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


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.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • 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