from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A grassland; a meadow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an open field, meadow
  • n. Any of several measures of yarn; for linen, 300 yards; for cotton, 120 yards; a lay.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A measure of yarn; for linen, 300 yards; for cotton, 120 yards; a lay.
  • n. A set of warp threads carried by a loop of the heddle.
  • n. A meadow or sward land; a grassy field.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Open, untilled land, usually in grass, or pasture-land; a meadow or grassy plain; a stretch of level fields or commons.
  • n. Hence Any field; any level geographical surface.
  • n. Fallow land; lealand.
  • Untilled; fallow: said of land. Compare lealand, layland.
  • n. A scythe.
  • n. Same as lay, 8.
  • n. One of the sets of alternating threads into which the yarns of a loom are divided by the harness system so as to form the shed.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a unit of length of thread or yarn
  • n. a field covered with grass or herbage and suitable for grazing by livestock


Middle English leie, from Old English lēah; see leuk- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English legh, lege, lei "clearing, open ground" from Old English lēah "clearing in a forest" from Proto-Germanic *lauhō (“meadow”), from Proto-Indo-European *louk- (“field, meadow”). Akin to Old Frisian lāch "meadow", Old Saxon lōh "forest, grove" (Middle Dutch loo "forest, thicket"; Dutch -lo (in placenames)), Old High German lōh "covered clearing, low bushes", Old Norse "clearing, meadow". More at Waterloo. (Wiktionary)
Middle English, from French lier, to bind (Wiktionary)



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    March 5, 2009