led Look up led at Dictionary.com
past tense and past participle of lead (v.).
lede (n.) Look up lede at Dictionary.com
by 1965, alternative spelling of lead (n.2) in the newspaper journalism sense (see lead (v.)), to distinguish this sense from other possible meanings of the written word, perhaps especially the molten lead (n.1) used in typesetting machines.
lederhosen (n.) Look up lederhosen at Dictionary.com
leather shorts worn in Alpine regions, 1937, German, literally "leather trousers" (see leather and hose). Old English had cognate leðerhose. German hosen displaced Old High German bruch, from the basic Germanic word for "trousers" (see breeches).
ledge (n.) Look up ledge at Dictionary.com
late 13c., "crossbar on a door," perhaps from Middle English verb leggen "to place, lay" (see lay (v.)). Sense of "narrow shelf" is first recorded 1550s; "shelf-like projection of rock" is from 1550s.
ledger (n.) Look up ledger at Dictionary.com
"account book," c.1400, from leggen "to place, lay" (see lay (v.)). Originally a book that lies permanently in a place (especially a large copy of a breviary in a church). Sense of "book of accounts" is first attested 1580s, short for ledger-book (1550s).
lee (n.) Look up lee at Dictionary.com
Old English hleo "shelter, cover, defense, protection," from Proto-Germanic *khlewaz (cognates: Old Norse hle, Danish , Old Saxon hleo, Dutch lij "lee, shelter"). No known cognates outside Germanic; original sense uncertain and might have been "warm" (compare German lau "tepid," Old Norse hly "shelter, warmth"), which might link it to PIE *kele- (1) "warm." As an adjective, 1510s, from the noun.
Lee-Enfield Look up Lee-Enfield at Dictionary.com
1902, named for J.P. Lee (1831-1904), U.S. designer of bolt action + Enfield (q.v.).
leech (n.1) Look up leech at Dictionary.com
"bloodsucking aquatic worm," from Old English læce (Kentish lyce), of unknown origin (with a cognate in Middle Dutch lake). Commonly regarded as a transferred use of leech (n.2), but the Old English forms suggest a distinct word, which has been assimilated to leech (n.2) by folk etymology [see OED]. Figuratively applied to human parasites since 1784.
leech (n.2) Look up leech at Dictionary.com
obsolete for "physician," from Old English læce, probably from Old Danish læke, from Proto-Germanic *lekjaz "enchanter, one who speaks magic words; healer, physician" (cognates: Old Frisian letza, Old Saxon laki, Old Norse læknir, Old High German lahhi, Gothic lekeis "physician"), literally "one who counsels," perhaps connected with a root found in Celtic (compare Irish liaig "charmer, exorcist, physician") and Slavic (compare Serbo-Croatian lijekar, Polish lekarz), from PIE *lep-agi "conjurer," from root *leg- "to collect," with derivatives meaning "to speak" (see lecture (n.)).

For sense development, compare Old Church Slavonic baliji "doctor," originally "conjurer," related to Serbo-Croatian bajati "enchant, conjure;" Old Church Slavonic vrači, Russian vrač "doctor," related to Serbo-Croatian vrač "sorcerer, fortune-teller." The form merged with leech (n.1) in Middle English, apparently by folk etymology. In 17c., leech usually was applied only to veterinary practitioners. The fourth finger of the hand, in Old English, was læcfinger, translating Latin digitus medicus, Greek daktylus iatrikos, supposedly because a vein from that finger stretches straight to the heart.
leechcraft (n.) Look up leechcraft at Dictionary.com
"art of healing," Old English læcecræft; see leech (2) + craft (n.).
leek (n.) Look up leek at Dictionary.com
culinary herb, Old English læc (Mercian), leac (West Saxon) "leek, onion, garlic," from Proto-Germanic *lauka- (cognates: Old Norse laukr "leek, garlic," Danish løg, Swedish lök "onion," Old Saxon lok "leek," Middle Dutch looc, Dutch look "leek, garlic," Old High German louh, German Lauch "leek"). No known cognates; Finnish laukka, Russian luk-, Old Church Slavonic luku are borrowed from Germanic.
leer (v.) Look up leer at Dictionary.com
"to look obliquely" (now usually implying "with a lustful or malicious intent"), 1520s, probably from Middle English noun ler "cheek," from Old English hleor "the cheek, the face," from Proto-Germanic *khleuzas "near the ear," from *kleuso- "ear," from PIE root *kleu- "to hear" (see listen). The notion is probably of "looking askance" (compare figurative development of cheek). Related: Leered; leering.
leer (n.) Look up leer at Dictionary.com
1590s, from leer (v).
leery (adj.) Look up leery at Dictionary.com
"untrusting, suspicious, alert," 1718, originally slang, with -y (2), and perhaps from dialectal lere "learning, knowledge" (see lore), or from leer (v.) in some now-obscure sense. OED suggests connection with archaic leer (adj.) "empty, useless," a general Germanic word (cognate with German leer, Dutch laar), of unknown origin.
lees (n.) Look up lees at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French lies, plural of lie "sediment," probably from Celtic (compare Old Irish lige "a bed, a lying"), from PIE root *legh- "to lie" (see lie (v.2)).
leet (2) Look up leet at Dictionary.com
by 1997, ASCII alternative alphabet used mostly in Internet chat, derived from elite, and sometimes the word is used in that sense (for example in online gaming).
leet (1) Look up leet at Dictionary.com
in reference to special court proceedings, late 13c., from Anglo-French lete, Anglo-Latin leta, of unknown origin; OED suggests possible connection to let (v.).
leeward (adj.) Look up leeward at Dictionary.com
1660s, "situated away from the wind," on the opposite of the weather side of the ship; from lee + -ward.
leeway (n.) Look up leeway at Dictionary.com
1660s, sideways drift of a ship caused by wind, from lee + way (n.). Figurative meaning "extra space" is by 1835.
left (adj.) Look up left at Dictionary.com
c.1200, from Kentish and northern English form of Old English lyft- "weak, foolish" (compare lyft-adl "lameness, paralysis," East Frisian luf, Dutch dialectal loof "weak, worthless"). It emerged 13c. as "opposite of right" (the left being usually the weaker hand), a derived sense also found in cognate Middle Dutch and Low German luchter, luft. But German link, Dutch linker "left" are from Old High German slinc and Middle Dutch slink "left," related to Old English slincan "crawl," Swedish linka "limp," slinka "dangle."

Replaced Old English winestra, literally "friendlier," a euphemism used superstitiously to avoid invoking the unlucky forces connected with the left side (see sinister). The Kentish word itself may have been originally a taboo replacement, if instead it represents PIE root *laiwo-, meaning "considered conspicuous" (represented in Greek laios, Latin laevus, and Russian levyi). Greek also uses a euphemism for "left," aristeros "the better one" (compare also Avestan vairyastara- "to the left," from vairya- "desirable"). But Lithuanian kairys "left" and Lettish kreilis "left hand" derive from a root that yields words for "twisted, crooked."

As an adverb from early 14c. As a noun from c.1200. Political sense arose from members of a legislative body assigned to the left side of a chamber, first attested in English 1837 (by Carlyle, in reference to the French Revolution), probably a loan-translation of French la gauche (1791), said to have originated during the seating of the French National Assembly in 1789 in which the nobility took the seats on the President's right and left the Third Estate to sit on the left. Became general in U.S. and British political speech c.1900.

Used since at least c.1600 in various senses of "irregular, illicit;" earlier proverbial sense was "opposite of what is expressed" (mid-15c.). Phrase out in left field "out of touch with pertinent realities" is attested from 1944, from the baseball fielding position that tends to be far removed from the play. To have two left feet "be clumsy" is attested by 1902. The Left Bank of Paris (left bank of the River Seine, as you face downstream) has been associated with intellectual and artistic culture since at least 1893.
left (v.) Look up left at Dictionary.com
past tense and past participle of leave (v.).
left wing (n.) Look up left wing at Dictionary.com
also (as an adjective) left-wing, 1871 in the political sense (1530s in a military formation sense), from left (adj.) + wing (n.). Related: Left-winger.
left-handed (adj.) Look up left-handed at Dictionary.com
late 14c., of persons; 1650s of tools, etc., from left (adj.) + handed. In 15c. it also could mean "maimed." Sense of "underhanded" is from early 17c., as in left-handed compliment (1787, also attested 1855 in pugilism slang for "a punch with the left fist"), as is that of "illicit" (as in left-handed marriage). Related: Left-handedly; left-handedness.
leftish (adj.) Look up leftish at Dictionary.com
1934, in the political sense, from left (adj.) + -ish.
leftism (n.) Look up leftism at Dictionary.com
1917, from left in the political sense + -ism.
leftist (adj.) Look up leftist at Dictionary.com
1897, from left (adj.) in the political sense + -ist.
leftover (adj.) Look up leftover at Dictionary.com
also left-over, "remaining, not used up," 1890, from left + over. The noun meaning "something left over" is from 1891; leftovers "excess food after a meal" (especially if re-served later) is from 1878; in this sense Old English had metelaf.
leftward (adv.) Look up leftward at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from left (adj.) + -ward. Related: Leftwards.
lefty (n.) Look up lefty at Dictionary.com
"left-handed person," 1886, American English, baseball slang, from left + -y (3). Political sense by 1935.
leg (n.) Look up leg at Dictionary.com
late 13c., from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse leggr "leg, bone of the arm or leg," from Proto-Germanic *lagjaz, with no certain ulterior connections, perhaps from a PIE root meaning "to bend" [Buck]. Compare German Bein "leg," in Old High German "bone, leg." Replaced Old English shank. Of furniture supports from 1670s. The meaning "a part or stage of a journey or race" (1920) is from earlier sailing sense of "a run made on a single tack" (1867), which was usually qualified as long leg, short leg, etc. Slang phrase shake a leg "dance" is attested from 1881. To be on (one's) last legs "at the end of one's life" is from 1590s.
leg (v.) Look up leg at Dictionary.com
"to use the legs; walk or run," c.1500 (from the beginning usually with it); from leg (n.).
leg up (n.) Look up leg up at Dictionary.com
"aid, boost," 1837, from leg (n.) + up.
leg-warmer (n.) Look up leg-warmer at Dictionary.com
1974, from leg + agent noun from warm (v.). Related: Leg-warmers.
leg-work (n.) Look up leg-work at Dictionary.com
1891, from leg (n.) + work (n.). Originally news reporter slang for an assignment that produced more walking than text.
legacy (n.) Look up legacy at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "body of persons sent on a mission," from Old French legatie "legate's office," from Medieval Latin legatia, from Latin legatus "ambassador, envoy," noun use of past participle of legare "appoint by a last will, send as a legate" (see legate). Sense of "property left by will" appeared in Scottish mid-15c.
legal (adj.) Look up legal at Dictionary.com
mid-15c. "of or pertaining to the law," from Middle French légal or directly from Latin legalis "legal, pertaining to the law," from lex (genitive legis) "law," possibly related to legere "to gather," on notion of "a collection of rules" (see lecture (n.)).

Sense of "permitted by law" is from 1640s. Related: Legally. The Old French form was leial, loial (see leal, loyal). Legal tender is from 1740.
legalese (n.) Look up legalese at Dictionary.com
"the language of legal documents," 1914, from legal + language name ending -ese.
legalistic (adj.) Look up legalistic at Dictionary.com
1843, from legalist (1640s); see legal + -istic.
legality (n.) Look up legality at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Middle French légalité, from Medieval Latin legalitatem (nominative legalitas), from Latin legalis "pertaining to the law" (see legal).
legalization (n.) Look up legalization at Dictionary.com
1805, noun of action from legalize.
legalize (v.) Look up legalize at Dictionary.com
1716, from legal + -ize. Related: Legalized; legalizing.
legate (n.) Look up legate at Dictionary.com
mid-12c., "authorized representative of the Pope," from Old French legat and directly from Latin legatus "ambassador, envoy," originally "provided with a commission," past participle of legare "send as a deputy, send with a commission, bequeath," from lex (genitive legis) "contract, law" (see legal). General sense of "ambassador, delegate, messenger" is from late 14c.
legation (n.) Look up legation at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Old French legation and directly from Latin legationem (nominative legatio) "the office of an ambassador," noun of action from past participle stem of legare (see legate).
legato Look up legato at Dictionary.com
1811, from Italian legato, literally "bound," past participle of legare, from Latin ligare (see ligament). Of music to be played smoothly, without intervals.
legem pone Look up legem pone at Dictionary.com
"payment of money, cash down," 1570s, from first two words of the fifth division of Psalm cxix, which begins the psalms at Matins on the 25th of the month; consequently associated with March 25, a quarter day in the old financial calendar, when payments and debts came due.
legend (n.) Look up legend at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "narrative dealing with a happening or an event," from Old French legende (12c., Modern French légende) and directly from Medieval Latin legenda "legend, story," literally "(things) to be read," on certain days in church, etc., from Latin legendus, neuter plural gerundive of legere "to read, gather, select" (see lecture (n.)).

Used originally of saints' lives; extended sense of "nonhistorical or mythical story" first recorded late 14c. Meaning "writing or inscription" (especially on a coin or medal) is from 1610s; on a map, illustration, etc., from 1903.
legendary (adj.) Look up legendary at Dictionary.com
mid-16c., from Medieval Latin legendarius, from legenda (see legend). Earlier it was a noun meaning "a collection of legends" (1510s).
legerdemain (n.) Look up legerdemain at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "conjuring tricks," from Middle French léger de main "quick of hand," literally "light of hand," from léger "light" in weight (from Latin levis "light;" see lever) + main "hand" (from Latin manus; see manual).
legging (n.) Look up legging at Dictionary.com
"extra outer covering to protect the leg," 1763, from leg (n.). Related: Leggings.
leggy (adj.) Look up leggy at Dictionary.com
1787, from leg (n.) + -y (2).