The verb leach means to empty, drain, or remove.
The noun leech refers to a bloodsucking worm or to a person who preys on or clings to another. As a verb, leech means to bleed with leeches or to act as a parasite.
- Batteries are difficult to dispose of and contain harmful heavy-metal compounds that may leach into the soil.
- Similar to bloodletting, leeches were used to draw out the "bad blood" that medieval physicians believed caused many of their patients' ailments.
Answers to Practice Exercises:
(a) "It's not pollution that makes the water so black; tannic acid naturally _____ into the river from cypress and pine trees growing along the shoreline." (Bruce Hunt)
(b) In modern medicine, _____ are used in reconstructive surgery to provide a vacuum effect that helps stimulate blood circulation.