Definition of licorice in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlik(ə)riSH/
Pronunciation: /ˈlik(ə)ris/
(British liquorice)


1A sweet, chewy, aromatic black substance made by evaporation from the juice of a root and used as a candy and in medicine.
Example sentences
  • A whoosh of freshly ground mocha coffee hits the nose and then, once the wine hits your mouth, it's joined by black fruits, liquorice, spice and a spray of refreshing acidity.
  • A mix of liquorice, black fruits and farmyards tempt the nose.
  • Although this combines powerful cherry notes, threaded with liquorice, backed by chewy tannins and topped with sparkling acidity, it is not yet ready to drink.
1.1A candy flavored with licorice: [as modifier]: licorice gumdrops
More example sentences
  • Nearly eight years after Victory in Europe, the limit on jelly babies, pastilles, liquorice, barley sugar sticks, lemonade powder and chocolate bars was finally lifted - and a nation of schoolchildren cheered.
  • If the ritual centers around the oral fixation, and not the tobacco or the smoke itself, you could substitute a lollipop, licorice or hard sour candy for the cigarette.
  • Erin also made it a point to treat her sweet tooth every day with a small piece of chocolate, hard candy or licorice.
2The widely distributed plant of the pea family from which licorice is obtained.
  • Genus Glycyrrhiza, family Leguminosae; many species are used locally to obtain licorice, the chief commercial source being the cultivated G. glabra.
Example sentences
  • Herbal treatments may include garlic, eucalyptus, licorice, lobelia, marshmallow, red clover and saw palmetto.
  • Containing dandelion, burdock, sarsparilla, milk thistle, liquorice, yellow dock, turmeric and red clover, a bottle provides about 30 servings as you dilute it with either still or sparkling water.
  • New herbs introduced to the already comprehensive range for this year include lemon basil, pineapple sage, aniseed basil, liquorice and comfrey.


Middle English: from Old French licoresse, from late Latin liquiritia, from Greek glukurrhiza, from glukus 'sweet' + rhiza 'root'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: lic·o·rice

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