a. A chain, rope, or strap attached to the collar or harness of an animal, especially a dog, and used to lead it or hold it in check.
b. A strap or cord attached to a harness worn by a small child, used to prevent the child from wandering off.
c. A strap, cord, or other line used to keep an object close to its user or in a designated location.
a. Control or restraint: emotions kept in leash.
b. A range of allowable behavior or responsibility: a husband kept on a short leash.
a. A set of three animals, such as hounds.
b. A set of three.
tr.v. leashed, leash·ing, leash·es
To restrain with or as if with a leash.
[Middle English lees, lesh, from Old French laisse, from laissier, to let go; see LEASE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.