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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English ligg, from Middle French ligue, from Italian lega, from the verb legare, from Latin ligō (to tie).


league (plural leagues)

  1. A group or association of cooperating members.
    the League of Nations
    • Denham
      And let there be / 'Twixt us and them no league, nor amity.
  2. An organization of sports teams which play against one another for a championship.
    My favorite sports organizations are the National Football League and the American League in baseball.
  3. (informal) Rugby league.
    Are you going to watch the league tonight?
Derived terms[edit]


league (third-person singular simple present leagues, present participle leaguing, simple past and past participle leagued)

  1. To form an association; to unite in a league or confederacy; to combine for mutual support.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of South to this entry?)

Etymology 2[edit]

From Late Latin leuga, possibly from Gaulish.


league (plural leagues)

  1. (measurement) The distance that a person can walk in one hour, commonly taken to be approximately three English miles (about five kilometers).
    • M. Le Page Du Pratz, History of Louisiana (PG), p. 47
      Seven leagues above the mouth of the river we meet with two other passes, as large as the middle one by which we entered.
  2. A stone erected near a public road to mark the distance of a league.


  • Online Etymology, league
  • Middle English Dictionary, lege