libido (n.) Look up libido at Dictionary.com
"psychic drive or energy, usually associated with sexual instinct," 1892, carried over untranslated in English edition of Krafft-Ebing's "Psychopathia Sexualis"; and used in 1909 in A.A. Brill's translation of Freud's "Selected Papers on Hysteria" (Freud's use of the term led to its popularity); from Latin libido "desire, lust," from libere "to be pleasing, to please," ultimately cognate with Old English lufu (see love (n.)).
Libra (n.) Look up Libra at Dictionary.com
zodiac constellation, late Old English, from Latin libra "a balance, pair of scales," also "pound (unit of weight)," from Proto-Italic *leithra- "pound." Nativized in Old Norse as skala-merki. De Vaan compares Greek litra "name of a Sicilian coin," which "was probably borrowed from an Italic language at the stage containing [-thr-]
librarian (n.) Look up librarian at Dictionary.com
"custodian of a library," 1713; see library + -an. Earlier form was library-keeper (1640s), and librarian was used earlier in a sense "scribe" (1660s).
library (n.) Look up library at Dictionary.com
place for books, late 14c., from Anglo-French librarie, Old French librairie "collection of books" (14c.), noun use of adj. librarius "concerning books," from Latin librarium "chest for books," from liber (genitive libri) "book, paper, parchment," originally "the inner bark of trees," probably a derivative of PIE root *leub(h)- "to strip, to peel" (see leaf). The equivalent word in most Romance languages now means "bookseller's shop." Old English had bochord, literally "book hord."
libretto (n.) Look up libretto at Dictionary.com
(plural libretti), 1742, from Italian libretto, diminutive of libro "book," from Latin liber (genitive libri), see library. Related: Librettist.
Libya Look up Libya at Dictionary.com
north African nation, an ancient name, attested in heiroglyphics from 2000 B.C.E., of unknown origin. In Greek use, sometimes meaning all of Africa. Related: Libyan.
licence (n.) Look up licence at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., "liberty (to do something), leave," from Old French licence "freedom, liberty, power, possibility; permission," (12c.), from Latin licentia "freedom, liberty, license," from licentem (nominative licens), present participle of licere "to be allowed, be lawful," from PIE root *leik- "to offer, bargain" (cognates: Lettish likstu "I come to terms"). Meaning "formal (usually written) permission from authority to do something" (marry, hunt, drive, etc.) is first attested early 15c. Meaning "excessive liberty, disregard of propriety" is from mid-15c. There have been attempts to confine license to verbal use and licence to noun use (compare advise/advice, devise/device.
licence (v.) Look up licence at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, "grant formal authorization," from license (n.). Related: Licenced; Licencing.
license Look up license at Dictionary.com
see licence. Related: Licensed; licensing.
licensee (n.) Look up licensee at Dictionary.com
1837, from license + -ee.
licensure (n.) Look up licensure at Dictionary.com
1808, from license + -ure.
licentious (adj.) Look up licentious at Dictionary.com
"morally unrestrained," 1530s, from Medieval Latin licentiosus "full of license, unrestrained," from Latin licentia (see license (n.)). Related: Licentiously; licentiousness.
lich (n.) Look up lich at Dictionary.com
also litch, lych, "body, corpse," southern England dialectal survival of Old English lic "body, dead body, corpse," cognate with Old Frisian lik, Dutch lijk, Old High German lih, German leiche "dead body," Old Norse lik, Danish lig, Gothic leik, from Proto-Germanic *likow. Compare litch-gate "roofed gate to a churchyard under which a bier is placed to await the coming of the clergyman."
lichen (n.) Look up lichen at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, from Latin lichen, from Greek leichen, originally "what eats around itself," probably from leichein "to lick" (see lick). Originally used of liverwort; the modern sense first recorded 1715. Related: Lichenaceous.
Lichfield Look up Lichfield at Dictionary.com
Licitfelda (c.710) "Open Land near Letocetum" (Celtic place name meaning "gray wood") + Old English feld.
licit (adj.) Look up licit at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Middle French licite or directly from Latin licitus "lawful," past participle of licere "be allowed, be lawful" (see licence). Related: Licitly; licitness.
lick (v.1) Look up lick at Dictionary.com
Old English liccian "to pass the tongue over the surface, lap, lick up," from Proto-Germanic *likkon (cognates: Old Saxon likkon, Dutch likken, Old High German lecchon, German lecken, Gothic bi-laigon), from PIE imitative base *leigh- (cognates: Sanskrit ledhi "he licks," Armenian lizum "I lick," Greek leikhein "to lick," Latin lingere "to lick," Old Irish ligim "I lick," Welsh llwy "spoon"). French lécher is a Germanic loan word.

