Definition of leach in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /lēCH/


1(With reference to a soluble chemical or mineral) drain away from soil, ash, or similar material by the action of percolating liquid, especially rainwater: [with object]: the nutrient is quickly leached away [no object]: pesticides that leach into rivers
More example sentences
  • Soluble minerals are leached from soils on upper slopes, move down the slope, and are often deposited at the foot of the slope.
  • When they looked at the data from their 1995-2001 study and saw how much nitrate was being leached from the soil, they realized just how important it is to manage drainage systems carefully.
  • In the processes generally known as bioleaching, stress-hardy bacteria, which can get all their nutrient requirements from the air and the minerals to be leached, are typically employed to oxidise ores to a more soluble state.
drain, filter, percolate, seep, filtrate, strain
1.1 [with object] Subject (soil, ash, etc.) to a leaching process.
Example sentences
  • Millions of people in the Himalayas and Andes suffer from goitre and cretinism as glaciation, heavy rainfall and melting snow regularly leach mountain soils of their iodine content.
  • Both field evidence and binocular microscope inspection of the sediment from East Avenue Range indicate that the sediment is highly leached.


Old English leccan 'to water', of West Germanic origin. The current sense dates from the mid 19th century.

Words that rhyme with leach

beach, beech, beseech, bleach, breach, breech, each, impeach, leech, outreach, peach, pleach, preach, reach, screech, speech, teach

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: leach

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.