liquorice (n.) Look up liquorice at Dictionary.com
chiefly British alternative spelling of licorice.
lira (n.) Look up lira at Dictionary.com
Italian monetary unit, 1610s, from Italian lira, literally "pound," from Latin libra "pound (unit of weight);" see Libra, and compare livre.
lisle (n.) Look up lisle at Dictionary.com
1851, from French Lisle, earlier spelling of Lille, city in northwest France where the thread was made; the name is apparently originally l'isle "the island," referring to its location.
lisp (v.) Look up lisp at Dictionary.com
late Old English awlyspian "to lisp," from wlisp (adj.) "lisping," probably of imitative origin (compare Middle Dutch, Old High German lispen, Danish læspe, Swedish läspa). Related: Lisped; lisping.
lisp (n.) Look up lisp at Dictionary.com
1620s, from lisp (v.).
lissome (adj.) Look up lissome at Dictionary.com
c. 1800, variant of lithesome.
list (v.2) Look up list at Dictionary.com
"hear, hearken," now poetic or obsolete, from Old English hlystan "hear, hearken," from hlyst "hearing," from Proto-Germanic *khlustiz, from PIE *kleu- "to hear" (see listen). Related: Listed; listing.
list (n.1) Look up list at Dictionary.com
"catalogue consisting of names in a row or series," c. 1600, from Middle English liste "border, edging, stripe" (late 13c.), from Old French liste "border, band, row, group," also "strip of paper," or from Old Italian lista "border, strip of paper, list," both from a Germanic source (compare Old High German lista "strip, border, list," Old Norse lista "border, selvage," Old English liste "border"), from Proto-Germanic *liston, from PIE *leizd- "border, band." The sense of "enumeration" is from strips of paper used as a sort of catalogue.
list (v.1) Look up list at Dictionary.com
"tilt, lean," especially of a ship, 1880, earlier (1620s) lust, of unknown origin, perhaps an unexplained spelling variant of Middle English lysten "to please, desire, wish, like" (see list (v.4)) with a sense development from the notion of "leaning" toward what one desires (compare incline). Related: Listed; listing. The noun in this sense is from 1630s.
list (v.3) Look up list at Dictionary.com
"to put down in a list; to make a list of," 1610s, from list (n.1). Meaning "to place real estate on the market" is from 1904. Attested from c. 1300 as "put an edge around," from list (n.2). Related: Listed; listing.
list (v.4) Look up list at Dictionary.com
"to be pleased, desire" (archaic), mid-12c., lusten, listen "to please, desire," from Old English lystan "to please, cause pleasure or desire, provoke longing," from Proto-Germanic *lustijan (cognates: Old Saxon lustian, Dutch lusten "to like, fancy," Old High German lusten, German lüsten, Old Norse lysta); from the root of lust (n.). Related: Listed; listing. As a noun, c. 1200, from the verb. Somehow English has lost listy (adj.) "pleasant, willing (to do something); ready, quick" (mid-15c.).
list (n.2) Look up list at Dictionary.com
"a narrow strip," Old English liste "border, hem, edge, strip," from Proto-Germanic *liston (cognates: Old High German lista "strip, border, list," Old Norse lista "border, selvage,"German leiste), from PIE *leizd- "border, band" (see list (n.1)). The Germanic root also is the source of French liste, Italian lista. This was the source of archaic lists "place of combat," originally at the boundary of fields.
listed (adj.) Look up listed at Dictionary.com
"included in a roll or catalogue," 1882, from past participle of list (v.3). Of telephone numbers, "in the phone book," from 1919.
listen (v.) Look up listen at Dictionary.com
Old English hlysnan "to listen," from Proto-Germanic *khlusinon (cognates: Dutch luisteren, Old High German hlosen "to listen," German lauschen "to listen"), from PIE root *kleu- "hearing, to hear" (cognates: Sanskrit srnoti "hears," srosati "hears, obeys;" Avestan sraothra "ear;" Middle Persian srod "hearing, sound;" Lithuanian klausau "to hear," slove "splendor, honor;" Old Church Slavonic slusati "to hear," slava "fame, glory," slovo "word;" Greek klyo "hear, be called," kleos "report, rumor, fame glory," kleio "make famous;" Latin cluere "to hear oneself called, be spoken of;" Old Irish ro-clui-nethar "hears," clunim "I hear," clu "fame, glory," cluada "ears;" Welsh clywaf "I hear;" Old English hlud "loud," hleoðor "tone, tune;" Old High German hlut "sound;" Gothic hiluþ "listening, attention"). The -t- probably is by influence of Old English hlystan (see list (v.2)). For vowel evolution, see bury. As a noun from 1788 (on the listen "alert").
listenable (adj.) Look up listenable at Dictionary.com
1919, from listen + -able. Related: Listenability.
listener (n.) Look up listener at Dictionary.com
1610s, "one who listens;" agent noun from listen. Meaning "one who hears a radio broadcast" is from 1912; hence listenership (1938).
