lief (adj.) O.E. leof "dear, valued, beloved, pleasant;" also as a noun, "a beloved person, friend," from P.Gmc. *leubo- (Cf. O.N. ljutr, O.Fris. liaf, Du. lief, O.H.G. liob, Ger. lieb, Goth. liufs "dear, beloved"), from PIE root *leubh- "love" (see LOVE (Cf. love) (n.)). As an adverb, "dearly, willingly" from c.1250. I want and I'd love to are overworked and misused to fill the hole left in the language when I would lief faded in 17c.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lief — (l[=e]f), a. [Written also {lieve}.] [OE. leef, lef, leof, AS. le[ o]f; akin to OS. liof, OFries. liaf, D. lief, G. lieb, OHG. liob, Icel. lj?fr, Sw. ljuf, Goth. liubs, and E. love. [root]124. See {Love}, and cf. {Believe}, {Leave}, n.,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lief — Lief, adv. Gladly; willingly; freely; now used only in the phrases, had as lief, and would as lief; as, I had, or would, as lief go as not. [1913 Webster] All women liefest would Be sovereign of man s love. Gower. [1913 Webster] I had as lief the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lief — may refer to:* Jacob Lief (21st century), American humanitarian * Lief Larson (born 1975), entrepreneur, futurist and technologist * The lief that you liveee also* Leaf (disambiguation) * Leif …   Wikipedia

  • lief — (lièf) s. m. Vieux mot qui signifie l action de lever, la levée d une chose. •   J ai ouï d anciens notaires et greffiers de justice de paix, dire : le lief des scellés pour la levée des scellés, LEGOARANT . ÉTYMOLOGIE    Lever. Formation… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • lief — → laufen * * * lief: ↑ laufen. * * * lief: ↑laufen …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Lief — (l[=e]f), n. Same as {Lif}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Lief — Lief, n. A dear one; a sweetheart. [Obs.] Chaucer. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • lief — [Wichtig (Rating 3200 5600)] Auch: • ging • gingst • gingen • liefst • liefen Bsp.: • Abe …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • lief — [lēf] adj. [ME lef < OE leof, beloved, dear, akin to Ger lieb < IE base * leubh > LOVE] Archaic 1. valued; dear; beloved 2. willing adv. willingly; gladly: only in would (or had) as lief …   English World dictionary

  • lief — index readily Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

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