[ left ]
See synonyms for: leftlefts on Thesaurus.com

  1. being, relating to, or located on or nearest to the side where a person’s heart normally is (opposed to right): Dan was ahead of me and on the left side of the street. I have arthritis in my left knee.

  2. Often Left . of or belonging to the political Left; having liberal or radical views in politics.

  1. Mathematics. pertaining to an element of a set that has a given property when written on the left of an element or set of elements of the set: a left identity, as 1 in 1 ⋅ x = x.

  1. the left side or something that is on the left side; the direction toward that side: The laundry room is the first door on your left.Move the picture about a foot to the left so it’s centered above the sofa.

  2. a turn toward the left: Make a left at the next corner.

  1. the left or the Left .

    • the complex of individuals or organized groups advocating liberal reform or revolutionary change in the social, political, or economic order.: Compare right (def. 33a).

    • the position held by these people.: Compare right (def. 33b).

    • left wing. : Compare right wing.

  2. Usually Left .Government.

    • 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.

  3. Boxing. a blow delivered by the left hand.

  1. toward the left: She moved left on entering the room.

Origin of left

First recorded in 1125–75; 1935–40 for def. 6; Middle English left, lift, luft, Old English left “idle, weak, useless,” Kentish form of lyft- (in lyftādl “palsy”); cognate with Dutch, Low German lucht; akin to Middle English libbe (modern dialect lib ) “to castrate,” cognate with Dutch, Low German lubben

Words Nearby left

Other definitions for left (2 of 2)

[ left ]

  1. simple past tense and past participle of leave1.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use left in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for left (1 of 2)


/ (lɛft) /

  1. (usually prenominal) of or designating the side of something or someone that faces west when the front is turned towards the north

  2. (usually prenominal) worn on a left hand, foot, etc

  1. (sometimes capital) of or relating to the political or intellectual left

  2. (sometimes capital) radical or progressive, esp as compared to less radical or progressive groups, persons, etc

  1. on or in the direction of the left

  1. a left side, direction, position, area, or part: Related adjectives: sinister, sinistral

  2. (often capital) the supporters or advocates of varying degrees of social, political, or economic change, reform, or revolution designed to promote the greater freedom, power, welfare, or comfort of the common people

  1. to the left radical in the methods, principles, etc, employed in striving to achieve such change

  2. boxing

    • a blow with the left hand

    • the left hand

Origin of left

Old English left idle, weak, variant of lyft- (in lyftādl palsy, literally: left-disease); related to Middle Dutch lucht left

British Dictionary definitions for left (2 of 2)


/ (lɛft) /

  1. the past tense and past participle of leave 1

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with left


In addition to the idioms beginning with left

  • left field
  • left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, the
  • left wing

also see:

  • hang a left
  • out in left field
  • right and left
  • take up where one left off
  • two left feet

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