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[lee-zher, lezh-er] /ˈli ʒər, ˈlɛʒ ər/
freedom from the demands of work or duty:
She looked forward to retirement and a life of leisure.
time free from the demands of work or duty, when one can rest, enjoy hobbies or sports, etc.:
Most evenings he had the leisure in which to follow his interests.
unhurried ease:
a work written with leisure and grace.
free or unoccupied:
leisure hours.
having leisure:
the leisure class.
(of clothing) suitable to or adapted for wear during leisure; casual:
a leisure jacket.
designed or intended for recreational use:
leisure products like bowling balls and video games.
at leisure,
  1. with free or unrestricted time.
  2. without haste; slowly.
  3. out of work; unemployed:
    Because of the failure of the magazine, many experienced editors are now at leisure.
at one's leisure, when one has free time; at one's convenience:
Take this book and read it at your leisure.
Origin of leisure
1250-1300; Middle English leisir < Old French, noun use of infinitive ≪ Latin licēre to be permitted
Related forms
leisurable, adjective
leisureless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for leisure
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is a happy man who has divined the leisure of eternity, so he feels it, like what you say, 'in his bones.'

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • While Mr. Compton was reading the letter, I had leisure to look at him, and at his room.

    Life in London Edwin Hodder
  • When her embroidery gave her mind a moment's leisure, she was astonished not to see Felicien.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • The wished time had come of rest from labour, of leisure for thought.

    Green Mansions W. H. Hudson
  • Theseus asked of the master of the vessel, who was now at leisure to answer him.

    Tanglewood Tales Nathaniel Hawthorne
British Dictionary definitions for leisure


/ˈlɛʒə; US ˈliːʒər/
  1. time or opportunity for ease, relaxation, etc
  2. (as modifier): leisure activities
ease or leisureliness
at leisure
  1. having free time for ease, relaxation, etc
  2. not occupied or engaged
  3. without hurrying
at one's leisure, when one has free time
Word Origin
C14: from Old French leisir; ultimately from Latin licēre to be allowed
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
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Word Origin and History for leisure

early 14c., leisir, "opportunity to do something" (as in phrase at (one's) leisure), also "time at one's disposal," from Old French leisir (Modern French loisir) "capacity; permission; leisure, spare time; free will; idleness, inactivity," noun use of infinitive leisir "be permitted," from Latin licere "be permitted" (see licence). The -u- appeared 16c., probably on analogy of words like pleasure. Phrase leisured class attested by 1836.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with leisure
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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