lapse (n.) Look up lapse at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "elapsing of time, expiration;" also "temporary forfeiture of a legal right," from Middle French laps "lapse," from Latin lapsus "a slipping and falling, flight (of time), falling into error," from labi "to slip, glide, fall." Meaning "moral transgression, sin" is c. 1500; that of "slip of the memory" is 1520s; that of "a falling away from one's faith" is from 1650s.
lapse (v.) Look up lapse at Dictionary.com
early 15c., said to be from lapse (n.) or from Latin lapsare "to lose one's footing." Related: Lapsed; lapses; lapsing.
laptop Look up laptop at Dictionary.com
also lap-top, as a type of portable computer, 1984, from lap (n.) + top (1), on model of desktop.
lapwing (n.) Look up lapwing at Dictionary.com
Middle English lappewinke (late 14c.), lapwyngis (early 15c.), folk etymology alteration of Old English hleapewince, probably literally "leaper-winker," from hleapan "to leap" + wince "totter, waver, move rapidly," related to wincian "to wink." Said to be so called from "the manner of its flight" [OED] "in reference to its irregular flapping manner of flight" [Barnhart], but the lapwing also flaps on the ground pretending to have a broken wing to lure egg-hunters away from its nest, which seems a more logical explanation. Its Greek name was polyplagktos "luring on deceitfully."
larboard (n.) Look up larboard at Dictionary.com
"left-hand side of a ship" (to a person on board and facing the bow), 1580s, from Middle English ladde-borde (c. 1300), perhaps literally "the loading side," if this was the side on which goods were loaded onto a ship, from laden "to load" + bord "ship's side." Altered 16c. on influence of starboard, then largely replaced by the specialized sense of port (n.1). to avoid confusion of similar-sounding words. The Old English term was bæcboard, literally "back board" (see starboard).
larcenist (n.) Look up larcenist at Dictionary.com
1803, from larceny + -ist. Earlier was larcener (1630s).
larcenous (adj.) Look up larcenous at Dictionary.com
1742, from larceny + -ous.
larceny (n.) Look up larceny at Dictionary.com
late 15c., with -y (3) + Anglo-French larcin (late 13c.), from Old French larrecin, larcin "theft, robbery" (11c.), from Latin latrocinium "robbery, freebooting, highway-robbery, piracy," from latro "robber, bandit," also "hireling, mercenary," ultimately from a Greek source akin to latron "pay, hire, wages," from a suffixed form of PIE root *le- (1) "to get."
larch (n.) Look up larch at Dictionary.com
1540s, from German Lärche, from Middle High German larche, from Old High German *larihha, from Latin larix (genitive laricis), probably a loan-word from an Alpine Gaulish language, corresponding phonetically to Old Celtic *darik- "oak" (see Druid and tree).
lard (n.) Look up lard at Dictionary.com
late 14c. (possibly early 13c.), "rendered fat of a swine," from Old French larde "joint, meat," especially "bacon fat" (12c.), and directly from Latin lardum "lard, bacon, cured swine's flesh," probably cognate with Greek larinos "fat," laros "pleasing to the taste."
lard (v.) Look up lard at Dictionary.com
"prepare (meat) for roasting by inserting of pieces of salt pork, etc., into it," mid-14c., from Old French larder "to lard" (12c.), from lard "bacon fat" (see lard (n.)). Figuratively, of speech or writing, from 1540s. Related: Larded; larding.
larder (n.) Look up larder at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "supply of salt pork, bacon, and other meats," later in reference to the room for processing and storing such (late 14c.), from Anglo-French larder, Old French lardier "a place for meats," from Medieval Latin lardarium "a room for meats," from Latin lardum "lard, bacon" (see lard (n.)). Meaning "department of the royal household or of a monastic house in charge of stored meats" is mid-15c. Surname Lardner "person in charge of a larder" is attested from mid-12c.
lardy (adj.) Look up lardy at Dictionary.com
1879, from lard (n.) + -y (2). Related: Lardiness.
lares (n.) Look up lares at Dictionary.com
"Roman tutelary gods, household deities," Latin, plural of lar.
large (adj.) Look up large at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, "bountiful, inclined to give or spend freely," also, of areas, "great in expanse," from Old French large "broad, wide; generous, bounteous," from Latin largus "abundant, copious, plentiful; bountiful, liberal in giving," of unknown origin. Main modern meanings "extensive; big in overall size" emerged 14c. An older sense of "liberated, free from restraining influence" is preserved in at large (late 14c.). Adjective phrase larger-than-life first attested 1937 (bigger than life is from 1640s).
largely (adv.) Look up largely at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, "liberally, generously, bountifully;" also "in large measure; abundantly," from large + -ly (2). Meaning "extensively, to a great extent" is c. 1400.
largeness (n.) Look up largeness at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, from large + -ness.
larger Look up larger at Dictionary.com
comparative of large (q.v.).
largesse (n.) Look up largesse at Dictionary.com
also largess, "willingness to give or spend freely; munificence," c. 1200, from Old French largesse "a bounty, munificence," from Vulgar Latin *largitia "abundance," from Latin largus "abundant" (see large). In medieval theology, "the virtue whose opposite is avarice, and whose excess is prodigality" ["Middle English Dictionary"]. For Old French suffix -esse, compare fortress.
largest (adj.) Look up largest at Dictionary.com
superlative of large (q.v.).
lariat (n.) Look up lariat at Dictionary.com
1832, American English, from Spanish la reata "the rope," from reatar "to tie against," from re- "back" + atar "to tie," from Latin aptare "to join" (see adapt).
lark (n.1) Look up lark at Dictionary.com
"songbird," early 14c., earlier lauerche (c. 1200), from Old English lawerce (late Old English laferce), from Proto-Germanic *laiw(a)rikon (cognates: Old Saxon lewerka, Frisian liurk, Old Norse lævirik, Dutch leeuwerik, German Lerche), of unknown origin. Some Old English and Old Norse forms suggest a compound meaning "treason-worker," but there is no folk tale to explain or support this.
lark (n.2) Look up lark at Dictionary.com
"spree, frolic," 1811, possibly shortening of skylark (1809), sailors' slang "play rough in the rigging of a ship" (larks were proverbial for high-flying), or from English dialectal lake/laik "to play" (c. 1300, from Old Norse leika "to play," from PIE *leig- "to leap") with intrusive -r- common in southern British dialect. The verb lake, considered characteristic of Northern English vocabulary, is the opposite of work but lacks the other meanings of play. As a verb, from 1813. Related: Larked; larking.
larking (n.) Look up larking at Dictionary.com
"fun, frolicking," 1813, from present participle of lark (v.); see lark (n.2).
larkspur (n.) Look up larkspur at Dictionary.com
type of plant, 1570s, from lark (n.) + spur (n.); so called from resemblance to the bird's large hind claws.
larrup (v.) Look up larrup at Dictionary.com
"to beat, thrash," 1823, of unknown origin, possibly related to Dutch larpen "to thrash." First mentioned as a Suffolk dialect word.
Larry Look up Larry at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, often a familiar form of Lawrence.
larva (n.) Look up larva at Dictionary.com
1650s, "a ghost, specter," from Latin larva (plural larvae), earlier larua "ghost," also "mask;" applied in biological sense 1768 by Linnaeus because immature forms of insects "mask" the adult forms. On the double sense of the Latin word, Carlo Ginzburg, among other students of mythology and folklore, has commented on "the well-nigh universal association between masks and the spirits of the dead."
larvae (n.) Look up larvae at Dictionary.com
plural of larva (q.v.).
larval (adj.) Look up larval at Dictionary.com
1650s, from Latin larvalis, from larva (see larva).
laryngeal (adj.) Look up laryngeal at Dictionary.com
1795, from medical Latin laryngeus, from Greek larynx (see larynx) + English -al (1).
laryngitis (n.) Look up laryngitis at Dictionary.com
1822, Medical Latin, from comb. form of larynx (q.v.) + -itis "inflammation."
larynx (n.) Look up larynx at Dictionary.com
1570s, from Middle French larynx (16c.), from Modern Latin, from Greek larynx (genitive laryngos) "the upper windpipe," probably from laimos "throat," influenced by pharynx "throat, windpipe."
lasagna (n.) Look up lasagna at Dictionary.com
"pasta cut in long, wide strips; a dish made from this," 1760 (as an Italian word in English), from Italian (plural is lasagne), from Vulgar Latin *lasania, from Latin lasanum "a pot," from Greek lasanon "pot with feet, trivet."
lascar (n.) Look up lascar at Dictionary.com
East Indian sailor, 1620s, from Portuguese lachar, from Hindi lashkari "soldier, native sailor," from lashkar "army, camp," from Persian lashkar. Compare Arabic al-'askar "the army," perhaps from Persian.
lascivious (adj.) Look up lascivious at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Middle French lascivieux or directly from Late Latin lasciviosus (used in a scolding sense by Isidore and other early Church writers), from Latin lascivia "lewdness, playfulness, frolicsomeness, jolity," from lascivus "lewd, playful, frolicsome, wanton," from PIE *las-ko-, from *las- "to be eager, wanton, or unruly" (cognates: Sanskrit -lasati "yearns," lasati "plays, frolics," Hittite ilaliya- "to desire, covet," Greek laste "harlot," Old Church Slavonic laska "flattery," Slovak laska "love," Old Irish lainn "greedy," Gothic lustus, Old English lust "lust"). Related: Lasciviously; lasciviousness. In 17c. also with a verbal form, lasciviate.
laser (n.) Look up laser at Dictionary.com
1960, acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation," on pattern of 1955 MASER. A corresponding verb, lase, was coined 1962.
lash (n.) Look up lash at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, las "a blow, a stroke," later "flexible part of a whip" (late 14c.), possibly imitative. The verb might be the source of the noun.
lash (v.2) Look up lash at Dictionary.com
"bind," 1620s, originally nautical, from Middle French lachier, from Old French lacier "to lace" (see lace (v.)). Related: Lashed; lashing.
lash (v.1) Look up lash at Dictionary.com
"to strike with a whip," c. 1300, "to deal a blow;" later "to whip" (late 14c.); see lash (n.). Lash out "to strike out violently" is from 1560s. Related: Lashed; lashing.
lashing (n.) Look up lashing at Dictionary.com
"a beating, flogging," c. 1400, verbal noun from lash (v.1).
lass (n.) Look up lass at Dictionary.com
"young woman," c. 1300, probably from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Swedish løsk kona "unmarried woman," but also perhaps related to Old Norse löskr "idle, weak," West Frisian lask "light, thin." Liberman suggests Old Danish las "rag." "Slang words for 'rag' sometimes acquire the jocular meaning 'child' and especially 'girl.'" "Used now only of mean girls" [Johnson, who also has lasslorn "forsaken by his mistress"]. Scottish diminutive lassie first recorded 1725.
lassitude (n.) Look up lassitude at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Middle French lassitude (14c.), from Latin lassitudinem (nominative lassitudo) "faintness, weariness," from lassus "faint, tired, weary," from PIE *led- "slow, weary" (source also of Old English læt "sluggish, slow;" see late (adj.)), from root *le- "to let go, slacken" (see lenient).
lasso Look up lasso at Dictionary.com
1807 (v.); 1808 (n.), American English, from Spanish lazo, from Latin laqueum (nominative laqueus) "noose, snare" (see lace (n.)).
last (adj., adv.) Look up last at Dictionary.com
"following all others," from Old English latost (adj.) and lætest (adv.), superlative of læt (see late). Cognate with Old Frisian lest, Dutch laatst, Old High German laggost, German letzt. Meaning "most recent" is from c. 1200. The noun, "last person or thing," is c. 1200, from the adjective. Last hurrah is from the title of Edwin O'Connor's 1956 novel. Last word "final, definitive statement" is from 1650s. A dying person's last words so called by 1740. As an adjective, last-minute attested from 1913. Last-chance (adj.) is from 1962.
last (v.) Look up last at Dictionary.com
"endure, go on existing," from Old English læstan "to continue, endure," earlier "accomplish, carry out," literally "to follow a track," from Proto-Germanic *laistjan "to follow a track" (cognates: Gothic laistjan "to follow," Old Frisian lasta "to fulfill, to pay (duties)," German leisten "to perform, achieve, afford"), from PIE *leis- (1) "track, furrow" (see learn).

Related to last (n.), not to last (adj.). Related: Lasted; lasting.
last (n.) Look up last at Dictionary.com
"shoemaker's block," from Old English læste, from last "track, footprint, trace," from Proto-Germanic *laist- (cognates: Old Norse leistr "the foot," Middle Dutch, Dutch leest "form, model, last," Old High German leist "track, footprint," German Leisten "last," Gothic laistjan "to follow," Old English læran "to teach"); see last (v.).
last-ditch (adj.) Look up last-ditch at Dictionary.com
"on the last line of defense," 1715, attributed to William of Orange; if so, originally in a Dutch context.
We have no space to enter into the detail of the heroic struggle maintained by the young stadtholder and his faithful Dutchmen; how they laid their country under water, and successfully kept the powerful invader at bay. Once the contest seemed utterly hopeless. William was advised to compromise the matter, and yield up Holland as the conquest of Louis XIV. "No," replied he; "I mean to die in the last ditch." A speech alone sufficient to render his memory immortal. [Agnes Strickland, "Lives of the Queens of England," London, 1847]
lastly (adv.) Look up lastly at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from last (adj.) + -ly (2).
latch (v.) Look up latch at Dictionary.com
Old English læccan "to grasp or seize," from Proto-Germanic *lakkijanan. Not found in other Germanic languages; probably from PIE *(s)lagw- "to seize" (see analemma). In its original sense the verb was paralleled in Middle English and then replaced by French import catch (v.). Meaning "to fasten with a latch" is mid-15c. Related: Latched; latching.