Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of left
Meaning of left by Wiktionary Dictionary


    Etymology 1

    Middle English, left, lift, luft, from Old English left, lyft 'weak, useless', from Proto-Germanic *luft- ( compare North Frisian leeft 'left', Dutch dialect loof 'weak, worthless', Low German dialect lucht 'left' ), from *lubjanan 'to castrate, lop off' ( cf. English dialect lib, West Frisian lobje, Dutch lubben ), from Proto-Indo-European *( s )leup, *( s )lup 'hanging limply'. More at lob, lop .


    • IPA: /lɛft/, X-SAMPA: /lEft/
    • Rhymes: -ɛft


    left ( comparative more left; lefter, superlative leftmost )

    1. The opposite of right; toward the west when one is facing north .
      Turn left at the corner .
    2. ( politics ) pertaining to the political left; liberal
    The fruit to the viewer's left is smaller.
    Derived terms


    left ( not comparable )

    1. On the left side .
    2. Towards the left side .


    left ( plural: lefts )

    1. The left side .
    2. ( politics ) The ensemble of left-wing political parties. Those holding left-wing views as a group .
      The political left is not holding enough power .
    3. ( boxing ) A punch delivered with the left fist .
    Derived terms

    Etymology 2

    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 .
    2. remaining
      There are only three cups of juice left .

    Etymology 3

    From a verbal use of leave ( “permission” ), perhaps connected to Middle English leven ( “to give leave to, permit, concede” ), from Old English līefan, lȳfan ( “to allow” ). More at leave .



    1. ( Ireland ) ( colloquial ) permitted, allowed to proceed .
      We were not left go to the beach after school except on a weekend .

    See also

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



Explanation of left by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. toward or on the left

    2. he looked right and left
      the political party has moved left
    1. not used up

    2. leftover meatloaf
      she had a little money left over so she went to a movie
      some odd dollars left
    3. intended for the left hand

    4. I rarely lose a left-hand glove
    5. of or belonging to the political or intellectual left

    6. being or located on or directed toward the side of the body to the west when facing north

    7. my left hand
      left center field
      the left bank of a river is bank on your left side when you are facing downstream
    1. a turn toward the side of the body that is on the north when the person is facing east

    2. take a left at the corner
    3. the piece of ground in the outfield on the catcher's left

    4. the batter flied out to left
    5. the hand that is on the left side of the body

    6. jab with your left
    7. those who support varying degrees of social or political or economic change designed to promote the public welfare

    8. location near or direction toward the left side

    9. she stood on the left

    Definition of left by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Leave, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Left ( lĕft ); p. pr. & vb. n. Leaving.] [OE. leven, AS. lfan, fr. lāf remnant, heritage; akin to lifian, libban, to live, orig., to remain; cf. belīfan to remain, G. bleiben, Goth. bileiban. √119. See Live, v.]
      1. To withdraw one's self from; to go away from; to depart from; as, “to leave the house”.

      Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife. Gen. ii. 24.

      2. To let remain unremoved or undone; to let stay or continue, in distinction from what is removed or changed.

      If grape gatherers come to thee, would they not leave some gleaning grapes ? Jer. xlix. 9.

      These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Matt. xxiii. 23.

      Besides it leaveth a suspicion, as if more might be said than is expressed. Bacon.

      3. To cease from; to desist from; to abstain from.

      Now leave complaining and begin your tea. Pope.

      4. To desert; to abandon; to forsake; hence, to give up; to relinquish.

      Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. Mark x. 28.

      The heresies that men do leave. Shak.

      5. To let be or do without interference; as, “I left him to his reflections; I leave my hearers to judge.”

      I will leave you now to your gossiplike humor. Shak.

      6. To put; to place; to deposit; to deliver; to commit; to submit -- with a sense of withdrawing one's self from; as, “leave your hat in the hall; we left our cards; to leave the matter to arbitrators.”

      Leave there thy gift before the altar and go thy way. Matt. v. 24.

      The foot

      That leaves the print of blood where'er it walks. Shak.

      7. To have remaining at death; hence, to bequeath; as, “he left a large estate; he left a good name; he left a legacy to his niece.”

      8. to cause to be; -- followed by an adjective or adverb describing a state or condition; as, “the losses due to fire leave me penniless; The cost of defending himself left Bill Clinton with a mountain of lawyers' bills”.

      To leave alone. To leave in solitude. To desist or refrain from having to do with; as, “to leave dangerous chemicals alone”. -- To leave off. To desist from; to forbear; to stop; as, “to leave off work at six o'clock”. To cease wearing or using; to omit to put in the usual position; as, “to leave off a garment; to leave off the tablecloth”. To forsake; as, “to leave off a bad habit”. -- To leave out, to omit; as, “to leave out a word or name in writing”. -- To leave to one's self, to let ( one ) be alone; to cease caring for ( one ).

      Syn>- To quit; depart from; forsake; abandon; relinquish; deliver; bequeath; give up; forego; resign; surrender; forbear. See Quit.

    2. Left ( lĕft ), imp. & p. p. of Leave.

    3. Left, a. [OE. left, lift, luft; akin to Fries. leeft, OD. lucht, luft; cf. AS. left ( equiv. to L. inanis ), lyftādl palsy; or cf. AS. lēf weak.]
      1. Of or pertaining to that side of the body in man on which the muscular action of the limbs is usually weaker than on the other side; -- opposed to right, when used in reference to a part of the body; as, “the left hand, or arm; the left ear”. Also said of the corresponding side of the lower animals.

      2. Situated so that the left side of the body is toward it; as, “the left side of a deliberative meeting is that to the left of the presiding officer; the left wing of an army is that to the left of the center to one facing an enemy”.

      Left bank of a river, that which is on the left hand of a person whose face is turned downstream. -- Left bower. See under 2d Bower. -- Left center, the members whose sympathies are, in the main, with the members of the Left, but who do not favor extreme courses, and on occasions vote with the government. They sit between the Center and the extreme Left. -- Over the left shoulder, or Over the left, an old but still current colloquialism, or slang expression, used as an aside to indicate insincerity, negation, or disbelief; as, “he said it, and it is true, -- over the left”.

    4. Left, n.
      1. That part of surrounding space toward which the left side of one's body is turned; as, “the house is on the left when you face North”.

      Put that rose a little more to the left. Ld. Lytton.

      2. Those members of a legislative assembly ( as in France ) who are in the opposition; the advanced republicans and extreme radicals. They have their seats at the left-hand side of the presiding officer. See Center, and Right.