- the part of a legislative assembly, especially in continental Europe, that is situated on the left side of the presiding officer and that is customarily assigned to members of the legislature who hold more radical and socialistic views than the rest of the members.
- the members of such an assembly who sit on the left.
Origin of left1
Definition for left (2 of 4)
Definition for left (3 of 4)
verb (used with object), left, leav·ing.
verb (used without object), left, leav·ing.
- to desist from; cease; stop; abandon.
- to stop using or wearing: It had stopped raining, so we left off our coats.
- to omit: to leave a name off a list.
Origin of leave1
Other substitutions of leave for let are generally regarded as nonstandard: Let (not Leave ) us sit down and talk this over. Let (not Leave ) her do it her own way. The police wouldn't let (not leave ) us cross the barriers. See also let1.
Definition for left (4 of 4)
verb (used without object), leaved, leav·ing.
Origin of leave3
Examples from the Web for left
Not to be left behind, progressives in neighboring Wisconsin clamored to join the cutting edge of public health.
Clad in a blue, striped button-down, a silver watch adorning his left wrist, Huckabee beams on the cover.Huckabee 2016: Bend Over and Take It Like a Prisoner!|Olivia Nuzzi|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Morris searched for whatever strength was left in his malnourished body.Powerful Congressman Writes About ‘Fleshy Breasts’|Asawin Suebsaeng|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
But there is a big twist in this story that has left both Grace Castro and Lozoya frustrated and grasping for more answers.
Human evolution has left men as deeply wired for emotional connections to children as women are.
The poet Byron's bedroom remains almost as he left it, and on the lawn is the monument to his favorite dog, "Boatswain."England, Picturesque and Descriptive|Joel Cook
James asked, when he and his brother were left alone with the wine.Poor Relations|Compton Mackenzie
That house was, at length, the only one left standing; and when we returned Mrs. W. pointed it out to me.Retrospect of Western Travel, Volume I (of 2)|Harriet Martineau
Such rapidity yet precision of thought, such volubility yet clearness of utterance, left all competitors behind.
If I was to write to my mother,' says he, 'that my wife had left me, I believe it would be the death of her.The Land of Long Ago|Eliza Calvert Hall
British Dictionary definitions for left (1 of 5)
- a blow with the left hand
- the left hand
Word Origin for left
British Dictionary definitions for left (2 of 5)
British Dictionary definitions for left (3 of 5)
verb leaves, leaving or left (mainly tr)
- Also: let alone See let 1 (def. 7)
- to permit to stay or be alone
Word Origin for leave
British Dictionary definitions for left (4 of 5)
Word Origin for leave
British Dictionary definitions for left (5 of 5)
verb leaves, leaving or leaved
Word Origin and History for left (1 of 4)
c.1200, from Kentish and northern English form of Old English lyft- "weak, foolish" (cf. lyft-adl "lameness, paralysis," East Frisian luf, Dutch dialectal loof "weak, worthless"). It emerged 13c. as "opposite of right" (the left being usually the weaker hand), a derived sense also found in cognate Middle Dutch and Low German luchter, luft. But German link, Dutch linker "left" are from Old High German slinc and Middle Dutch slink "left," related to Old English slincan "crawl," Swedish linka "limp," slinka "dangle."
Replaced Old English winestra, literally "friendlier," a euphemism used superstitiously to avoid invoking the unlucky forces connected with the left side (see sinister). The Kentish word itself may have been originally a taboo replacement, if instead it represents PIE root *laiwo-, meaning "considered conspicuous" (represented in Greek laios, Latin laevus, and Russian levyi). Greek also uses a euphemism for "left," aristeros "the better one" (cf. also Avestan vairyastara- "to the left," from vairya- "desirable"). But Lithuanian kairys "left" and Lettish kreilis "left hand" derive from a root that yields words for "twisted, crooked."
As an adverb from early 14c. As a noun from c.1200. Political sense arose from members of a legislative body assigned to the left side of a chamber, first attested in English 1837 (by Carlyle, in reference to the French Revolution), probably a loan-translation of French la gauche (1791), said to have originated during the seating of the French National Assembly in 1789 in which the nobility took the seats on the President's right and left the Third Estate to sit on the left. Became general in U.S. and British political speech c.1900.
Used since at least c.1600 in various senses of "irregular, illicit;" earlier proverbial sense was "opposite of what is expressed" (mid-15c.). Phrase out in left field "out of touch with pertinent realities" is attested from 1944, from the baseball fielding position that tends to be far removed from the play. To have two left feet "be clumsy" is attested by 1902. The Left Bank of Paris (left bank of the River Seine, as you face downstream) has been associated with intellectual and artistic culture since at least 1893.
Word Origin and History for left (1 of 4)
past tense and past participle of leave (v.).
Word Origin and History for left (2 of 4)
Old English læfan "to let remain; remain; have left; bequeath," from Proto-Germanic *laibijan (cf. Old Frisian leva "to leave," Old Saxon farlebid "left over"), causative of *liban "remain," (cf. Old English belifan, German bleiben, Gothic bileiban "to remain"), from root *laf- "remnant, what remains," from PIE *leip- "to stick, adhere;" also "fat."
The Germanic root has only the sense "remain, continue," which also is in Greek lipares "persevering, importunate." But this usually is regarded as a development from the primary PIE sense of "adhere, be sticky" (cf. Lithuanian lipti, Old Church Slavonic lipet "to adhere," Greek lipos "grease," Sanskrit rip-/lip- "to smear, adhere to." Seemingly contradictory meaning of "depart" (early 13c.) comes from notion of "to leave behind" (as in to leave the earth "to die;" to leave the field "retreat").
Word Origin and History for left (3 of 4)
"permission," Old English leafe "leave, permission, license," dative and accusative of leaf "permission," from West Germanic *lauba (cf. Old Norse leyfi "permission," Old Saxon orlof, Old Frisian orlof, German Urlaub "leave of absence"), from PIE *leubh- "to care, desire, love, approve" (see love (n.)). Cognate with Old English lief "dear," the original idea being "approval resulting from pleasure." Cf. love, believe. In military sense, it is attested from 1771.
Idioms and Phrases with left (1 of 2)
In addition to the idioms beginning with left
- left field
- left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, the
- left wing
- hang a left
- out in left field
- right and left
- take up where one left off
- two left feet
Idioms and Phrases with left (2 of 2)
In addition to the idioms beginning with leave
- leave a bad taste in one's mouth
- leave alone
- leave a lot to be desired
- leave flat
- leave hanging
- leave holding the bag
- leave in the lurch
- leave no stone unturned
- leave off
- leave one cold
- leave open
- leave out
- leave out in the cold
- leave out of account
- leave someone alone
- leave someone in peace
- leave someone in the lurch
- leave someone to his or her resources
- leave the door open
- leave to someone's own devices
- leave to someone's tender mercies
- leave well enough alone
- leave without a leg to stand on
- leave word
- absent without leave
- (leave) high and dry
- (leave) out in the cold
- take it or leave it
- take leave of
- take one's leave
Also see underlet.