See more synonyms for league on Thesaurus.com
  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.
verb (used with or without object), leagued, lea·guing.
  1. to unite in a league; combine.
  1. in league, working together, often secretly or for a harmful purpose; united.

Origin of league

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 for league

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Synonym study

1. See alliance.


  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.

Origin of league

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

Examples from the Web for league

Contemporary Examples of league

Historical Examples of league

  • As soon would I league myself with the Odomantians of Thrace!


    Lydia Maria Child

  • “I wish they may not be in league with them,” said Master Headley.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • There be seven of them in all, lying off the town of Hampton on the mainland, about a league.

  • She was confessedly in league with a gang of adventurers upon a quest for treasure.

  • Had she decoyed him to the rendezvous in the dark but to betray him to the bandits with whom she was in league?

British Dictionary definitions for league


  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
verb leagues, leaguing or leagued
  1. to form or be formed into a league

Word Origin for league

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


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

Word Origin for league

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 league

"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).


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.


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with league


see big league; in league with; in the same league.

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