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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Lief


LIEF, adjective [See Love.] Dear; beloved. obsolete

LIEF, adverb [supra. This word coincides with love, Latin lubet, libet, and the primary sense is to be free, prompt, ready.]

Gladly; willingly; freely; used in familiar speech, in the phrase, I had as lief go as not. It has been supposed that had in this phrase is a corruption of would. At any rate it is anomalous.