lurch (n.1) Look up lurch at
"sudden pitch to one side," 1784, from earlier lee-larches (1765), a nautical term for "the sudden roll which a ship makes to lee-ward in a high sea, when a large wave strikes her, and bears her weather-side violently up, which depresses the other in proportion" ["Complete Dictionary of Arts and Sciences," London 1765]; perhaps from French lacher "to let go," from Latin laxus (see lax).
When a Ship is brought by the Lee, it is commonly occaſsioned by a large Sea, and by the Neglect of the Helm's-man. When the Wind is two or three Points on the Quarter, the Ship taking a Lurch, brings the Wind on the other Side, and lays the Sails all dead to the Maſt; as the Yards are braced up, ſhe then having no Way, and the Helm being of no Service, I would therefore brace about the Head ſails ſharp the other Way .... [John Hamilton Moore, Practical Navigator, 8th ed., 1784]
lurch (n.2) Look up lurch at
"predicament," 1580s, from Middle English lurch (v.) "to beat in a game of skill (often by a great many points)," mid-14c., probably literally "to make a complete victory in lorche," a game akin to backgammon, from Old French lourche. The game name is perhaps related to Middle English lurken, lorken "to lie hidden, lie in ambush," or it may be adopted into French from Middle High German lurz "left," also "wrong."
lurch (v.) Look up lurch at
1821, from lurch (n.1). Related: Lurched; lurching.
lure (n.) Look up lure at
early 14c., "something which allures or entices, an attraction" (a figurative use), also "bait for recalling hawks," from Anglo-French lure, Old French loirre "device used to recall hawks, lure," from Frankish *loþr or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *lothran "to call" (cognates: Middle High German luoder, Middle Low German loder "lure, bait," German Luder "lure, deceit, bait;" also Old English laþian "to call, invite," German laden).

Originally a bunch of feathers on a long cord, from which the hawk is fed during its training. Used of means of alluring other animals (especially fish) from c. 1700. Technically, bait is something the animal can eat; lure is a more general term. Also in 15c. a collective word for a group of young women.
lure (v.) Look up lure at
late 14c., of hawks, also of persons, from lure (n.). Related: Lured; luring.
lurid (adj.) Look up lurid at
1650s, "pale," from Latin luridus "pale yellow, ghastly," of uncertain origin, perhaps cognate with Greek khloros (see Chloe). Meaning "glowing in the darkness" is from 1727. The figurative sense of "sensational" is first attested 1850. Related: Luridly.
lurk (v.) Look up lurk at
c. 1300, lurken "to hide, lie hidden," probably from Scandinavian (compare dialectal Norwegian lurka "to sneak away," dialectal Swedish lurka "to be slow in one's work"), perhaps ultimately related to Middle English luren "to frown, lurk" (see lower (v.2)). Related: Lurked; lurking.
lurker (n.) Look up lurker at
"one who lurks," early 14c., agent noun from lurk (v.).
luscious (adj.) Look up luscious at
late 15c., perhaps a variant (with form perhaps influenced by Old French luxure, lusure) of Middle English licius "delicious" (c. 1400), which is perhaps a shortening of delicious, but OED is against this. Related: Lusciously; lusciousness.
lush (adj.) Look up lush at
mid-15c., "lax, flaccid, soft, tender," from Old French lasche "soft, succulent," from laschier "loosen," from Late Latin laxicare "become shaky," related to Latin laxare "loosen," from laxus "loose" (see lax). Sense of "luxuriant in growth" is first attested c. 1600, in Shakespeare. Applied to colors since 1744. Related: Lushly; lushness.
lush (n.) Look up lush at
"drunkard," 1890, from earlier (1790) slang meaning "liquor" (especially in phrase lush ken "alehouse"); perhaps a humorous use of lush (adj.) or from Romany or Shelta (tinkers' jargon).
LUSHEY. Drunk. The rolling kiddeys had a spree, and got bloody lushey; the dashing lads went on a party of pleasure, and got very drunk. ["Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence," London, 1811]
Lusitania Look up Lusitania at
Latin name of a region roughly corresponding to modern Portugal; in modern use, allusive or poetic for "Portugal." The Cunard ocean liner (sister ship of the Mauretania and Aquitania, also named after Roman Atlantic coastal provinces) was launched in 1906, torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-20 on May 7, 1915.
lusory (adj.) Look up lusory at
1650s, from Latin lusorius "belonging to a player," from lusor "player," from stem of ludere "to play" (see ludicrous). Related: Lusorious.
lust (n.) Look up lust at
Old English lust "desire, appetite, pleasure; sensuous appetite," from Proto-Germanic *lustuz (cognates: Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Dutch, German lust, Old Norse lyst, Gothic lustus "pleasure, desire, lust"), from PIE *las- "to be eager, wanton, or unruly" (cognates: Latin lascivus "wanton, playful, lustful;" see lascivious).

In Middle English, "any source of pleasure or delight," also "an appetite," also "a liking for a person," also "fertility" (of soil). Sense of "sinful sexual desire, degrading animal passion" (now the main meaning) developed in late Old English from the word's use in Bible translations (such as lusts of the flesh to render Latin concupiscentia carnis [I John ii:16]); the cognate words in other Germanic languages tend still to mean simply "pleasure."
lust (v.) Look up lust at
c. 1200, "to wish, to desire," from lust (n.) and Old English lystan (see list (v.4)). Sense of "to have a strong sexual desire (for or after)" is first attested 1520s in biblical use. Related: Lusted; lusting.
luster (n.1) Look up luster at
"gloss, radiance," 1520s, from Middle French lustre "gloss, radiance" (14c.), common Romanic (cognates: Spanish and Portuguese lustre, Rumanian lustru, Italian lustro "splendor, brilliancy"), from Latin lustrare "spread light over, brighten, illumine," related to lucere "shine," lux "light" (see light (n.)).
luster (n.2) Look up luster at
"one who lusts," 1590s, agent noun from lust (v.).
lustful (adj.) Look up lustful at
Old English lustfull "wishful, desirous, having an eager desire;" see lust (n.) + -ful. Specifically of sexual desire from 1570s. Related: Lustfully; lustfulness. Middle English also had lustsome, which was used in a sense of "voluptuous, lustful" from c. 1400. Old English had lustbære "desirable, pleasant, cheerful, joyous."
lustgarden (n.) Look up lustgarden at
1580s, translation or partial translation of German Lust-garten, Dutch lustgaard "pleasure garden;" see lust (n.) + garden (n.).
lustily (adv.) Look up lustily at
early 13c., lustliche, "willingly, eagerly, readily;" see lusty + -ly (2). Meaning "with pleasure, voluptuously" is c. 1300; meaning "vigorously, energetically" is c. 1400.
lustral (adj.) Look up lustral at
"pertaining to purification," 1530s, from Latin lustralis, from lustrum (see lustrum). Hence, also, "every five years" (1781).
lustre (n.) Look up lustre at
"gloss, radiance;" see luster (n.1).
lustrous Look up lustrous at
c. 1600, from luster + -ous. Related: Lustrously; lustrousness.
lustrum (n.) Look up lustrum at
(plural lustra), "purification of the Roman people every five years," 1580s, from Latin lustrum, perhaps from root of luere "to wash," related to lavere (see lave). Or [Watkins, Klein] from PIE *leuk-stro-, from base *leuk- "light, brightness."
lusty (adj.) Look up lusty at
early 13c., "joyful, merry," from lust + -y (2). It largely has escaped the Christianization and denigration of its root word. The sense of "full of healthy vigor" is from late 14c.; that of "full of desire" is attested from c. 1400. Related: Lustily; lustiness.
lute (n.) Look up lute at
stringed musical instrument, late 13c., from Old French lut, leut, from Old Provençal laut, from Arabic al-'ud, the Arabian lute, literally "the wood" (source of Spanish laud, Portuguese alaude, Italian liuto), where al is the definite article. A player is a lutist (1620s) or a lutanist (c. 1600, from Medieval Latin hybrid lutanista).
luteal (adj.) Look up luteal at
"pertaining to the corpus luteum," 1906, from Latin luteus "yellow" (see luteous). Luteal phase is attested by 1932.
luteous (adj.) Look up luteous at
"orange-yellow," 1650s, from Latin luteus "golden-yellow, orange-yellow," from lutum, the name of a plant used in dying yellow, of unknown origin.
Lutheran Look up Lutheran at
1521, from name of German religious reformer Martin Luther (1483-1546); used by Catholics 16c. in reference to all Protestants, regardless of sect. Related: Lutheranism.
luthier (n.) Look up luthier at
"lute-maker," 1879, from French luthier, from luth (see lute).
lutz (n.) Look up lutz at
type of skating jump, 1932, from the name Alois Lutz, "an obscure Austrian skater of the 1920s" [James R. Hines, "Historical Dictionary of Figure Skating," 2011], who is said to have first performed it in 1913.
luv Look up luv at
affectionate, dialectal, or colloquial spelling of love, attested from 1825.
lux (n.) Look up lux at
unit of illumination, 1889, from Latin lux "light" (see light (n.)).
luxe Look up luxe at
"luxury, elegance," 1550s, from French luxe "luxury, sumptuousness, profusion," from Latin luxus (see luxury).
Luxembourg Look up Luxembourg at
European state, from Germanic lutilla "little" + burg "fort, castle." Related: Luxembourgeois; Luxembourger. Hence also lushburg (mid-14c.), Middle English word for "a base coin made in imitation of the sterling or silver penny and imported from Luxemburg in the reign of Edward III" [OED].
Luxor Look up Luxor at
place in Egypt, from Arabic al-Kusur, literally "the palaces," from plural of kasr, which is from Latin castrum "fortified camp" (see castle). There are remains of Roman camps nearby.
luxuriance (n.) Look up luxuriance at
1650s; see luxuriant + -ance. Related: Luxuriancy (1640s).
luxuriant (adj.) Look up luxuriant at
1530s, from Middle French luxuriant and directly from Latin luxuriantem (nominative luxurians), present participle of luxuriare "have to excess, grow profusely" (see luxuriate). Related: Luxuriantly.
luxuriate (v.) Look up luxuriate at
1620s, "to indulge in luxury," from Latin luxuriatus, past participle of luxuriare "have to excess," figuratively "run riot, be dissolute, indulge to excess," from luxuria "excess, rankness, luxuriance" (see luxury). Related: Luxuriated; luxuriating.
luxurious (adj.) Look up luxurious at
c. 1300, "lascivious, lecherous, unchaste," from Old French luxurios "lustful, lascivious" (Modern French luxurieux), from Latin luxuriosus, from luxuria (see luxury). Meaning "given to luxury, voluptuous" (of persons) is from c. 1600. Of things, meaning "characterized by luxury" is attested from c. 1650. Related: Luxuriously; luxuriousness.
luxury (n.) Look up luxury at
c. 1300, "sexual intercourse;" mid-14c., "lasciviousness, sinful self-indulgence," from Old French luxurie "debauchery, dissoluteness, lust" (Modern French luxure), from Latin luxuria "excess, luxury, extravagance, profusion; delicacy" (source also of Spanish lujuria, Italian lussuria), from luxus "excess, extravagance, magnificence," probably a figurative use of luxus (adj.) "dislocated," which is related to luctari "wrestle, strain" (see reluctance).

Meaning "sensual pleasure" is late 14c. Lost its pejorative taint 17c. Meaning "habit of indulgence in what is choice or costly" is from 1630s; that of "sumptuous surroundings" is from 1704; that of "something enjoyable or comfortable beyond life's necessities" is from 1780. Used as an adjective from 1916.
lycanthrope (n.) Look up lycanthrope at
1620s in the classical sense; 1825 in the modern sense, from Modern Latin lycanthropus, from Greek lykanthropos "wolf-man" (see lycanthropy).
lycanthropy (n.) Look up lycanthropy at
1580s, a form of madness (described by ancient writers) in which the afflicted thought he was a wolf, from Greek lykanthropia, from lykanthropos "wolf-man," from lykos "wolf" (see wolf (n.)) + anthropos "man" (see anthropo-). Originally a form of madness (described by ancient writers) in which the afflicted thought he was a wolf; applied to actual transformations of persons (especially witches) into wolves since 1830 (see werewolf).
lyceum (n.) Look up lyceum at
1580s, Latin form of Greek lykeion, name of a grove or garden with covered walks near Athens where Aristotle taught, from neuter of Lykeios "wolf-slayer," an epithet of Apollo, whose temple was nearby, from lykos "wolf." Hence lycée, name given in France to state-run secondary schools. In England, early 19c., lyceum was the name taken by a number of literary societies; in U.S., after c. 1820, it was the name of institutes that sponsored popular lectures in science and literature.
Lycra Look up Lycra at
elastic polyurethane fiber, 1955, proprietary name (registered by E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company, Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.) of an elastic polyurethane fiber.
lye (n.) Look up lye at
Old English læg, leag "lye," from Proto-Germanic *laugo (cognates: Middle Dutch loghe, Dutch loog, Old High German louga, German Lauge "lye"), from PIE root *leue- "to wash" (see lave). The substance was formerly used in place of soap, hence Old High German luhhen "to wash," Old Norse laug "hot bath, hot spring," Danish lørdag, Swedish lördag "Saturday," literally "washing-day." Chamber-lye in early Modern English was the name for urine used as a detergent.
lying (n.1) Look up lying at
early 13c., action of lie (v.2) "to recline." Lying-in "being in childbed" is attested from mid-15c.
lying (n.2) Look up lying at
c. 1300 (n.), action of lie (v.1) "to tell an untruth." As a past participle adjective, from 1530s.
lymph (n.) Look up lymph at
1725 in physiology sense, "colorless fluid found in the body," from French lymphe, from Latin lympha "water, clear water, a goddess of water," variant of lumpæ "waters," altered by influence of Greek nymphe "goddess of a spring, nymph." The word was used earlier in English in the classical sense "pure water, water" (1620s), also (1670s) with reference to colorless fluids in plants. Also see lymphatic. Lymph node is attested from 1892.
lymphadenopathy (n.) Look up lymphadenopathy at
1899, from lymph + adenopathy, from comb. form of Greek aden (genitive adenos) "gland" (see inguinal) + -pathy.