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See also: -lich and lịch


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



lich (plural liches)

  1. (archaic) A corpse or dead body. [from 9th c.]
    • 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.


lich (comparative more lich, superlative most lich)

  1. (obsolete) like; resembling; equal.
    • 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.
    • 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.

Derived terms[edit]

Middle English[edit]


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


lich (plural lichs)

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