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left 1 (lĕft)
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adj.
1.
a. Of, belonging to, located on, or being the side of the body to the north when the subject is facing east.
b. Of, relating to, directed toward, or located on the left side.
c. Located on the left side of a person facing downstream: the left bank of a river.
2. often Left Of or belonging to the political or intellectual left.
n.
1.
a. The direction or position on the left side.
b. The left side.
c. The left hand.
d. A turn in the direction of the left hand or side.
2. often Left
a. The people and groups who advocate liberal, often radical measures to effect change in the established order, especially in politics, with the goal of achieving the equality, freedom, and well-being of the common citizens of a state. Also called left wing.
b. The opinion of those advocating such measures.
3. Sports A blow delivered by a boxer's left hand.
4. Baseball Left field.
adv.
Toward or on the left.

[Middle English, from Old English lyft-, weak, useless (in lyftādl, paralysis). N., sense 2, from the fact that liberals often sit on the left side of the legislative chamber in various assemblies .]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
left 2 (lĕft)
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v.
Past tense and past participle of leave1.

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:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    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.

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