Lief

Lief

, adv. Gladly; willingly; freely; -- now used only in the phrases, had as lief, and would as lief; as, I had, or would, as lief go as not.
[1913 Webster]

All women liefest would
Be sovereign of man's love.
Gower.
[1913 Webster]

I had as lief the town crier spoke my lines.
Shak.
[1913 Webster]

Far liefer by his dear hand had I die.
Tennyson.
[1913 Webster]

The comparative liefer with had or would, and followed by the infinitive, either with or without the sign to, signifies prefer, choose as preferable, would or had rather. In the 16th century rather was substituted for liefer in such constructions in literary English, and has continued to be generally so used. See Had as lief, Had rather, etc. , under Had.
[1913 Webster]

 

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Tue 11th December 2018