"leeches" in the noun sense
1. leech, bloodsucker, hirudinean
carnivorous or bloodsucking aquatic or terrestrial worms typically having a sucker at each end
2. leech, parasite, sponge, sponger
a follower who hangs around a host (without benefit to the host) in hope of gain or advantage
"leeches" in the verb sense
1. bleed, leech, phlebotomize, phlebotomise
"In the old days, doctors routinely bled patients as part of the treatment"
Source: WordNet® (An amazing lexical database of English)
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