Definitions

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

  • n. Freedom from time-consuming duties, responsibilities, or activities.
  • idiom at (one's) leisure When one has free time; at one's convenience: I'll return the call at my leisure.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Freedom provided by the cessation of activities.
  • n. Time free from work or duties.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Freedom from occupation or business; vacant time; time free from employment.
  • n. Time at one's command, free from engagement; convenient opportunity; hence, convenience; ease.
  • adj. Unemployed.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Opportunity for ease or relaxation; freedom from necessary occupation or business; spare time.
  • n. Convenient opportunity; available or commodious time; hence, convenience; ease.
  • Free from business; idle; unoccupied: as, leisure moments.

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

  • n. freedom to choose a pastime or enjoyable activity
  • n. time available for ease and relaxation

Etymologies

Middle English, from Norman French leisour, from Old French leisir, to be permitted, from Latin licēre.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English leisir, from Anglo-Norman leisir, variant of Old French loisir ("to enjoy oneself") (Modern French loisir survives as a noun), substantive use of a verb, from Latin licēre. Displaced native Middle English lethe ("leisure") (from Old English liþian "to unloose, release", compare Old English līþung "permission"), Middle English tom, toom "leisure" (from Old Norse tōm "leisure, ease", compare Old English tōm "free from"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • -- 'And surely,' he continues, 'if the purpose be in good earnest, _not to write at leisure that which men may read at leisure_' -- note it -- that which men may read at leisure -- 'but really to

    The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakspere Unfolded

  • On all sides they trip along, buoyed up by animal spirits, and seemingly so void of care that often, when I am walking on the Boulevards, it occurs to me that they alone understand the full import of the term leisure; and they trifle their time away with such an air of contentment, I know not how to wish them wiser at the expense of gayety.

    Mary Wollstonecraft

  • On all sides they trip along, buoyed up by animal spirits, and seemingly so void of care, that often, when I am walking on the _Boulevards_, it occurs to me, that they alone understand the full import of the term leisure; and they trifle their time away with such an air of contentment, I know not how to wish them wiser at the expence of their gaiety.

    Posthumous Works of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

  • After his retirement from business, Franklin enjoyed seven years of what he called leisure, but they were years of study and application; years of happiness and sweet content, but years of aspiration and an earnest looking into the future.

    Little Journeys To the Homes of the Great

  • Bejing - BAY-jing (there is no sounds such as found in 'leisure' in Chinese)

    Archive 2007-11-18

  • In that light, the performance of France (and of the European Union in general) does not look so bad: A much higher rate of growth of productivity than the U.S., and, as one might expect given that leisure is a normal good, the allocation of part of that increase to increased income, and part to increased leisure.

    The European Outlook, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • To sin in haste and repent at leisure is not a privilege available to the public servant.

    At long last, it's recall day (Jack Bog's Blog)

  • To make hippocras: Take a gallon of claret of white wine, and put therein four ounces of ginger, an ounce and a half of nutmegs, of cloves one quarter, of sugar four pound; let all this stand together in a pot at least twelve hours, then take it, and put it into a clean bag made for the purpose, so that the wine may come with good leisure from the spices.

    hippocras « paper fruit

  • We've converged upon log-utility and rational choice as the explanation for the observed variations in leisure ...

    European Productivity, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • It does not mean they need to work all the time, but that even in leisure, there has to be a value to it.

    Archive 2009-02-01

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