- 1[transitive] to move your tongue over the surface of something in order to eat it, make it wet or clean it lick something He licked his fingers. I'm tired of licking envelopes. The cat sat licking its paws. lick something + adj. She licked the spoon clean.
- 2[transitive] lick something + adv./prep. to eat or drink something by licking it The cat licked up the milk. She licked the honey off the spoon.
- 3[transitive, intransitive] (of flames) to touch something lightly lick something Flames were soon licking the curtains. lick at something The flames were now licking at their feet.
- 4[transitive] lick somebody/something (informal) to easily defeat somebody or deal with something We thought we had them licked. It was a tricky problem but I think we've licked it. Word Origin Old English liccian, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch likken and German lecken, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek leikhein and Latin lingere.Idioms to train somebody so that they do a particular job, task, etc. well It took him just two weeks to knock the new recruits into shape. (disapproving) to show too much respect for somebody in authority because you want to please them synonym crawl
- 1to move your tongue over your lips, especially before eating something good
- 2(informal) to show that you are excited about something and want it to happen soon They were licking their lips at the thought of clinching the deal. See related entries: Excitement
BrE BrE//lɪk//; NAmE NAmE//lɪk//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they lick
BrE BrE//lɪk//; NAmE NAmE//lɪk//he / she / it licks
BrE BrE//lɪks//; NAmE NAmE//lɪks//past simple licked
BrE BrE//lɪkt//; NAmE NAmE//lɪkt//past participle licked
BrE BrE//lɪkt//; NAmE NAmE//lɪkt//-ing form licking
BrE BrE//ˈlɪkɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈlɪkɪŋ//