2 An act of physical or verbal aggression; an opportunity for attack; hence phr get in one’s licks to get one’s chance; to get one’s way.
3 A skill, knack; an effective method.
a A brief burst of activity; a “go,” “turn,” “stroke” of work; hence phrr at a lick and varr: at once, at a time.
(1) in phrr put in one’s (best) licks and varr: To work hard, do one’s best.
(2) in var neg phrr: The smallest amount of work; a bit of work.Note: This sense shades imperceptibly into sense 5 below; somewhat arbitrarily, all phrr meaning “didn’t do any work at all” are collected here, except hit (or strike) a lick and varr, which appear to be more closely related to sense 1 above and are treated at hit a lick 1 and strike a lick.
6 Pace, rate of going; hence phr mend one’s licks to go faster. esp South Midland
7 Syrup, molasses. chiefly West
8 A spring or stream.chiefly Allegheny Mountains