Listerine (n.) Look up Listerine at Dictionary.com
1879, American English, formulated by Dr. Joseph Lawrence and Jordan Wheat Lambert as a multi-purpose disinfectant and anti-septic for surgery. In 1895, after it was discovered to kill germs commonly found in the mouth, the Lambert Company started marketing it as an oral antiseptic. Named for Joseph Lord Lister (1827-1912), F.R.S., O.M., English surgeon, who revolutionized modern surgery by applying Pasteur's discoveries and performing the first ever antiseptic surgery in 1865. Lister objected in vain to the use of his name on the product. Lister (attested from 1286, an Anglian surname) is from Middle English lit(t)e "to dye" (see litmus) + fem. suffix -ster, hence, "a dyer."
listing (n.) Look up listing at Dictionary.com
"the placing of property with an agent to be catalogued for sale," 1906, from present participle of list (v.3); meaning "an entry in a catalogue" is from 1962.
listless (adj.) Look up listless at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Middle English liste "pleasure, joy, delight" (see list (v.4)) + -less. Related: Listlessly; listlessness.
lit (adj.) Look up lit at Dictionary.com
past participle adjective from light (v.2). Slang meaning "drunk" is recorded from 1914.
lit (n.2) Look up lit at Dictionary.com
colloquial shortening of literature, attested by 1850.
lit (n.1) Look up lit at Dictionary.com
"color, hue, dye," early 12c., from Old Norse litr "color," from Proto-Germanic *wlitiz (cognates: Old English wlite "brightness, beauty," Old Frisian wlite "exterior, form," Gothic *wlits "face, form").
litany (n.) Look up litany at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, from Old French letanie and directly from Medieval Latin letania, Late Latin litania (source also of Spanish letania, Italian litania), from Greek litaneia "litany, an entreating," from lite "prayer, supplication, entreaty," of unknown origin. From notion of monotonous enumeration of petitions in Christian prayer services came generalized sense of "repeated series," early 19c., borrowed from French.
For those who know the Greek words, a litany is a series of prayers, a liturgy is a canon of public service; the latter in practice includes prayer, but does not say so. [Fowler]
lite (adj.) Look up lite at Dictionary.com
alternative spelling of light (adj.1), by 1962. Used from at least 1917 in product names, often as a variation of light (n.).
The word Adjusto-Lite for portable electric lamps was opposed by the user of a trade mark Auto-lite registered before the date of use claimed by the applicant. ["The Trade-Mark Reporter," 1922]
liter (n.) Look up liter at Dictionary.com
1797, from French litre (1793), from litron, obsolete French measure of capacity for grain, from Medieval Latin litra, from Greek litra "pound (unit of weight)," which is apparently from the same Sicilian Italic source as Latin libra (see Libra).
literacy (n.) Look up literacy at Dictionary.com
1883, formed in English from literate + -cy. Illiteracy, however, dates back to 17c.
literal (adj.) Look up literal at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "taking words in their natural meaning" (originally in reference to Scripture and opposed to mystical or allegorical), from Old French literal and directly from Late Latin literalis/litteralis "of or belonging to letters or writing," from Latin litera/littera "letter, alphabetic sign; literature, books" (see letter (n.1)). Meaning "of or pertaining to alphabetic letters" is from late 15c. Sense of "verbally exact" is attested from 1590s, as is application to the primary sense of a word or passage. Literal-minded is attested from 1791.
literalist (n.) Look up literalist at Dictionary.com
1640s, from literal + -ist. Related: Literalistic.
literally (adv.) Look up literally at Dictionary.com
1530s, "in a literal sense," from literal + -ly (2). Erroneously used in reference to metaphors, hyperbole, etc., even by writers like Dryden and Pope, to indicate "what follows must be taken in the strongest admissible sense" (1680s), which is opposite to the word's real meaning and a long step down the path to the modern misuse of it.
We have come to such a pass with this emphasizer that where the truth would require us to insert with a strong expression 'not literally, of course, but in a manner of speaking', we do not hesitate to insert the very word we ought to be at pains to repudiate; ... such false coin makes honest traffic in words impossible. [Fowler, 1924]
literary (adj.) Look up literary at Dictionary.com
1640s, "pertaining to alphabet letters," from French littéraire, from Latin literarius/litterarius "belonging to letters or learning," from littera/litera "letter" (see letter (n.1)). Meaning "pertaining to literature" is attested from 1737.
literate (adj.) Look up literate at Dictionary.com
"educated, instructed," early 15c., from Latin literatus/litteratus "educated, learned," literally "one who knows the letters," formed in imitation of Greek grammatikos from Latin littera/litera "letter" (see letter (n.1)).
literati (n.) Look up literati at Dictionary.com
"men and women of letters; the learned class as a whole," 1620s, from Latin literati/litterati, plural of literatus/litteratus "lettered" (see literate). The proper singular would be literatus, though Italian literato (1704) sometimes is used.
literation (n.) Look up literation at Dictionary.com
"representation of sounds by alphabetic letters," 1843, from Latin litera (see letter (n.1)) + -ation.
literature (n.) Look up literature at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Latin literatura/litteratura "learning, a writing, grammar," originally "writing formed with letters," from litera/littera "letter" (see letter (n.1)). Originally "book learning" (it replaced Old English boccræft), the meaning "literary production or work" is first attested 1779 in Johnson's "Lives of the English Poets" (he didn't include this definition in his dictionary, however); that of "body of writings from a period or people" is first recorded 1812.
