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See also: League


English Wikipedia has an article on:


  • IPA(key): /liːɡ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːɡ

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English liege, ligg, lige (a pact between governments, an agreement, alliance), from Middle French ligue, from Italian lega, from the verb legare, from Latin ligō (I tie).


league (plural leagues)

  1. A group or association of cooperating members.
    the League of Nations
    • 1668, John Denham, The Passion of Dido for Aeneas:
      And let there be / 'Twixt us and them no league, nor amity.
  2. (sports) 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) Ellipsis of rugby league.
    Are you going to watch the league tonight?
  4. (chiefly in the negative) A class or type of people or things that are evenly matched or on the same level.
    Forget about dating him; he's out of your league.
    We're not even in the same league.
  5. A prefecture-level administrative unit in Inner Mongolia (Chinese: ).
  6. (military) An alliance or coalition.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
  • Japanese: リーグ (rīgu)
  • Korean: 리그 (rigeu)


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

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To form an association; to unite in a league or confederacy; to combine for mutual support.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book X”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC:
      Out of my sight, thou Serpent, that name best Befits thee with him leagu'd.
    • 1845, Bentley's Miscellany, volume 18, page 7:
      I believe that all the Bohemians and the great folks in Paris are so leagued together, that they are afraid of one another, and the people receive all the buffets of their disagreeings.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English lege (league), from Late Latin leuca, leuga (the Gaulish mile), from Gaulish[1], from Proto-Celtic *lougā (compare Middle Breton leau, lew, Breton lev / leo (league)).[2]


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).
    • 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book X, Chapter 10:
      Thenne kynge Mark and sir Dynadan rode forth a four leges englysshe tyl that they came to a brydge where houed a knyght on horsbak armed and redy to Iuste.
      "Then King Mark and Sir Dinadan rode forth a four leagues English, till that they came to a bridge where hoved a knight on horseback, armed and ready to joust."
    • 1751-1753, Antoine-Simon 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.
    • 1813, James Burney, A Chronological History of the Discoveries in the South Sea or Pacific Ocean[2], volume 3, London: Luke Hansard and Sons, page 257:
      To this time the Dutch had kept two garrisons in the North of Formosa, one of which was at Fort Kelang, taken from the Spaniards ; the other was at a place called Tamsui, about ten leagues to the westward of Kelang.
    • 1855, Alfred Tennyson, “The Charge of the Light Brigade”, in Maud, and Other Poems, London: Edward Moxon, [], →OCLC, stanza 1, page 151:
      Half a league, half a league, / Half a league onward, / All in the valley of Death / Rode the six hundred.
  2. A stone erected near a public road to mark the distance of a league.


  1. ^ Blažek, Václav (2008), “Gaulish Language”, in Studia minora Facultatis philosophicae Universitatis Brunensis, issue 13, Sborníku prací filozofické fakulty brněnské univerzity, page 49
  2. ^ Koch, John (2004) English–Proto-Celtic Word-list with attested comparanda[1], University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies