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league1

[leeg]
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noun
  1. a covenant or compact made between persons, parties, states, etc., for the promotion or maintenance of common interests or for mutual assistance or service.
  2. the aggregation of persons, parties, states, etc., associated in such a covenant or compact; confederacy.
  3. an association of individuals having a common goal.
  4. a group of athletic teams organized to promote mutual interests and to compete chiefly among themselves: a bowling league.
  5. Sports.
    1. major league.
    2. minor league.
  6. group; class; category: As a pianist he just simply isn't in your league.
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verb (used with or without object), leagued, lea·guing.
  1. to unite in a league; combine.
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Idioms
  1. in league, working together, often secretly or for a harmful purpose; united.
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Origin of league1

1425–75; earlier leage < Italian lega, noun derivative of legare < Latin ligāre to bind; replacing late Middle English ligg < Middle French ligue < Italian liga, variant of lega

Synonyms

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2. combination, coalition.

Synonym study

1. See alliance.

league2

[leeg]
noun
  1. a unit of distance, varying at different periods and in different countries, in English-speaking countries usually estimated roughly at 3 miles (4.8 kilometers).
  2. a square league, as a unit of land measure.
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Origin of league2

1350–1400; Middle English lege, leuge < Late Latin leuga a Gaulish unit of distance equal to 1.5 Roman miles, apparently < Gaulish; replacing Old English lēowe < Late Latin, as above
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for leagues

league1

noun
  1. an association or union of persons, nations, etc, formed to promote the interests of its members
  2. an association of sporting clubs that organizes matches between member teams of a similar standard
  3. a class, category, or levelhe is not in the same league
  4. in league working or planning together (with)
  5. (modifier) of, involving, or belonging to a leaguea league game; a league table
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verb leagues, leaguing or leagued
  1. to form or be formed into a league
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Word Origin

C15: from Old French ligue, from Italian liga, ultimately from Latin ligāre to bind

league2

noun
  1. an obsolete unit of distance of varying length. It is commonly equal to 3 miles
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Word Origin

C14 leuge, from Late Latin leuga, leuca, of Celtic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for leagues

league

v.

"to form a league," 1610s, from league (n.1). Related: Leagued; leaguing.

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league

n.1

"alliance," mid-15c., ligg, from Middle French ligue "confederacy, league" (15c.), from Italian lega, from legare "to tie, to bind," from Latin ligare "to bind" (see ligament). Originally among nations, subsequently extended to political associations (1846) and sports associations (1879). League of Nations first attested 1917 (created 1919).

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league

n.2

distance of about three miles, late 14c., ultimately from Late Latin leuga (cf. French lieue, Spanish legua, Italian lega), said by Roman writers to be from Gaulish. A vague measure (perhaps originally an hour's hike) never in official use in England, where it is recorded more often in poetic than in practical writing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with leagues

league

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.