Meaning of “lick” in the English Dictionary

"lick" in British English

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uk /lɪk/ us /lɪk/

lick verb (MOVE TONGUE)

B2 [ T ] to move the tongue across the surface of something:

He licked the chocolate off his fingers.
She licked the stamps and stuck them on the parcel.

[ T, I + prep ] If flames or waves lick something, they pass over it quickly or touch it lightly like a tongue:

Within a few seconds flames were licking at the curtains.

More examples

  • Lick the envelope and seal it.
  • They licked their lollies.
  • We ate the cakes and licked our fingers.
  • They licked water from the window panes.
  • The cat licked its kittens clean.


uk /lɪk/ us /lɪk/

(Definition of “lick” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"lick" in American English

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lickverb [ T ]

us /lɪk/

lick verb [ T ] (MOVE TONGUE)

to move the tongue across the surface of something as a way of eating it or making it wet or clean:

[ T ] to lick a stamp/lollipop

lick verb [ T ] (DEFEAT)

infml to defeat someone or something, or to solve a difficult problem:

He has licked the cancer.

licknoun [ C ]

us /lɪk/

lick noun [ C ] (SMALL AMOUNT)

infml a small amount:

Chuck couldn’t read a lick.

(Definition of “lick” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)