Great literature is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree. [Ezra Pound, "ABC of Reading"]
Meaning "the whole of the writing on a particular subject" is from 1860; sense of "printed matter generally" is from 1895. The Latin word also is the source of Spanish literatura, Italian letteratura, German Literatur.
lith (n.) Look up lith at Dictionary.com
"joint, limb," Old English liþ "limb, member, joint," cognate with Old Frisian lith, Dutch lid, Old High German lid, Old Norse liðr, Gothic liþus, German glied "limb, member."
lithe (adj.) Look up lithe at Dictionary.com
Old English liðe "soft, mild, gentle, meek," from Proto-Germanic *linthja- (cognates: Old Saxon lithi "soft, mild, gentle," Old High German lindi, German lind, Old Norse linr, with characteristic loss of "n" before "th" in English), from PIE root *lent- "flexible" (cognates: Latin lentus "flexible, pliant, slow," Sanskrit lithi). In Middle English, used of the weather. Current sense of "easily flexible" is from c. 1300. Related: Litheness.
lithesome (adj.) Look up lithesome at Dictionary.com
1768, from lithe + -some (1). Related: Lithesomely; lithesomeness.
lithic (adj.) Look up lithic at Dictionary.com
1797, from Greek lithikos "of or pertaining to stone," from lithos "stone" (see litho-).
lithium (n.) Look up lithium at Dictionary.com
silver-white metallic element, 1818, with element ending -ium + lithia, Modern Latin name given by Swedish chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius (1779-1848) to the earth from which it was extracted, from Greek lithos "stone" (see litho-). So called from its mineral origin and to distinguish it from two previously known alkalis of vegetable origin.
litho- Look up litho- at Dictionary.com
before vowels, lith-, word-forming element meaning "stone, rock;" from comb. form of Greek lithos "stone, a precious stone, marble; a piece on a game board," of unknown origin.
lithograph (n.) Look up lithograph at Dictionary.com
1828, back-formation from lithography. As a verb, from 1825. Related: Lithographed; lithographer; lithographic.
lithography (n.) Look up lithography at Dictionary.com
1813, from German Lithographie (c. 1804), coined from Greek lithos "stone" (see litho-) + graphein "to write" (see -graphy). The original printing surfaces were of stone. Process invented 1796 by Alois Senefelder of Munich (1771-1833). Hence, lithograph "a lithographic print," a back-formation first attested 1828. Earlier senses, now obsolete, were "description of stones or rocks" (1708) and "art of engraving on precious stones" (1730).
lithology (n.) Look up lithology at Dictionary.com
study of rock-formation, 1716, from Modern Latin lithologia, from litho- + -logia (see -logy).
lithosphere (n.) Look up lithosphere at Dictionary.com
"solid part of the earth's surface," 1881; see litho- "stone" + sphere.
lithotomy (n.) Look up lithotomy at Dictionary.com
1721, from Late Latin lithotomia, from Greek lithotomia, from lithos "stone" (see litho-) + -tomia "cutting" (see -tomy).
lithotripsy (n.) Look up lithotripsy at Dictionary.com
1834, from litho- + -tripsy, from Greek tripsis "rubbing," from tribein "to rub, thresh, pound, wear out," from PIE root *tere- (1) "to rub, turn, twist" (see throw (v.)). Klein says the intended Greek word is thryptein "to crush" and there has been "confusion" with tribein.
Lithuania Look up Lithuania at Dictionary.com
Baltic nation, from Lithuanian Lietuva, of unknown origin, perhaps from a PIE source related to Latin litus "shore" and thus meaning "shoreland." Related: Lithuanian.
litigant Look up litigant at Dictionary.com
1630s (adj.); 1650s (n.), from French litigant, from Latin litigantem (nominative litigans), present participle of litigare (see litigation).
litigate (v.) Look up litigate at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Middle French litigier and directly from Latin litigatus, past participle of litigare "to dispute, carry on a suit" (see litigation). Related: Litigated; litigating.
litigation (n.) Look up litigation at Dictionary.com
1560s, "disputation," from Late Latin litigationem (nominative litigatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin litigare "to dispute, quarrel, strive," from phrase litem agere, from litem (nominative lis) "lawsuit, dispute, quarrel, strife" + agere "to drive, conduct" (see act). Meaning "act of carrying on a lawsuit" is from 1640s.