \

Medical Definition of leach

1 : to subject to the action of percolating liquid (as water) in order to separate the soluble components
2 : to dissolve out by the action of a percolating liquid

intransitive verb

: to pass out or through by percolation

Other Words from leach

leachability \ ˌlē-​chə-​ˈbil-​ət-​ē How to pronounce leach (audio) \ noun, plural leachabilities
leachable \ ˈlē-​chə-​bəl How to pronounce leach (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on leach

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for leach

Nglish: Translation of leach for Spanish Speakers

Comments on leach

What made you want to look up leach? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!