lick (v.2)
"to beat," 1535, perhaps from figurative use of lick (v.1) in the Coverdale bible that year in sense of "defeat, annihilate" (an enemy's forces) in Num. xxii:4:
Now shal this heape licke up all that is about vs, euen as an oxe licketh vp the grasse in the field.
But to lick (of) the whip "taste punishment" is attested from mid-15c.
lickerish (adj.)
"fond of delicious fare," c.1500, from Middle English likerous "pleasing to the palate" (late 13c.), from Anglo-French *likerous, Old French licherous (see lecherous). Unlike the French word, it generally kept close to its literal sense.
lickety-split (adj.)
1852, American English (earlier lickety-cut, lickety-click, and simply licketie, 1817), from lick (n.1) in dialectal sense "very fast sprint in a race" (1809) on the notion of a "lick" as a fast thing (compare blink).
licking (n.)
"an act of licking or lapping," late 14c., from present participle of lick (v.1); meaning "a beating" is 1756, from lick (v.2).
lickspittle (n.)
also lick-spittle, "sycophant, abject toady," 1741, from lick (v.1) + spittle.
licorice (n.)
also liquorice, c.1200, from Anglo-French lycoryc, Old French licorece (also recolice), from Late Latin liquiritia, alteration of Latin glychyrrhiza, from Greek glykyrrhiza, literally "sweet root," from glykys "sweet" (see glucose) + rhiza "root" (see radish); form influenced in Latin by liquere "become fluid," because of the method of extracting the sweet stuff from the root. French réglisse, Italian regolizia are the same word, with metathesis of -l- and -r-.
lictor (n.)
late 14c., from Latin lictor, literally "binder," from past participle stem of *ligere "to bind, collect," collateral form of ligare (see ligament).
lid (n.)
mid-13c., from Old English hlid "lid, cover, opening, gate," from Proto-Germanic *khlithan (cognates: Old Norse hlið "gate, gap," Swedish lid "gate," Old French hlid, Middle Dutch lit, Dutch lid, Old High German hlit "lid, cover"), from PIE root *klei- "to lean" (see lean (v.)), with here perhaps the sense of "that which bends over." Meaning "eyelid" is from early 13c. Slang sense of "hat, cap" is attested from 1896. Slang phrase put a lid on "clamp down on, silence, end" is from 1906.
Lido
famous resort island off Venice, from Italian lido, from Latin litus "shore."
lie (v.1)
"speak falsely, tell an untruth," late 12c., from Old English legan, ligan, earlier leogan "deceive, belie, betray" (class II strong verb; past tense leag, past participle logen), from Proto-Germanic *leugan (cognates: Old Norse ljuga, Danish lyve, Old Frisian liaga, Old Saxon and Old High German liogan, German lügen, Gothic liugan), from PIE root *leugh- "to tell a lie."
lie (v.2)
"rest horizontally," early 12c., from Old English licgan (class V strong verb; past tense læg, past participle legen) "be situated, reamin; be at rest, lie down," from Proto-Germanic *legjan (cognates: Old Norse liggja, Old Frisian lidzia, Middle Dutch ligghen, Dutch liggen, Old High German ligen, German liegen, Gothic ligan), from PIE *legh- "to lie, lay" (cognates: Hittite laggari "falls, lies," Greek lekhesthai "to lie down," Latin lectus "bed," Old Church Slavonic lego "to lie down," Lithuanian at-lagai "fallow land," Old Irish laigim "I lie down," Irish luighe "couch, grave"). To lie with "have sexual intercourse" is from c.1300, and compare Old English licgan mid "cohabit with." To take (something) lying down "passively, submissively" is from 1854.
lie (n.1)
"an untruth," Old English lyge "lie, falsehood," from Proto-Germanic *lugiz (cognates: Old Norse lygi, Danish løgn, Old Frisian leyne (fem.), Dutch leugen (fem.), Old High German lugi, German Lüge, Gothic liugn "a lie"), from the root of lie (v.1). To give the lie to "accuse directly of lying" is attested from 1590s. Lie-detector first recorded 1909.
lie (n.2)
"manner of lying," 1690s, from lie (v.2). Sense in golf is from 1857.
lie-down (n.)
period of rest reclining, 1840, from lie (v.2) + down (adv.).
Liebfraumilch (n.)
German white wine, 1833, from German, literally "milk of Our Lady."
lied (n.)
"German romantic song," 1852, from German Lied, literally "song," from Middle High German liet, from Old High German liod, from Proto-Germanic *leuthan (see laud). Hence Liederkranz, in reference to German singing societies, literally "garland of songs."
lief (adj.)
