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See also: horse leech


Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg horse-leech on Wikipedia.Wikipedia


From Middle English horseleche, horse leche (horse doctor; bloodsucker, leech), equivalent to horse +‎ leech. So called because it commonly attacks the membrane that lines the inside of the mouth and nostrils of animals, such as horses, that drink at pools where it lives.


horse-leech (plural horse-leeches)

  1. (obsolete) A veterinarian for horses.
  2. A type of sucking worm, Haemopis sanguisuga, larger than the common leech.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069; The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd corrected and augmented edition, Oxford: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, 1624, OCLC 54573970, (please specify |partition=1, 2, or 3):
      Some use horse-leeches behind the ears, and apply opium to the place.

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