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See also: lëft


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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English left, luft, leoft, lift, lyft, from Old English left, lyft (weak, clumsy, foolish), attested in Old English lyftādl (palsy, paralysis), from Proto-Germanic *luft-, from *lubjaną (to castrate, lop off) (compare dialectal English lib, West Frisian lobje, Dutch lubben), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)lewp-, *(s)lup- (hanging limply). Compare Scots left (left), North Frisian lefts, leeft, leefts (left), West Frisian lofts (left), dialectal Dutch loof (weak, worthless), Low German lucht (left).

Alternative forms[edit]

  • (political left): Left



left (comparative more left or lefter, superlative most left or leftmost)

  1. Designating the side of the body toward the west when one is facing north; the opposite of right.
    Synonyms: sinister, sinistral
    Antonyms: right, dexter, dextral
    The left side.
  2. (politics) Pertaining to the political left.
    Antonym: right
The fruit to the viewer's left is smaller.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]


left (not comparable)

  1. On the left side.
    Antonym: right
  2. Towards the left side.
    Antonym: right
    Turn left at the corner. NO! Your other left.
  3. Towards the political left.
    Antonym: right
    The East Coast of the US leans left in elections.
Derived terms[edit]


left (plural lefts)

  1. The left side or direction.
    Synonyms: 9 o'clock, port
  2. (politics) The left-wing political parties as a group; citizens holding left-wing views as a group.
    The Left left workers behind, thinking they had a winning demographic coalition. It hasn't really worked out for them yet.
  3. The left hand or fist.
  4. (boxing) A punch delivered with the left fist.
  5. (surfing) A wave breaking from left to right (viewed from the shore).
    Antonym: right
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English left, variant of laft (remaining, left), from Old English lǣfd, ġelǣfd, past participle of lǣfan (to leave). More at leave.



  1. simple past tense and past participle of leave (depart, separate from; (cause or allow to) remain).
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 8, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Afore we got to the shanty Colonel Applegate stuck his head out of the door. His temper had been getting raggeder all the time, and the sousing he got when he fell overboard had just about ripped what was left of it to ravellings.
    There's not much food left.

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle English levit, ilevet, y-levyd, from Old English ġelȳfd, ġelȳfed, past participle of Old English ġelȳfan, lȳfan (to allow, permit), equivalent to leave (to give leave to, allow, grant, permit) +‎ -ed.



  1. simple past tense and past participle of leave (permit).
    We were not left go to the beach after school except on a weekend.


  • The Concise Dictionary of English Etymology, Walter W. Skeat.