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 (n.)). 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- (source also of 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.
live (v.) Look up live at Dictionary.com
Old English lifian (Anglian), libban (West Saxon) "to be, to live, have life; to experience," also "to supply oneself with food, to pass life (in some condition)," from Proto-Germanic *liben (source also of Old Norse lifa "to live, remain," Old Frisian libba, German leben, Gothic liban "to live"), from PIE root *leip- "to remain, continue" (source also of Greek liparein "to persist, persevere;" see leave). Meaning "to make a residence, dwell" is from c. 1200. Related: Lived; living.
According to the Dutch Prouerbe ... Leuen ende laetan leuen, To liue and to let others liue. [Malynes, 1622]
To live it up "live gaily and extravagantly" is from 1903. To live up to "act in accordance with" is 1690s, from earlier live up "live on a high (moral or mental) level" (1680s). To live (something) down "outwear (some slander or embarrassment)" is from 1842. To live with "cohabit as husband and wife" is attested from 1749; sense of "to put up with" is attested from 1937. Expression live and learn is attested from c. 1620.
live (adj.) Look up live at Dictionary.com
1540s, "having life," later (1610s) "burning, glowing," a shortening of alive (q.v.). Sense of "containing unspent energy or power" (live ammunition, etc.) is from 1799. Meaning "in-person" (of performance) is first attested 1934. Live wire is attested from 1890; figurative sense of "active person" is from 1903.
live-in (adj.) Look up live-in at Dictionary.com
"residing on the premises," 1950, from live (v.) + in. Lived-in "inhabited, occupied" is first recorded 1873.
livelihood (n.) Look up livelihood at Dictionary.com
1610s, alteration of livelode "means of keeping alive" (c. 1300), from Old English lifad "course of life," from lif "life" + lad "way, course" (see load). Similar formation in Old High German libleita. Spelling assimilated to words in -hood. Earlier livelihood was a different word, meaning "liveliness," from lively.
livelily (adv.) Look up livelily at Dictionary.com
1550s, from lively + -ly (2).
livelong (adj.) Look up livelong at Dictionary.com
also live-long, c. 1400, lefe longe (day), from leve, lief "dear" (see lief), used here as an emotional intensive + long (adj). From late 16c. conformed in spelling to live (v.) as lief grew strange. German has cognate die liebe lange Nacht, literally "the dear long night."
lively (adj.) Look up lively at Dictionary.com
Old English liflic "living, existing," literally "life-like;" from life + -ly (2). Sense of "active, energetic" developed by early 13c., from notion "full of life."
liven (v.) Look up liven at Dictionary.com
1884, colloquial shortening of 17c. enliven, usually with up. Related: Livened; livening.
liver (n.2) Look up liver at Dictionary.com
"one who lives (in a particular way)," late 14c., agent noun from live (v.).
liver (n.1) Look up liver at Dictionary.com
secreting organ of the body, Old English lifer, from Proto-Germanic *librn (source also of Old Norse lifr, Old Frisian livere, Middle Dutch levere, Dutch lever, Old High German lebara, German Leber "liver"), perhaps from PIE *leip- "to stick adhere; fat" (see leave (v.)). Formerly believed to be the body's blood-producing organ; in medieval times it rivaled the heart as the supposed seat of love and passion, hence lily-livered. Liver-spots, once thought to be caused by a dysfunction of the organ, is attested from 1730.
Liverpool Look up Liverpool at Dictionary.com
English city on the River Mersey, Liuerpul (c.1190) "Pool with Muddy Water," from Old English lifer "thick, clotted water" + pol (see pool (n.1)). "The original reference was to a pool or tidal creek now filled up into which two streams drained" [Victor Watts, "Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names," 2004]. The adjective and noun Liverpudlian (with jocular substitution of puddle for pool) is attested from 1833.
liverwort (n.) Look up liverwort at Dictionary.com
late Old English lifenwyrt, from lifer (see liver (n.1)) + wyrt (see wort). A loan-translation of Medieval Latin hepatica. Applied to various plants with liver-shaped leaves or that were used to treat liver disorders. Similar formation in German leberkraut.
liverwurst (n.) Look up liverwurst at Dictionary.com
1869, American English, partial translation of German Leberwurst, from Leber "liver" (see liver (n.1)) + Wurst "sausage" (see wurst).
livery (n.) Look up livery at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "household allowance of any kind (food, provisions, clothing) to retainers or servants," from Anglo-French livere (late 13c.), Old French livrée, "allowance, ration, pay," originally "(clothes) delivered by a master to his retinue," from fem. past participle of livrer "to dispense, deliver, hand over," from Latin liberare (see liberate). The sense later was reduced to "servants' rations" and "provender for horses" (mid-15c.). The former led to the meaning "distinctive clothing given to servants" (early 14c.); the latter now is obsolete except in livery stable (1705). Related: Liveried.
livestock (n.) Look up livestock at Dictionary.com
1520s, from live (adj.) + stock (n.2).
liveware (n.) Look up liveware at Dictionary.com
"people," 1966, computer-programmer jargon, from live (adj.) + ending abstracted from software, etc.
livid (adj.) Look up livid at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "of a bluish-leaden color," from Middle French livide and directly from Latin lividus "of a bluish color, black and blue," figuratively "envious, spiteful, malicious," from livere "be bluish," earlier *slivere, from PIE *sliwo-, suffixed form of root *(s)leie- "bluish" (source also of Old Church Slavonic and Russian sliva "plum;" Lithuanian slywas "plum;" Old Irish li, Welsh lliw "color, splendor," Old English sla "sloe"). The sense of "furiously angry" (1912) is from the notion of being livid with rage.
living (adj.) Look up living at Dictionary.com
"alive," also "residing, staying," c. 1200, from present participle of live (v.)).
living (n.) Look up living at Dictionary.com
"living persons," late Old English; early 14c. as "the fact of dwelling in some place," from Old English lifiende "that lives or has life," present participle of lifan (see live (v.)). The meaning "action, process, or method of gaining one's livelihood" is attested from c. 1400.
living room (n.) Look up living room at Dictionary.com
"room set up for ordinary social use," 1795 (as opposed to bedroom, dining room, etc.); from living (n.) + room (n.).
livre (n.) Look up livre at Dictionary.com
former French money, 1550s, from French livre "pound," in Old French in both the weight and money senses, from Latin libra "pound (unit of weight);" see Libra. The monetary sense in Latin was in the derived libella "small silver coin." Equivalent to the 20c. franc, the livre was made up of 20 sous.
lixiviate (v.) Look up lixiviate at Dictionary.com
1758, from past participle stem of Modern Latin lixiviare, from Latin lixivium, neuter of lixivius "made into lye," from lix "ashes, lye."
lizard (n.) Look up lizard at Dictionary.com
"an animal resembling a serpent, with legs added to it" [Johnson], late 14c., lusarde, from Anglo-French lusard, Old French laisarde "lizard" (Modern French lézard), from Latin lacertus (fem. lacerta) "lizard," of unknown origin, perhaps from PIE root *leq- "to bend, twist" [Klein].
Lizzie Look up Lizzie at Dictionary.com
pet form of fem. proper name Elizabeth, used colloquially for "a motor car" (especially an early-model Ford) from 1913; also tin lizzie.
llama (n.) Look up llama at Dictionary.com
woolly-haired South American ruminant, c. 1600, from Spanish llama (1535), from Quechua (Peru) llama.
Llanfair Look up Llanfair at Dictionary.com
common in Welsh place names, literally "St. Mary's Church," from Welsh llan "church" (see land (n.)) + Mair "Mary," with lentition of m- to f-.
llano (n.) Look up llano at Dictionary.com
1610s, American Spanish, "prairie," from Spanish llano "plain, even, level, smooth," ultimately from Latin planum "plain," from planus "smooth" (see plane (n.1)). Hence, llanero "a Latin-American cowboy" (1819), literally "plainsman."
LLC Look up LLC at Dictionary.com
abbreviation of Limited Liability Company (see limited).
Llewelyn Look up Llewelyn at Dictionary.com
male proper name, from Welsh Llywelin, often explained as "lion-like," but probably from llyw "leader."
Lloyd Look up Lloyd at Dictionary.com
male proper name, from Welsh Llwyd, literally "gray," from PIE *pel- (2) "pale" (see pallor). Lloyd's, meaning the London-based association of marine underwriters, is first recorded as such 1805, from Lloyd's Coffee House, Tower Street, London, opened in 1688 by Edward Lloyd, who supplied shipping information to his patrons.
LMAO Look up LMAO at Dictionary.com
by 1997, online abbreviation of laughing my ass off. Related: LMFAO (by 2000).