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See also: -lich and lịch


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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English lich, from Old English līċ, from Proto-Germanic *līką, from Proto-Indo-European *leyg-. Cognate with Dutch lijk, German Leiche, Norwegian lik, Swedish lik, Danish lig.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /lɪtʃ/; (West Country, possibly obsolete) IPA(key): /litʃ/[1]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪtʃ


lich (plural liches)

  1. (archaic) A corpse or dead body. [from 9th c.]
    • 1845, Penny Magazine of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, page 35:
      [] and that, as the chronicle states, a lich-way would be made through then, assembled his servants, and attempted to stop its progress as it was carried over a bridge. A scuffle ensued, and the body was thrown into the water. The lich-way as not made ; but the Bishop of Exeter amply revenged himself for the proceedings.
    • 1983, Poul Anderson, Time Patrolman (Sci-Fi), →ISBN:
      She saw him again that eventide, but then he was a reddened lich.
  2. (fantasy, roleplay) A reanimated corpse or undead being, particularly a still-intelligent undead spellcaster.
    • 1974, Karl Edward Wagner, ‘Sticks’:
      It was a lich’s face – desiccated flesh tight over its skull.
Derived terms[edit]


  1. ^ “LICH” in Joseph Wright, editor, The English Dialect Dictionary: [], volume III (H–L), London: Published by Henry Frowde, [], publisher to the English Dialect Society, []; New York, N.Y.: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1902, →OCLC.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English līke, līch (like); see like and -like for more. Compare -ly.


lich (comparative more lich, superlative most lich)

  1. (obsolete) Like; resembling; equal.
    • 1386-90, John Gower, Confessio Amantis.
      Anon he let two cofres make / Of one semblance, and of one make, / So lich, that no lif thilke throwe, / That one may fro that other knowe.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene iii. vii. 29.
      [He] rather joy'd to be than seemen sich, For both to be and seeme to him was labour lich.

Middle English[edit]


From Old English līċ, from Proto-Germanic *līką, from Proto-Indo-European *leyg-.


lich (plural lichs)

  1. A body.
    • 1362, William Langland, Piers Plowman, XI.2:
      A wyf […] Þat lene was of lich and of louh chere.




lich f

  1. genitive plural of licha


lich n

  1. genitive plural of licho

Further reading[edit]

  • lich in Polish dictionaries at PWN