Part of speech: adverb
Origin: Old English, 13th century
(Archaic) As happily; as gladly.
Examples of Lief in a sentence
"She would lief go wherever he asked her to."
"Bradley did not lief join her family at their weekly supper."
Popularity Over Time
This word stems from the Old English “lēof,” meaning “dear, pleasant.” It has Germanic origins, related to the words “leave” and “love.”
Did you Know?
At first glance, “lief” can be easily confused for “Leif,” a male name of Scandinavian origin that means “heir.” They’re also homophones — words that are pronounced the same but have different meanings. The two most famous bearers of the name are Leif Eriksson, a Norse explorer who is commonly thought to have been the first European to have set foot on continental North America, long before Christopher Columbus; and Leif Garrett, a child actor-turned-pop teen idol sensation in the 1970s.