Licking

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lick / lik/ • v. [tr.] 1. pass the tongue over (something), typically in order to taste, moisten, or clean it: he licked the stamp and stuck it on the envelope [intr.] he licked at his damaged hand with his tongue. ∎  [intr.] fig. (of a flame, wave, or breeze) move lightly and quickly like a tongue: the flames licked around the wood. 2. inf. defeat (someone) comprehensively: all right Mary, I know when I'm licked. ∎  thrash: she stands tall and could lick any man in the place. • n. 1. an act of licking something with the tongue: Sammy gave his fingers a long lick. ∎ fig. a movement of flame, water, etc., resembling this. 2. inf. a small amount or quick application of something, esp. paint: all she'd need to do to the kitchen was give it a lick of paint. 3. (often licks) inf. a short phrase or solo in jazz or popular music: cool guitar licks. 4. inf. a smart blow: his mother gave him several licks for daring to blaspheme. PHRASES: at a lick inf. at a fast pace; with considerable speed. a lick and a promise inf. a hasty performance of a task, esp. of cleaning something. lick someone's boots (or vulgar slang ass) be excessively obsequious toward someone, esp. to gain favor from them. lick someone/something into shapesee shape. lick one's lips (or chops) look forward to something with eager anticipation. lick one's wounds retire to recover one's strength or confidence after a defeat or humiliating experience: the political organization he worked for was licking its wounds after electoral defeat.DERIVATIVES: lick·er n. [usu. in combination] .

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lickingbacking, blacking, packing, sacking, tracking, whacking •ranking, spanking •nerve-racking •marking, sarking •making, taking, undertaking •matchmaking • dressmaking •haymaking •lacemaking, pacemaking •peacemaking • filmmaking •printmaking • cabinetmaking •moneymaking • merrymaking •winemaking • home-making •shoemaking • toolmaking •bookmaking • troublemaking •backbreaking • heartbreaking •strikebreaking • housebreaking •breathtaking • painstaking •piss-taking • stocktaking •self-seeking, unspeaking •licking, ticking •freethinking, shrinking, sinking, unblinking, unthinking, unwinking •Mafeking • finicking • politicking •liking, Viking •self-cocking, self-mocking, shocking, stocking •stonking • bluestocking • Hawking •sleepwalking • streetwalking •hillwalking • firewalking •soaking, Woking •pawnbroking • thought-provoking •booking, Brooking •onlooking •spelunking, trunking •motherfucking • bloodsucking •bollocking •hardworking, working •erl-king • tear-jerking • metalworking •outworking

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lickartic, brick, chick, click, crick, dick, flick, hand-pick, hic, hick, kick, lick, mick, miskick, nick, pic, pick, prick, quick, rick, shtick, sic, sick, slick, snick, spic, stick, thick, tic, tick, trick, Vic, wick •alcaic, algebraic, Aramaic, archaic, choleraic, Cyrenaic, deltaic, formulaic, Hebraic, Judaic, Mishnaic, Mithraic, mosaic, Pharisaic, prosaic, Ptolemaic, Romaic, spondaic, stanzaic, trochaic •logorrhoeic (US logorrheic), mythopoeic, onomatopoeic •echoic, heroic, Mesozoic, Palaeozoic (US Paleozoic), Stoic •Bewick •disyllabic, monosyllabic, polysyllabic, syllabic •choriambic, dithyrambic, iambic •alembic •amoebic (US amebic) •aerobic, agoraphobic, claustrophobic, homophobic, hydrophobic, phobic, technophobic, xenophobic •cherubic, cubic, pubic •Arabic, Mozarabic •acerbic • apparatchik • dabchick •peachick

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lick vb. OE. liccian = OS. likkōn, lekkōn (Du. likken), OHG. leckōn (G. lecken) :- WGmc. *likkōjan; based ult. on IE. *liĝh — *leiĝh — *leiĝh—, found in Skr. rehi, lehi, Gr. leíkhein, L. lingere, OIr. ligim, OSl. lizati.
Hence sb. XVII.

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lick·ing / ˈliking/ • n. inf. a severe defeat or beating.

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lick lick into shape make presentable, originally with reference to the supposed practice of bears with their young. According to early bestiaries, bear-cubs were born without form, and were then licked into shape by their mothers; a bear may thus be taken as a symbol of the Church shaping human nature.

See also lick one's lips at lip.