Old English leof "dear, valued, beloved, pleasant;" also as a noun, "a beloved person, friend," from Proto-Germanic *leubo- (cognates: Old Norse ljutr, Old Frisian liaf, Dutch lief, Old High German liob, German lieb, Gothic liufs "dear, beloved"), from PIE root *leubh- "love" (see love (n.)). As an adverb, "dearly, willingly" from c.1250. I want and I'd love to are overworked and misused to fill the hole left in the language when I would lief faded in 17c.
liege (adj.)
word used by a vassal to address his superior or lord in the feudal system, c.1300, from Anglo-French lige (late 13c.), Old French lige "(feudal) liege, free, giving or receiving fidelity," perhaps from Late Latin laeticus "cultivated by serfs," from laetus "serf," which probably is from Proto-Germanic *lethiga- "freed" (cognates: Old English læt "half-freedman, serf;" Old High German laz, Old Frisian lethar "freedman"), from PIE root *le- "let go, slacken" (see let (v.)). Or the Middle English word may be directly from Old High German leidig "free." As a noun from late 14c., both as "vassal" and "lord." Hence, liege-man "a vassal sworn to the service and support of a lord, who in turn is obliged to protect him" (mid-14c.).
lien (n.)
"right to hold property of another until debt is paid," 1530s, from Middle French lien "a band or tie," from Latin ligamen "bond," from ligare "to bind, tie" (see ligament).
lieno-
word-forming element meaning "spleen," from Latin lien "spleen" (see spleen).
lier (n.)
"one who reclines;" 1580s, agent noun from lie (v.2).
lieu
late 13c., from Old French lieu "place, position, situation, rank," from Latin locum (nominative locus) "place."
lieutenancy (n.)
mid-15c., from lieutenant + -cy.
lieutenant (n.)
late 14c., "one who takes the place of another," from Old French lieu tenant "substitute, deputy," literally "placeholder," from lieu "place" (see lieu) + tenant, present participle of tenir "to hold" (see tenant). The notion is of a "substitute" for higher authority. Specific military sense of "officer next in rank to a captain" is from 1570s. Pronunciation with lef- is common in Britain, and spellings to reflect it date back to 14c., but the origin of this is a mystery (OED rejects suggestion that it comes from old confusion of -u- and -v-).
life (n.)
Old English life (dative lif) "existence, lifetime, way of life, condition of being a living thing, opposite of death," from Proto-Germanic *libam (cognates: Old Norse lif "life, body," Dutch lijf "body," Old High German lib "life," German Leib "body"), properly "continuance, perseverance," from PIE *leip- "to remain, persevere, continue; stick, adhere" (see leave (v.)). Much of the modern range of meanings was present in Old English. Meaning "property which distinguishes living from non-living matter" is from 1560s. Sense of "vitality, energy" is from 1580s. Extended 1703 to "term of duration (of inanimate objects)."

Life-jacket is from 1840; life-preserver from 1630s of anything that is meant to save a life, 1803 of devices worn to prevent drowning. Life-saver is from 1883, figurative use from 1909, as a brand of hard sugar candy, from 1912, so called for shape. Life-form is from 1861. Life cycle is from 1855.
life of Riley (n.)
"life at ease," expression popularized by 1917, American English, sometimes said to trace to various songs from c.1902.
life-boat
also lifeboat, 1801 (the thing itself attested by 1785), from life (n.) + boat.
life-size (adj.)
1820, from life (n.) + size (n.).
lifeblood (n.)
also life-blood, 1580s, "blood necessary for life," from life (n.) + blood (n.). Figurative and transferred use is from 1590s.
lifeguard (n.)
also life-guard, 1640s, "bodyguard of soldiers," from life (n.) + guard (n.), translating German leibgarde. Sense of "person paid to watch over bathers" is by 1896.
lifeless (adj.)
Old English lifleas "inanimate, dead;" see life + -less. Meaning "with no living things" is from 1728. Related: Lifelessly; lifelessness.
lifelike (adj.)
1610s, "likely to live," from life (n.) + like (adj.). Meaning "exactly like the living original" is from 1725.
lifeline (n.)
also life-line, 1700, "rope used somehow to save lives," from life (n.) + line (n.); figurative sense first attested 1860. Sense in palmistry from 1890.
lifelong (adj.)
also life-long, "continuing a lifetime," 1855, from life (n.) + long (adj.).
lifer (n.)
