lair

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See also: Lair, láir, and làir

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old English leġer (couch, bed), from Proto-Germanic *legrą, from Proto-Indo-European *legʰ-.

Noun[edit]

lair (plural lairs)

  1. A place inhabited by a wild animal, often a cave or a hole in the ground.
  2. (figuratively) A place inhabited by a criminal or criminals, a superhero or a supervillain.
    • 1897, Bram Stoker, Dracula Chapter 21
      ...Van Helsing stood up and said, "Now, my dear friends, we go forth to our terrible enterprise. Are we all armed, as we were on that night when first we visited our enemy's lair. Armed against ghostly as well as carnal attack?"
  3. (Britain) A bed or resting place.
    • 1843 June 1, Thom, William, “Extract from a Letter to J. Robertson, Esq.”, in Rhymes and Recollections of a Hand-loom Weaver, 3rd edition, London: Smith, Elder and Co., published 1847, page 136:
      Wake ye, sleep ye, my hapless boy, / In this homeless house of care? / Lack ye the warmth of a mother's eye / On the cauldrife, lonely lair?
    • 1820, Clare, John, “Address to Plenty in Winter”, in Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery[1], page 50:
      Then would I in Plenty's lap, / For the first time take a nap; / Falling back in easy lair, / Sweetly slumb'ring in my chair;
  4. (Scotland) A grave; a cemetery plot. [from c. 1420]
    • 2018 August 2, BBC News, quoting Aberdeen City Council, “Dad 'will sleep by son's grave' to stop council clearing mementoes”, in BBC News[2]:
      We appreciate that this is a sensitive issue for lair owners and would like to assure them that the maintenance of the cemetery is carried out in a sensitive and dignified manner.
Synonyms[edit]
  • (of an animal): burrow (of some smaller mammals), den (of a lion or tiger)
  • (of a criminal): den, hide-out

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

lair (third-person singular simple present lairs, present participle lairing, simple past and past participle laired)

  1. (Britain) To rest; to dwell
    • 1822, Ainslie, Hew, “The Waesome Death O' Christy Ford”, in A Pilgrimage to the Land of Burns, Deptford: W. Brown, page 42:
      The lee-light that December gies / Was lairing in the wast, / Whan Christy wi' her oa claes, / Was boun' to dree the blast.
  2. (Britain) To lay down.
  3. (Britain) To bury.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old Norse leir (clay, mud). Compare Icelandic leir (clay).

Noun[edit]

lair (plural lairs)

  1. (Scotland) A bog; a mire.

Verb[edit]

lair (third-person singular simple present lairs, present participle lairing, simple past and past participle laired)

  1. (transitive, Scotland) To mire.
  2. (intransitive, Scotland) To become mired.

References[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Manx[edit]

Noun[edit]

lair f

  1. Alternative form of laair

Scots[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

lair (plural lairs)

  1. lore
    • "Ower mony a fair-farrant an rare beuk o precious lair" (second line of "The Raven" translated into Scots).