from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A veterinarian for horses.
  • n. A type of sucking worm, Haemopis sanguisuga, larger than the common leech.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A large blood-sucking leech (Hæmopsis vorax), of Europe and Northern Africa. It attacks the lips and mouths of horses.
  • n. A farrier; a veterinary surgeon.
  • n. a less powerful European leech (Hæmopis vorax), commonly attacking the membrane that lines the inside of the mouth and nostrils of animals that drink at pools where it lives.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A large leech, as Hæmopsis sanguisorba or Aulastoma gulo.—
  • n. A horse-doctor, veterinary surgeon, or farrier.
  • n. An inveterate beggar or dun; an extortionate person; one who makes incessant demands or drafts upon another.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of several large freshwater leeches


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Instruct me, some good horse-leech, to speak treason;

    The White Devil

  • There is not horse-leech that sticks so fast as your latter-day Philistine.

    Framley Parsonage

  • And clings and pulls — a horse-leech, whose deep maw 190

    The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley

  • That leaves vast stretches of territory without anyone that a sick or injured farmer can turn to - not an earth-witch, not a hedge-wizard, not even a horse-leech.


  • Apart from a broken nose, his skull was fractured in the fall, and for a couple of days he hung on the edge, with a Bristol horse-leech working like fury to save him from going over.

    Flash For Freedom

  • M. M.rat was a logician of this sort, and M. Romieu is, after all, only a pale imitator of the cracked horse-leech; but as he wrote in the interest of "order," and for the preservation of property, we rarely hear of his thirst for blood.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 03, No. 18, April, 1859

  • The Bey and his staff were legitimate descendants of the two daughters of the horse-leech; their daily cry was, "Give! give!"

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 06, No. 38, December, 1860

  • Are you like the horse-leech, ever crying, 'Give, give!' still wanting more profit, and never thinking you have enough?

    Fletcher of Madeley

  • Juma and his crew were paid and tipped (grumbling, of course, for the Kashmiri is a lineal descendant of the horse-leech).

    A Holiday in the Happy Valley with Pen and Pencil

  • These snail-leeches move along in the same way as the common horse-leech and the medicinal leech, namely, by fixing the head-part on to the surface of some substance in the water and then drawing the hinder part up to it; they then extend the head-portion and fix it upon another spot, again drawing up the other extremity.

    Country Walks of a Naturalist with His Children


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  • "'I was apprenticed to a horse-leech in Charleston when I was a boy.'"

    --O'Brian, The Wine-Dark Sea, 136

    This is an archaic (I hope) term for a veterinary surgeon or horse doctor.

    March 14, 2008