lief (adv.) Look up lief at
"dearly, gladly, willingly" (obsolete or archaic), c. 1250, from Middle English adjective lief "esteemed, beloved, dear," from Old English leof "dear, valued, beloved, pleasant" (also as a noun, "a beloved person, friend"), from Proto-Germanic *leubo- (source also of Old Norse ljutr, Old Frisian liaf, Dutch lief, Old High German liob, German lieb, Gothic liufs "dear, beloved"), from PIE root *leubh- "to love, care, desire" (see love (n.)).

Often with the dative and in personal constructions with have or would in expressions of choice or preference (and yet, to say the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of freedom, as the morality of imprisonment; "Measure for Measure"). I want and I'd love to are overworked and misused to fill the hole left in the language when I would lief faded in 17c.