Leach vs leech

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Leach means to remove a soluble substance from another substance through the action of a percolating liquid. Verb forms of leach are leaches, leached, leaching. Leach may be used as a noun to denote the act of leaching or the substance that has been removed by the leaching process. Leach comes from the Old English word leccan, meaning to moisten, water, wet, irrigate.

A leech is an annelid worm with suckers on both ends of its body, the leech feeds on blood or tissues of animals and humans. A person who preys upon another is also referred to as a leech. Leech may used as a verb to mean exploiting others, the verb forms are leeches, leeched and leeching. Physicians once used leeches to treat patients, usually to the patients’ detriment. Today, however, the use of leeches has made a comeback. Doctors use leeches to drain swollen faces and limbs after surgery. The leeches are cultivated specifically for use in the medical field. Leech comes from the Old English laece.


Roebuck Bay Working Group project manager Kandy Curran believes water from the containment ponds was leaching into the bay and triggering worsening blooms of lyngbya (blue-green algae). (The West Australian)

The massive spill of toxic waste water from the Gold King Mine in southern Colorado is leaching into the 2016 presidential race. (The Christian Science Monitor)

The behavior of leeches is unique and understanding the leech, which differs significantly from many other prey, will change how and when you fish leech imitations and can further increase your chances of encountering opportunistic, feeding fish. (Hatch Magazine)

A single mom, Gloria falls for a Lothario leech named Michel (Laurent Lucas), who steals her money after a one-night stand and flees. (Chicago Daily Herald)

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