lief

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English leef, leve, lef, from Old English lēof, from Proto-Germanic *leubaz. Cognate with Saterland Frisian ljo, ljoo, West Frisian leaf, Dutch lief, German Low German leev, German lieb, Swedish and Norwegian Nynorsk ljuv, Gothic 𐌻𐌹𐌿𐍆𐍃 ‎(liufs), Russian любо́вь ‎(ljubóvʹ), Polish luby.

Adverb: Compare German lieber, Dutch liever ‎(preferably, rather)

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

lief ‎(comparative liefer or liever, superlative liefest or lievest)

  1. (archaic) beloved, dear, agreeable
  2. (archaic) ready, willing

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Adverb[edit]

lief ‎(comparative liefer or liever, superlative liefest)

  1. (archaic, except UK dialectal) Readily, willingly.
    • 1826, Thomas Byerly, ‎John Timbs, The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction:
      As far as physiognomy goes, the winners protest that they would as lief have foregone the double points, and the money.
    • 1869, RD Blackmoore, Lorna Doone, II:
      these great masters of the art, who would far liefer see us little ones practice it, than themselves engage [...].
    I'd as lief have one as t'other.

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Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Dutch *liof, from Proto-Germanic *leubaz, from Proto-Indo-European *lewbʰ-. Compare archaic English lief, German lieb.

Adjective[edit]

lief ‎(comparative liever, superlative liefst)

  1. nice, sweet
  2. beloved

Inflection[edit]

Inflection of lief
uninflected lief
inflected lieve
comparative liever
positive comparative superlative
predicative/adverbial lief liever het liefst
het liefste
indefinite m./f. sing. lieve lievere liefste
n. sing. lief liever liefste
plural lieve lievere liefste
definite lieve lievere liefste
partitive liefs lievers

Noun[edit]

lief n ‎(plural lieven, diminutive liefje n)

  1. one's beloved in a romantic relationship, i.e. a boyfriend or girlfriend

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German[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

lief

  1. Past of laufen ‘to walk

Luxembourgish[edit]

Verb[edit]

lief

  1. second-person singular imperative of liewen

Norman[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

EB1911 - Volume 01 - Page 001 - 1.svg This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page per etymology instructions.

Noun[edit]

lief m ‎(plural liefs)

  1. (Jersey) roof

Scots[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • (contracted) lee

Etymology[edit]

From Old English lēof, from Proto-Germanic *leubaz.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

lief ‎(comparative liefer, superlative liefest)

  1. dear, beloved