To lick is to taste or touch with the tongue. When your dog licks you, he's saying hello. Humans should opt for waving hello over licking.

Animal mothers lick their babies to clean them, and adult cats also groom themselves this way. People generally lick things to taste them: you might lick an ice cream cone or a lollipop, or lick salt off your arm after a day at the beach. Colloquially, to lick an opponent is to beat them at a game or fight. In jazz music, a lick is a short burst of music, or a solo.

Definitions of lick
  1. verb
    pass the tongue over
    “the dog licked her hand”
    synonyms: lap
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    lick or explore with the tongue
    type of:
    touch lightly and repeatedly, as with brushing motions
  2. verb
    take up with the tongue
    synonyms: lap, lap up
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    type of:
    drink, imbibe
    take in liquids
  3. noun
    touching with the tongue
    synonyms: lap
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    type of:
    touch, touching
    the act of putting two things together with no space between them
  4. noun
    a salt deposit that animals regularly lick
    synonyms: salt lick
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    type of:
    deposit, sediment
    matter that has been deposited by some natural process
  5. verb
    beat thoroughly and conclusively in a competition or fight
    “We licked the other team on Sunday!”
    synonyms: annihilate, bat, clobber, cream, drub, thrash
    flail, lam, thrash, thresh
    give a thrashing to; beat hard
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    type of:
    beat, beat out, crush, shell, trounce, vanquish
    come out better in a competition, race, or conflict
  6. noun
    (boxing) a blow with the fist
    synonyms: biff, clout, poke, punch, slug
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    counter, counterpunch, parry
    a return punch (especially by a boxer)
    KO punch, Sunday punch, haymaker, knockout punch
    a hard punch that renders the opponent unable to continue boxing
    a short swinging punch delivered from the side with the elbow bent
    a quick short straight punch
    rabbit punch
    a short chopping blow to the back of the neck
    sucker punch
    an unexpected punch
    a hook delivered with an exaggerated swing
    type of:
    blow, buffet
    a powerful stroke with the fist or a weapon
  7. verb
    find the solution to (a problem or question) or understand the meaning of
    synonyms: figure out, puzzle out, solve, work, work out
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    answer, resolve
    understand the meaning of
    explain a riddle
    arrive at after reckoning, deliberating, and weighing
    guess, infer
    guess correctly; solve by guessing
    give the correct answer or solution to
    find the solution or key to
    discern or comprehend
    type of:
    know and comprehend the nature or meaning of
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