Definition of medicinal leech in English:

medicinal leech

Syllabification: me·dic·i·nal leech


  • A large European leech, introduced to North America, used in medicine for bloodletting. After biting, it secretes an anticoagulant to ensure the flow of blood.
    • Hirudo medicinalis, family Hirudidae
    More example sentences
    • In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Europeans considered leeches a panacea, and used billions of European medicinal leeches for everything from obesity to headaches.
    • There are many similar records of incredible numbers of medicinal leeches being used across Europe.
    • The medicinal leech almost became extinct in Europe due to the extremely high demand for them.

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