Language: Old English
Origin: liccian


1 verb
lick1 S3


[transitive]HB to move your tongue across the surface of something in order to eat it, wet it, clean it etc:
The dog jumped up and licked her face.
lick something ↔ up
A cat licked up the drops spilt on the floor.
lick something off something
He licked the drops off his upper lip.


[transitive] informal to defeat an opponent:
I bet we could lick the best teams in Georgia.


[intransitive and transitive] literary if flames or waves lick something, they touch it again and again with quick movements
lick at/against
Soon the flames were licking at the curtains.

have (got) something licked

informal to have succeeded in dealing with a difficult problem:
Just when you think you've got it licked, it comes back.

lick your lips

also lick your chops American English to feel eager and excited because you are expecting to get something good:
Scottish rugby fans are licking their lips in anticipation.

lick your wounds

to quietly think about the defeat or disappointment you have just suffered

lick somebody's boots

to obey someone completely because you are afraid of them or want to please them

➔ knock/lick somebody/something into shape

at shape1 (3)

Dictionary results for "lick"
Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.