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.
litigator (n.) Look up litigator at Dictionary.com
agent noun from Latin litigare (see litigation). Latin litigator meant "a party to a lawsuit; litigant."
litigious (adj.) Look up litigious at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "fond of disputes," from Middle French litigieux and directly from Latin litigiosus "contentious, quarrelsome," from litigium "dispute, strife," related to litigare (see litigation). Meaning "fond of engaging in lawsuits" is from 1620s. Earlier in English than litigate or litigation. Related: Litigiousness.
litmus (n.) Look up litmus at Dictionary.com
"blue dye-stuff obtained from certain lichens," early 14c., from Middle Dutch lijkmoes (Dutch lakmoes), from lac (see lac) + moes "pulp." Another theory is that it represents Old Norse litmose, literally "lichen for dying," from Old Norse lita "to dye, to stain," from litr "color, dye" (see lit (n.1)) + mos "moss." Yet another idea connects the first element to Middle Dutch leken "to drip, leak" (see leak (v.)).

Whichever was the original word, it probably was influenced by the others. The dye is obtained from certain lichens. It is naturally blue but turns red in acid and is restored to blue by alkalis. Figurative use of litmus test is first attested 1957, from scientific use of litmus-treated paper as a chemical indicator. Litmus paper with this meaning is from 1803.
litotes (n.) Look up litotes at Dictionary.com
rhetorical figure in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of its opposite, from Greek litotes, literally "plainness, simplicity," from litos "smooth, plain, small, meager," from PIE root *(s)lei- "slimy, sticky, slippery" (hence "smooth"); see slime (n.).
litter (n.) Look up litter at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "a bed," also "bed-like vehicle carried on men's shoulders" (early 14c.), from Anglo-French litere "portable bed," Old French litiere "litter, stretcher, bier; straw, bedding," from Medieval Latin lectaria "litter" (altered in French by influence of lit "bed"), from Latin lectus "bed, couch," from PIE *legh-to-, from root *legh- "to lie" (see lie (v.2)).

Meaning extended early 15c. to "straw used for bedding" (early 14c. in Anglo-French) and late 15c. to "offspring of an animal at one birth" (in one bed); sense of "scattered oddments, disorderly debris" is first attested 1730, probably from Middle English verb literen "provide with bedding" (late 14c.), with notion of strewing straw. Litter by 19c. had come to mean both the straw bedding and the animal waste in it after use.
litter (v.) Look up litter at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "provide with bedding," from litter (n.). Meaning "to strew with objects" is from 1713. Transitive sense of "to scatter in a disorderly way" is from 1731. Related: Littered; littering.
litterateur (n.) Look up litterateur at Dictionary.com
"a literary man," 1806, from French littérateur, from Latin litterator "a grammarian, philologist," from littera "letter" (see letter (n.1)). Sometimes Englished as literator (1630s, often with a deprecatory sense). Fem. form is littératrice.
litterbug (n.) Look up litterbug at Dictionary.com
1947, from litter + bug (n.). According to Mario Pei ("The Story of Language," Lippincott, 1949) "coined by the New York subways on the analogy of 'jitterbug' ...."
littering (n.) Look up littering at Dictionary.com
1540s, of animals, "process of bringing forth young in a single birth," verbal noun from present participle of litter (v.). Meaning "act of furnishing with bedding" is from c. 1600. That of "act of dropping litter" is from 1900.
little (adj.) Look up little at Dictionary.com
Old English lytel "not large, not much; short in distance or time; unimportant," also used in late Old English as a noun, "small piece; a short time," from Proto-Germanic *lutilla- (cognates: Old Saxon luttil, Dutch luttel, Old High German luzzil, German lützel, Gothic leitils "little"), perhaps originally a diminutive of the root of Old English lyt "little, few," from PIE *leud- "small." "Often synonymous with small, but capable of emotional implications which small is not" [OED].

Phrase the little woman "wife" attested from 1795. Little people "the faeries" is from 1726; as "children," it is attested from 1752; as "ordinary people" (opposed to the great), it is attested from 1827. Little Neck clams (1884) are so called for Little Neck, Long Island, a "neck" of land on the island's North Shore. Little by little is from late 15c. (litylle be litille). Little green men "space aliens" is from 1950. Little black dress is from 1939.
At the beginning of summer, smart women who stay in town like to wear sheer "little black dresses." Because most "little black dresses" look alike, retailers struggle each year to find something which will make them seem new. ["Life," June 13, 1939]
Little Orphan Annie originally was (as Little Orphant Annie) the character in James Whitcomb Riley's 1885 poem, originally titled "Elf Child." The U.S. newspaper comic strip created by Harold Gray (1894-1968) debuted in 1924 in the New York "Daily News."
LITTLE Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,
An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep,
An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep;
An' all us other childern, when the supper-things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun
A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about,
An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you
Ef you
Don't
Watch
Out!

[Riley, "Elf Child"]
little (v.) Look up little at Dictionary.com
OE lytlian, from root of little (adj.).
littleness (n.) Look up littleness at Dictionary.com
Old English lytelnes; see little + -ness.
littoral (adj.) Look up littoral at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to the seashore," 1650s, from Latin littoralis "of or belonging to the seashore," from litus (genitive litoris) "seashore" (compare Lido), of unknown origin, possibly from PIE root *lei- "to flow." The noun is first recorded 1828, from Italian littorale, originally an adjective, from Latin littoralis.
liturgical (adj.) Look up liturgical at Dictionary.com
1640s, from Late Latin liturgicus, from New Testament Greek leitourgikos "ministering," from leitourgos (see liturgy).
liturgy (n.) Look up liturgy at Dictionary.com
1550s, "the service of the Holy Eucharist," from Middle French liturgie or directly from Late Latin/Medieval Latin liturgia "public service, public worship," from Greek leitourgia "a liturgy; public duty, ministration, ministry," from leitourgos "one who performs a public ceremony or service, public servant," from leito- "public" (from laos "people;" compare leiton "public hall," leite "priestess;" see lay (adj.)) + -ergos "that works," from ergon "work" (see organ). Meaning "collective formulas for the conduct of divine service in Christian churches" is from 1590s.
Litvak (n.) Look up Litvak at Dictionary.com
"Jew from Lithuania," 1892, from Polish Litwak "Lithuanian Jew," originally simply "man from Lithuania."
livable (adj.) Look up livable at Dictionary.com
also liveable, 1610s, "likely to survive," from live (v.) + -able. Meaning "conducive to living" is from 1660s; sense of "suitable for living in" is from 1814 ("Mansfield Park"). Meaning "endurable" is from 1841.