lick·​er·​ish | \ ˈli-k(ə-)rish How to pronounce lickerish (audio) \

Definition of lickerish

2 obsolete : tempting to the appetite
3 : lecherous

Other Words from lickerish

lickerishly adverb
lickerishness noun

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In Anglo-French, the verb lecher has two meanings, "to lick" and "to live in debauchery." From that verb came the English adjective lickerous in the 14th century. By the mid-17th century lickerous had fallen into disuse, leaving us with the variant lickerish. Lickerish was originally cooked up as word to describe both a person who is fond of good food and the tempting food itself. The lexical temptation to extend these appetitive meanings of lickerish was very soon satisfied, and the word became a synonym of "greedy" and "desirous." Its use was then extended to describe people and things having or suggesting lustful desires, a use in line with the "to live in debauchery" meaning of its French ancestor.

First Known Use of lickerish

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lickerish

alteration of lickerous, from Middle English likerous, probably modification of Anglo-French *lekerous, lecherus lecherous, from lechur lecher

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The first known use of lickerish was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Lickerish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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