"prisoner serving a life sentence," 1830, from life (n.).
lifespan (n.)
also life span, 1918, from life (n.) + span (n.1).
lifestyle (n.)
also life-style, 1929, from life (n.) + style (n.); originally a specific term used by Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler (1870-1937); broader sense is by 1961.
lifetime (n.)
also life-time, early 13c., from life (n.) + time (n.). One word from 19c. Old English had lifdæg in same sense, literally "life day."
lifeway (n.)
"way of life," 1960s, an unconscious revival of Old English lifweg; see life (n.) + way (n.).
lift (v.)
c.1200, from Old Norse lypta "to raise," from Proto-Germanic *luftijan (cognates: Middle Low German lüchten, Dutch lichten, German lüften "to lift;" Old English lyft "heaven, air," see loft). The meaning "steal" (as in shop-lift) is first recorded 1520s. Related: Lifted; lifting.
lift (n.)
late 15c., "act of lifting," from lift (v.). Meaning "act of helping" is 1630s; that of "cheering influence" is from 1861. Sense of "elevator" is from 1851; that of "upward force of an aircraft" is from 1902. Meaning "help given to a pedestrian by taking him into a vehicle" is from 1712.
liftoff (n.)
also lift-off, "vertical take-off of a rocket, etc.," 1956, American English, from lift (v.) + off.
ligament (n.)
late 14c., from Latin ligamentum "band, tie, ligature," from ligare "to bind, tie," from PIE *leig- "to bind" (cognates: Albanian lith "I bind," Middle Low German lik "band," Middle High German geleich "joint, limb"). Related: Ligamental; ligamentary.
ligand (n.)
1952, from Latin ligandus, gerundive of ligare "to bind" (see ligament).
ligate (v.)
1590s, from Latin ligatus, past participle of ligare "to bind" (see ligament). Related: Ligated; ligating.
ligation (n.)
1590s, from Middle French ligation, from Late Latin ligationem (nominative ligatio), noun of action from past participle stem of ligare "to bind" (see ligament).
ligature (n.)
c.1400, "something used in tying or binding," from Middle French ligature (14c.), from Late Latin ligatura "a band," from Latin ligatus, past participle of ligare "to bind" (see ligament). In musical notation from 1590s; of letters joined in printing or writing from 1690s.
light (n.)
"brightness, radiant energy," Old English leht, earlier leoht "light, daylight; luminous, beautiful," from Proto-Germanic *leukhtam (cognates: Old Saxon lioht, Old Frisian liacht, Middle Dutch lucht, Dutch licht, Old High German lioht, German Licht, Gothic liuhaþ "light"), from PIE *leuk- "light, brightness" (cognates: Sanskrit rocate "shines;" Armenian lois "light," lusin "moon;" Greek leukos "bright, shining, white;" Latin lucere "to shine," lux "light," lucidus "clear;" Old Church Slavonic luci "light;" Lithuanian laukas "pale;" Welsh llug "gleam, glimmer;" Old Irish loche "lightning," luchair "brightness;" Hittite lukezi "is bright").

The -gh- was an Anglo-French scribal attempt to render the Germanic hard -h- sound, which has since disappeared from this word. The figurative spiritual sense was in Old English; the sense of "mental illumination" is first recorded mid-15c. Meaning "something used for igniting" is from 1680s. Meaning "a consideration which puts something in a certain view (as in in light of) is from 1680s. Something that's a joy and a delight has been the light of (someone's) eyes since Old English:
Ðu eart dohtor min, minra eagna leoht [Juliana].
To see the light "come into the world" is from 1680s; later in a Christian sense.
light (adj.1)
"not heavy," from Old English leoht "not heavy, light in weight; easy, trifling; quick, agile," from Proto-Germanic *lingkhtaz (cognates: Old Norse lettr, Swedish lätt, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch licht, German leicht, Gothic leihts), from PIE root *legwh- "not heavy, having little weight" (cognates: Latin levis "light," Old Irish lu "small;" see lever).

The notion in make light of (1520s) is of "unimportance." Alternative spelling lite, the darling of advertisers, is first recorded 1962. The adverb is Old English leohte, from the adjective. Light-skirts "woman of easy virtue" is attested from 1590s. To make light of is from 1520s.
light (v.1)
"touch down," from Old English lihtan "to alight; alleviate, leave," from Proto-Germanic *linkhtijan, literally "to make light," from *lingkhtaz "not heavy" (see light (adj.1)). Apparently the ground sense is "to dismount a horse, etc., and thus relieve it of one's weight." To light out "leave hastily" is 1870, from a nautical meaning "move out, move heavy objects," of unknown origin but perhaps belonging to this word (compare lighter (n.1)).