Originally a plural form of a base represented by lēod, and closely related to lēodan. From Germanic *liudīz (“people”), from Indo-European *h₁lewdʰ- (“men, people”). Germanic cognates include Old Saxon liudi (Dutch luiden, Flemish lieden), Old High German liuti (German Leute). The Indo-European root is also the source of Albanian vëlla ‘brother’, Latvian ļaudis ‘people’, Slavic *l’udije (Russian люди, Czech lid/lidé).
lēode m pl, f pl