Lief to Lifesome
(Lief) n. Same as Lif.
(Lief) a. [Written also lieve.] [OE. leef, lef, leof, AS. leóf; akin to OS. liof, OFries. liaf, D. lief,
G. lieb, OHG. liob, Icel. ljufr, Sw. ljuf, Goth. liubs, and E. love. &radic124. See Love, and cf.
Believe, Leave, n., Furlough, Libidinous.]
1. Dear; beloved. [Obs., except in poetry.] "My liefe mother." Chaucer. "My liefest liege." Shak.
As thou art lief and dear.Tennyson.
2. (Used with a form of the verb to be, and the dative of the personal pronoun.) Pleasing; agreeable; acceptable; preferable.
[Obs.] See Lief, adv., and Had as lief, under Had.
Full lief me were this counsel for to hide.Chaucer.
Death me liefer were than such despite.Spenser.
3. Willing; disposed. [Obs.]
I am not lief to gab.Chaucer.
He up arose, however lief or loth.Spenser.
(Lief), n. A dear one; a sweetheart. [Obs.] Chaucer.
(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.
All women liefest wouldGower.
Be sovereign of man's love.
I had as lief the town crier spoke my lines.Shak.
Far liefer by his dear hand had I die.Tennyson.
The comparative liefer with had or would, and followed by the infinitive, either with or without the sign
to, signifies prefer, choose as preferable, would or had rather. In the 16th century rather was substituted
for liefer in such constructions in literary English, and has continued to be generally so used. See Had
as lief, Had rather, etc. , under Had.
(Lief"some) a. Pleasing; delightful. [Obs.]
(Lieg"ance) n. Same as Ligeance.
(Liege) a. [OE. lige, lege, F. lige, LL. ligius, legius, liege, unlimited, complete, prob. of German
origin; cf. G. ledig free from bonds and obstacles, MHG. ledec, ledic, lidic, freed, loosed, and Charta
Ottonis de Benthem, ann. 1253, "ligius homo quod Teutonicè dicitur ledigman," i. e., uni soli homagio
obligatus, free from all obligations to others; influenced by L. ligare to bind. G. ledig perh. orig. meant,
free to go where one pleases, and is perh. akin to E. lead to conduct. Cf. Lead to guide.]
1. Sovereign; independent; having authority or right to allegiance; as, a liege lord. Chaucer.
She looked as grand as doomsday and as grave;Tennyson.
And he, he reverenced his liege lady there.
2. Serving an independent sovereign or master; bound by a feudal tenure; obliged to be faithful and loyal
to a superior, as a vassal to his lord; faithful; loyal; as, a liege man; a liege subject.
3. (Old Law) Full; perfect; complete; pure. Burrill.