To lick (someone or something) into shape (1610s) is in reference to the supposed ways of bears:
Beres ben brought forthe al fowle and transformyd and after that by lyckyng of the fader and the moder they ben brought in to theyr kyndely shap. ["The Pylgremage of the Sowle," 1413]
lick (n.) Look up lick at Dictionary.com
"an act of licking," c. 1600, from lick (v.1). Meaning "small portion" is 1814, originally Scottish; hence U.S. colloquial sense. Sense of "place where an animal goes to lick salt" is from 1747. The jazz music sense of "short figure or solo" is by 1922.
lick (v.2) Look up lick at Dictionary.com
"to beat," 1535, perhaps from figurative use of lick (v.1) in the Coverdale bible that year in sense of "defeat, annihilate" (an enemy's forces) in Num. xxii:4:
Now shal this heape licke up all that is about vs, euen as an oxe licketh vp the grasse in the field.
But to lick (of) the whip "taste punishment" is attested from mid-15c.
lickerish (adj.) Look up lickerish at Dictionary.com
"fond of delicious fare," c. 1500, from Middle English likerous "pleasing to the palate" (late 13c.), from Anglo-French *likerous, Old French licherous (see lecherous). Unlike the French word, it generally kept close to its literal sense.
lickety-split (adj.) Look up lickety-split at Dictionary.com
1852, American English (earlier lickety-cut, lickety-click, and simply licketie, 1817), from lick (n.1) in dialectal sense "very fast sprint in a race" (1809) on the notion of a "lick" as a fast thing (compare blink).
licking (n.) Look up licking at Dictionary.com
"an act of licking or lapping," late 14c., from present participle of lick (v.1); meaning "a beating" is 1756, from lick (v.2).
lickspittle (n.) Look up lickspittle at Dictionary.com
also lick-spittle, "sycophant, abject toady," 1741, from lick (v.1) + spittle.
licorice (n.) Look up licorice at Dictionary.com
also liquorice, c. 1200, from Anglo-French lycoryc, Old French licorece (also recolice), from Late Latin liquiritia, alteration of Latin glychyrrhiza, from Greek glykyrrhiza, literally "sweet root," from glykys "sweet" (see gluco-) + rhiza "root" (see radish); form influenced in Latin by liquere "become fluid," because of the method of extracting the sweet stuff from the root. French réglisse, Italian regolizia are the same word, with metathesis of -l- and -r-.
lictor (n.) Look up lictor at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Latin lictor, literally "binder," from past participle stem of *ligere "to bind, collect," collateral form of ligare (see ligament).
lid (n.) Look up lid at Dictionary.com
mid-13c., from Old English hlid "lid, cover, opening, gate," from Proto-Germanic *khlithan (cognates: Old Norse hlið "gate, gap," Swedish lid "gate," Old French hlid, Middle Dutch lit, Dutch lid, Old High German hlit "lid, cover"), from PIE root *klei- "to lean" (see lean (v.)), with here perhaps the sense of "that which bends over." Meaning "eyelid" is from early 13c. Slang sense of "hat, cap" is attested from 1896. Slang phrase put a lid on "clamp down on, silence, end" is from 1906.
Lido Look up Lido at Dictionary.com
famous resort island off Venice, from Italian lido, from Latin litus "shore."
lie (v.1) Look up lie at Dictionary.com
"speak falsely, tell an untruth," late 12c., from Old English legan, ligan, earlier leogan "deceive, belie, betray" (class II strong verb; past tense leag, past participle logen), from Proto-Germanic *leugan (cognates: Old Norse ljuga, Danish lyve, Old Frisian liaga, Old Saxon and Old High German liogan, German lügen, Gothic liugan), from PIE root *leugh- "to tell a lie."
lie (n.1) Look up lie at Dictionary.com
"an untruth," Old English lyge "lie, falsehood," from Proto-Germanic *lugiz (cognates: Old Norse lygi, Danish løgn, Old Frisian leyne (fem.), Dutch leugen (fem.), Old High German lugi, German Lüge, Gothic liugn "a lie"), from the root of lie (v.1). To give the lie to "accuse directly of lying" is attested from 1590s. Lie-detector first recorded 1909.
lie (v.2) Look up lie at Dictionary.com
"rest horizontally," early 12c., from Old English licgan (class V strong verb; past tense læg, past participle legen) "be situated, remain; be at rest, lie down," from Proto-Germanic *legjan (cognates: Old Norse liggja, Old Frisian lidzia, Middle Dutch ligghen, Dutch liggen, Old High German ligen, German liegen, Gothic ligan), from PIE *legh- "to lie, lay" (cognates: Hittite laggari "falls, lies," Greek lekhesthai "to lie down," Latin lectus "bed," Old Church Slavonic lego "to lie down," Lithuanian at-lagai "fallow land," Old Irish laigim "I lie down," Irish luighe "couch, grave"). To lie with "have sexual intercourse" is from c. 1300, and compare Old English licgan mid "cohabit with." To take (something) lying down "passively, submissively" is from 1854.
lie (n.2) Look up lie at Dictionary.com
"manner of lying," 1690s, from lie (v.2). Sense in golf is from 1857.
lie-down (n.) Look up lie-down at Dictionary.com
period of rest reclining, 1840, from lie (v.2) + down (adv.).
