Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adverb Readily; willingly.
  • adjective Beloved; dear.
  • adjective Ready or willing.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Beloved; pleasing; agreeable.
  • Inclined; disposed; willing; having a preference.
  • noun One beloved; a darling.
  • Gladly; willingly.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Obs., except in poetry. Dear; beloved.
  • adjective obsolete Pleasing; agreeable; acceptable; preferable.
  • adjective obsolete Willing; disposed.
  • noun obsolete A dear one; a sweetheart.
  • noun Same as lif.
  • adverb Gladly; willingly; freely; -- now used only in the phrases, had as lief, and would as lief.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective archaic beloved, dear, agreeable
  • adjective archaic willing
  • adverb archaic Readily, willingly.

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

  • adverb in a willing manner

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English leve, lef, dear, willingly, from Old English lēof, dear; see leubh- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English lēof, from Proto-Germanic *leubaz, whence Gothic 𐌻𐌹𐍆𐌿𐍃 (liufs). Cognate with Dutch lief, German lieb, Russian любовь (ljubóv’), Swedish and Norwegian Nynorsk ljuv.

Examples

Comments

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  • See also lieve.

    January 4, 2008

  • "FIRST and SECOND SERVANT: What, what, what? let's partake.

    THIRD SERVANT: I would not be a Roman, of all nations; I had as lief be a condemned man."

    - William Shakespeare, 'The Tragedy of Coriolanus'.

    August 29, 2009

  • I be lief this word is not used much anymore.

    February 25, 2010