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lair

1
[lair]
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noun
  1. a den or resting place of a wild animal: The cougar retired to its lair.
  2. a secluded or hidden place, especially a secret retreat or base of operations; a hideout or hideaway: a pirate's lair.
  3. British. a place in which to lie or rest; a bed.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to place in a lair.
  2. to serve as a lair for.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to go to, lie in, or have a lair.
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Origin of lair

1
before 900; Middle English leir, Old English leger; cognate with Dutch, Old High German leger bed, camp; akin to lie2

lair

2
[lair]
noun
  1. British Dialect. mud; mire.
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verb (used without object)
  1. Scot. to sink or stick in mud or mire.
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Origin of lair

2
1250–1300; v. use of Middle English lair clay, mire < Old Norse leir clay, loam

lair

3
[lair]
noun Chiefly Scot.
  1. lore; learning.
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Origin of lair

3
Middle English (north and Scots) lare, Old English lār lore1

lair

4
[lair]
noun Australian Informal.
  1. a man who dresses garishly and is crude or vulgar; showoff.
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Origin of lair

4
First recorded in 1930–35; back formation from lairy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for lair

hideaway, sanctuary, form, nest, cave, pen, burrow, refuge, den, earth, hole, retreat

Examples from the Web for lair

Contemporary Examples of lair

Historical Examples of lair

  • It is used by their prickers and huntsmen when the beast hath not fled, but is still in its lair.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Saying no word, out of his lair he came with that terrible sword of his aloft.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • The Huron arose, and shook himself like a lion quitting his lair.

    The Last of the Mohicans

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Nothing would do, but to go up into his lair, and drag him out.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis

  • It tried hard to crawl into its lair, or slip into the lake.

    Welsh Fairy Tales

    William Elliott Griffis


British Dictionary definitions for lair

lair

1
noun
  1. the resting place of a wild animal
  2. informal a place of seclusion or hiding
  3. an enclosure or shed for farm animals
  4. Scot the ground for a grave in a cemetery
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verb
  1. (intr) (esp of a wild animal) to retreat to or rest in a lair
  2. (tr) to drive or place (an animal) in a lair
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Word Origin for lair

Old English leger; related to lie ² and Old High German leger bed

lair

2
noun, verb
  1. a Scot word for mire
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Word Origin for lair

from Old Norse leir mud

lair

3
noun
  1. a flashy man who shows off
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verb
  1. (intr; foll by up or around) to behave or dress like a lair
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Word Origin for lair

perhaps from leer
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 lair

n.

Old English leger "bed, couch, grave; act or place of lying down," from Proto-Germanic *legraz (cf. Old Norse legr "grave," also "nuptials" ("a lying down"); Old Frisian leger "situation," Old Saxon legar "bed," Middle Dutch legher "act or place of lying down," Dutch leger "bed, camp," Old High German legar "bed, a lying down," German Lager "bed, lair, camp, storehouse," Gothic ligrs "place of lying"), from PIE *legh- "to lie, lay" (see lie (v.2)). Meaning "animal's den" is from early 15c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper