Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[leesh] /liʃ/
a chain, strap, etc., for controlling or leading a dog or other animal; lead.
check; curb; restraint:
to keep one's temper in leash; a tight leash on one's subordinates.
Hunting. a brace and a half, as of foxes or hounds.
verb (used with object)
to secure, control, or restrain by or as if by a leash:
to leash water power for industrial use.
to bind together by or as if by a leash; connect; link; associate.
Origin of leash
1250-1300; Middle English lesh, variant of lece, lese < Old French laisse. See lease1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for leash
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But what the alcohol would do would be to cut the leash of constraint and dig up every strong passion among them.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • Jeremy took the leash out of his pocket and opened his cigarette-case.

    Once a Week Alan Alexander Milne
  • Moving figures, harsh voices, together with the half strangled barks of dogs held in leash startled the seated campers.

    The Boy Scouts of Lenox Frank V. Webster
  • It was a splendid day, and by twelve o'clock I had killed a leash of hares.

    Caught In The Net Emile Gaboriau
  • Janey, holding herself on the leash, as it were, keeping herself back from springing upon him like a hound.

    Phoebe, Junior Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant
  • But Helen, and the dogs in leash, had the avenue mostly to themselves at this hour.

    The Girl from Sunset Ranch Amy Bell Marlowe
  • Again Rowlett's anger blazed, and his self-control slipped its leash.

    The Roof Tree Charles Neville Buck
British Dictionary definitions for leash


a line or rope used to walk or control a dog or other animal; lead
something resembling this in function: he kept a tight leash on his emotions
(hunting) three of the same kind of animal, usually hounds, foxes, or hares
straining at the leash, eagerly impatient to begin something
(transitive) to control or secure by or as if by a leash
Word Origin
C13: from Old French laisse, from laissier to loose (hence, to let a dog run on a leash), ultimately from Latin laxuslax
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for leash

"thong for holding a dog or hound," c.1300, from Old French laisse "hound's leash," from laissier "loosen," from Latin laxare, from laxus "loose" (see lax). Figurative sense attested from early 15c. The meaning "a set of three" is from early 14c., originally in sporting language.


"to attach to or with a leash," 1590s, from leash (n.). Related: Leashed; leashing.


"to attach to or with a leash," 1590s, from leash (n.). Related: Leashed; leashing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for leash

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for leash

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for leash