Liebfraumilch (n.) Look up Liebfraumilch at Dictionary.com
German white wine, 1833, from German, literally "milk of Our Lady."
lied (n.) Look up lied at Dictionary.com
"German romantic song," 1852, from German Lied, literally "song," from Middle High German liet, from Old High German liod, from Proto-Germanic *leuthan (see laud). Hence Liederkranz, in reference to German singing societies, literally "garland of songs."
lief (adj.) Look up lief at Dictionary.com
Old English leof "dear, valued, beloved, pleasant;" also as a noun, "a beloved person, friend," from Proto-Germanic *leubo- (cognates: Old Norse ljutr, Old Frisian liaf, Dutch lief, Old High German liob, German lieb, Gothic liufs "dear, beloved"), from PIE root *leubh- "love" (see love (n.)). As an adverb, "dearly, willingly" from c. 1250. I want and I'd love to are overworked and misused to fill the hole left in the language when I would lief faded in 17c.
liege (adj.) Look up liege at Dictionary.com
word used by a vassal to address his superior or lord in the feudal system, c. 1300, from Anglo-French lige (late 13c.), Old French lige "(feudal) liege, free, giving or receiving fidelity," perhaps from Late Latin laeticus "cultivated by serfs," from laetus "serf," which probably is from Proto-Germanic *lethiga- "freed" (cognates: Old English læt "half-freedman, serf;" Old High German laz, Old Frisian lethar "freedman"), from PIE root *le- "let go, slacken" (see let (v.)). Or the Middle English word may be directly from Old High German leidig "free." As a noun from late 14c., both as "vassal" and "lord." Hence, liege-man "a vassal sworn to the service and support of a lord, who in turn is obliged to protect him" (mid-14c.).
lien (n.) Look up lien at Dictionary.com
"right to hold property of another until debt is paid," 1530s, from Middle French lien "a band or tie," from Latin ligamen "bond," from ligare "to bind, tie" (see ligament).
lieno- Look up lieno- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "spleen," from Latin lien "spleen" (see spleen).
lier (n.) Look up lier at Dictionary.com
"one who reclines;" 1580s, agent noun from lie (v.2).
lieu Look up lieu at Dictionary.com
late 13c., from Old French lieu "place, position, situation, rank," from Latin locum (nominative locus) "place."
lieutenancy (n.) Look up lieutenancy at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from lieutenant + -cy.
lieutenant (n.) Look up lieutenant at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "one who takes the place of another," from Old French lieu tenant "substitute, deputy," literally "placeholder," from lieu "place" (see lieu) + tenant, present participle of tenir "to hold" (see tenant). The notion is of a "substitute" for higher authority. Specific military sense of "officer next in rank to a captain" is from 1570s. Pronunciation with lef- is common in Britain, and spellings to reflect it date back to 14c., but the origin of this is a mystery (OED rejects suggestion that it comes from old confusion of -u- and -v-).
life (n.) Look up life at Dictionary.com
Old English life (dative lif) "existence, lifetime, way of life, condition of being a living thing, opposite of death," from Proto-Germanic *libam (cognates: Old Norse lif "life, body," Dutch lijf "body," Old High German lib "life," German Leib "body"), properly "continuance, perseverance," from PIE *leip- "to remain, persevere, continue; stick, adhere" (see leave (v.)). Much of the modern range of meanings was present in Old English. Meaning "property which distinguishes living from non-living matter" is from 1560s. Sense of "vitality, energy" is from 1580s. Extended 1703 to "term of duration (of inanimate objects)."

Life-jacket is from 1840; life-preserver from 1630s of anything that is meant to save a life, 1803 of devices worn to prevent drowning. Life-saver is from 1883, figurative use from 1909, as a brand of hard sugar candy, from 1912, so called for shape. Life-form is from 1861. Life cycle is from 1855.
life of Riley (n.) Look up life of Riley at Dictionary.com
"life at ease," expression popularized by 1917, American English, sometimes said to trace to various songs from c. 1902.
life-boat Look up life-boat at Dictionary.com
also lifeboat, 1801 (the thing itself attested by 1785), from life (n.) + boat.
life-size (adj.) Look up life-size at Dictionary.com
1820, from life (n.) + size (n.).
lifeblood (n.) Look up lifeblood at Dictionary.com
also life-blood, 1580s, "blood necessary for life," from life (n.) + blood (n.). Figurative and transferred use is from 1590s.
lifeguard (n.) Look up lifeguard at Dictionary.com
also life-guard, 1640s, "bodyguard of soldiers," from life (n.) + guard (n.), translating German leibgarde. Sense of "person paid to watch over bathers" is by 1896.
lifeless (adj.) Look up lifeless at Dictionary.com
Old English lifleas "inanimate, dead;" see life + -less. Meaning "with no living things" is from 1728. Related: Lifelessly; lifelessness.
lifelike (adj.) Look up lifelike at Dictionary.com
1610s, "likely to live," from life (n.) + like (adj.). Meaning "exactly like the living original" is from 1725.