View synonyms for leg



[ leg ]


  1. either of the two lower limbs of a biped, as a human being, or any of the paired limbs of an animal, arthropod, etc., that support and move the body.
  2. Anatomy. the lower limb of a human being from the knee to the ankle.
  3. something resembling or suggesting a leg in use, position, or appearance.
  4. the part of a garment that covers the leg:

    the legs of pantyhose;

    his trouser leg.

  5. one of usually several, relatively tall, slender supports for a piece of furniture:

    sturdy piano legs.

  6. one of the sides of a forked object, as of a compass or pair of dividers.
  7. one of the sides of a triangle other than the base or hypotenuse.
  8. a timber, bar, or the like, serving to prop or shore up a structure.
  9. one of the flanges of an angle iron.
  10. one of the distinct sections of any course:

    the last leg of a trip.

  11. Nautical.
    1. one of the series of straight runs that make up the zigzag course of a sailing ship.
    2. one straight or nearly straight part of a multiple-sided course in a sailing race.
  12. Sports.
    1. one of a designated number of contests that must be successfully completed in order to determine the winner.
    2. one of the stretches or sections of a relay race.
  13. legs, Slang. staying power, especially the capacity to draw large audiences steadily over a long period:

    I had hoped for a bestseller, but my second novel had no legs.

  14. legs, (in wine tasting) the rivulets of wine that slowly descend along the inside of a glass after the wine has been swirled, sometimes regarded as an indication that the wine is full-bodied.
  15. Cricket.
    1. the part of the field to the left of and behind the batsman as he faces the bowler or to the right of and behind him if he is left-handed.
    2. the fielder playing this part of the field.
    3. the position of this fielder.
  16. Electricity. a component or branch of a circuit, network, antenna, etc.
  17. Radio and Television. a connecting link between stations in a network, as the microwave relays used in transmitting a show from one geographical area to another.

verb (used with object)

, legged, leg·ging.
  1. to move or propel (a boat) with the legs:

    They legged the boat through the tunnel.

verb phrase

  1. to help (someone) to mount a horse.



abbreviation for

  1. legal.
  2. legate.
  3. legato.
  4. legend.
  5. legislation.
  6. legislative.
  7. legislature.



/ lɛɡ /


    1. either of the two lower limbs, including the bones and fleshy covering of the femur, tibia, fibula, and patella
    2. ( as modifier ) crural

      leg guard

      leg rest

  1. any similar or analogous structure in animals that is used for locomotion or support
  2. this part of an animal, esp the thigh, used for food

    leg of lamb

  3. something similar to a leg in appearance or function, such as one of the four supporting members of a chair
  4. a branch, limb, or part of a forked or jointed object
  5. the part of a garment that covers the leg
  6. a section or part of a journey or course
  7. a single stage, lap, length, etc, in a relay race
  8. either one of two races on which a cumulative bet has been placed
  9. either the opposite or adjacent side of a right-angled triangle
  10. nautical
    1. the distance travelled without tacking
    2. (in yacht racing) the course between any two marks
  11. one of a series of games, matches, or parts of games
  12. cricket
    1. the side of the field to the left of a right-handed batsman as he faces the bowler
    2. ( as modifier )

      a leg slip

      leg stump

  13. give someone a leg up
    1. to help someone to climb an obstacle by pushing upwards
    2. to help someone to advance
  14. have legs informal.
    to be successful or show the potential to succeed
  15. not have a leg to stand on
    to have no reasonable or logical basis for an opinion or argument
  16. on its last legs
    worn out; exhausted
  17. pull someone's leg informal.
    to tease, fool, or make fun of someone
  18. shake a leg informal.
    1. to hurry up: usually used in the imperative
    2. to dance
  19. show a leg informal.
    to get up in the morning
  20. stretch one's legs
    See stretch


  1. obsolete.
    tr to propel (a canal boat) through a tunnel by lying on one's back and walking one's feet along the tunnel roof
  2. leg it informal.
    to walk, run, or hurry



abbreviation for

  1. legato
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Derived Forms

  • ˈlegˌlike, adjective
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Other Words From

  • legless adjective
  • leglike adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of leg1

First recorded in 1225–75; Middle English, from Old Norse leggr, akin to Greek láx, lágdēn “with the foot”
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Word History and Origins

Origin of leg1

C13: from Old Norse leggr, of obscure origin
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Idioms and Phrases

  1. leg it, Informal. to walk rapidly or run:

    We'd better leg it or we'll be late for class.

  2. leg up,
    1. a means of help or encouragement; assist; boost:

      Studying the material with a tutor will give you a leg up on passing the exam.

    2. advantage; edge.
  3. not have a leg to stand on, to lack a valid or logical basis for one's argument or attitude:

    Without evidence, the prosecutor doesn't have a leg to stand on.

  4. on one's / its last legs, just short of exhaustion, breakdown, failure, etc.:

    The aristocracy was on its last legs.

  5. pull someone's leg,
    1. to make fun of someone; tease.
    2. to deceive someone; trick someone:

      She thought someone was pulling her leg when she got the call from the Nobel Committee.

  6. shake a leg, Informal.
    1. to hurry up:

      If you don't shake a leg, we'll miss the opening number.

    2. Older Use. to dance:

      The dance floor was flooded with couples shaking a leg to the loud and lively music.

  7. stretch one's legs, to take a walk; get some needed exercise after prolonged sitting:

    He got up during the intermission to stretch his legs.

  8. break a leg. break ( def 113 ).

More idioms and phrases containing leg

In addition to the idiom beginning with leg , also see arm and a leg ; break a leg ; on one's last legs ; pull someone's leg ; shake a leg ; stretch one's legs ; tail between one's legs ; without a leg to stand on .
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Example Sentences

I did a ten minute scene in his class: the guy who had gangrene in his leg in The Snows of Kilimanjaro.

Imagine waking up to find a guy who looks like a tech startup employee eating your charred crispy leg.

With every stroke, her leather boot creaked under the weight of her leg.

I push down on the pedal with my right leg and instead of propelling myself forward, I topple over sideways.

As my injured leg improves, my left leg starts aching, then throbbing, near my hip.

His face flushed with annoyance, and taking off his soft hat he began to beat it impatiently against his leg as he walked.

He usually seizes his prey by the flank near the hind leg, or by the throat below the jaw.

Were he a young man, they could save him by cutting off his leg high up, but as it is he would not stand the shock.

His left arm was behind his back, the hand clenched, the right leg perfectly straight.

A second shot, however, broke his leg, and the stately animal rolled over.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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