likeness (n.) Look up likeness at Dictionary.com
Old English (Northumbrian) licnes "likeness, similarity; figure, statue, image," shortened from gelicness; see like (adj.) + -ness.
likes (n.) Look up likes at Dictionary.com
"predilections, preferences," 1851, plural of like (n.); earlier used in singular in this sense (early 15c.).
likewise (adv.) Look up likewise at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from the phrase in like wise "in the same manner" (mid-15c.), from like (adj.) + wise (n.).
Likud (n.) Look up Likud at Dictionary.com
nationalist coalition party formed in Israel 1973, from Hebrew, literally "union, combination."
lilac (n.) Look up lilac at Dictionary.com
1620s, from French lilac "shrub of genus Syringa with mauve flowers," from Spanish lilac, from Arabic lilak, from Persian lilak, variant of nilak "bluish," from nil "indigo" (compare Sanskrit nilah "dark blue"), of uncertain origin. As a color name, attested from 1791; as a scent, from 1895. As an adjective, "pale pinkish-purple," from 1801. Related: Lilaceous.
Lilith Look up Lilith at Dictionary.com
female evil spirit, in medieval Hebrew folklore the first wife of Adam, from Hebrew Lilith, from Akkad. Lilitu, which is connected by folk etymology with Hebrew laylah "night."
Lilliputian (adj.) Look up Lilliputian at Dictionary.com
"diminutive, tiny," literally "pertaining to Lilliput," the fabulous island whose inhabitants were six inches high, a name coined by Jonathan Swift in "Gulliver's Travels" (1726). Swift left no explanation of the origin of the word.
lilt (v.) Look up lilt at Dictionary.com
1510s, "to lift up" (the voice), probably from late 14c. West Midlands dialect lulten "to sound an alarm," of unknown origin. Possible relatives include Norwegian lilla "to sing" and Low German lul "pipe." It is possible that the whole loose group is imitative. Sense of "sing in a light manner" is first recorded 1786. Related: Lilted; lilting. As a noun, 1728, "lilting song," from the verb. As "rhythmical cadence," 1840.
lily (n.) Look up lily at Dictionary.com
Old English lilie, from Latin lilia, plural of lilium "a lily," cognate with Greek leirion, both perhaps borrowed from a corrupted pronunciation of an Egyptian word. Used in Old Testament to translate Hebrew shoshanna and in New Testament to translate Greek krinon. As an adjective, 1530s, "white, pure, lovely;" later "pale, colorless" (1580s).

Also from the Latin word are German lilie, French lis, Spanish lirio, Italian giglio. The lily of the valley translates Latin lilium convallium (Vulgate), a literal rendition of the Hebrew term in Song of Solomon ii:1. It apparently was applied to a particular plant (Convallaria majalis) first by 16c. German herbalists. Lily pad is from 1834, American English.
lily-livered (adj.) Look up lily-livered at Dictionary.com
"cowardly," 1605, in "Macbeth;" from lily (in its color sense of "pale, bloodless") + liver (n.1), which was a supposed seat of love and passion. A healthy liver is typically dark reddish-brown.
lily-white (adj.) Look up lily-white at Dictionary.com
early 14c., from lily + white; from 1903 with reference to whites-only segregation; 1964 as "irreproachable."
Lima Look up Lima at Dictionary.com
Peruvian capital, founded 1535 by Pizarro, from Spanish corruption of Quechua (Inca) Rimak, name of a god and his temple, from rima "to speak" (perhaps a reference to priests who spoke from concealed places in statues of the gods).
lima bean (n.) Look up lima bean at Dictionary.com
1756, associated with Lima, Peru, from which region the plant (Phaseolus lunatus) was introduced to Europe c. 1500. Among the earliest New World crops to be known in the Old World, Simmonds' "Dictionary of Trade" (1858) describes it as "esteemed," but it has the consistency of a diseased dog kidney.
limaceous (adj.) Look up limaceous at Dictionary.com
"pertaining to slugs," 1650s, with -ous + Latin limax (genitive limacis) "snail, slug," from Greek leimax, from PIE root *(s)lei- "slime" (see slime (n.)). The Greek word is cognate with Russian slimák "snail," Lithuanian slíekas "earthworm," and the first element in Old English slaw-wyrm "slow-worm."
limb (n.1) Look up limb at Dictionary.com
"part or member," Old English lim "limb, joint, main branch of a tree," from Proto-Germanic *limu- (cognates: Old Norse limr "limb," lim "small branch of a tree"), a variant of *liþu- (source of Old English liþ, Old Frisian lith, Old Norse liðr, Gothic liþus "a limb;" and with prefix ga-, source of German Glied "limb, member"), from PIE root *lei- "to bend, be movable, be nimble." The parasitic -b began to appear late 1500s for no etymological reason (perhaps by influence of limb (n.2)). In Old and Middle English, and until lately in dialects, it could mean "any visible body part."
The lymmes of generacion were shewed manyfestly. [Caxton, "The subtyl historyes and fables of Esope, Auyan, Alfonce, and Poge," 1484]
Hence, limb-lifter "fornicator" (1570s). To go out on a limb in figurative sense "enter a risky situation" is from 1897. Life and limb in reference to the body inclusively is from c. 1200.
limb (n.2) Look up limb at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "edge of a quadrant or other instrument," from Latin limbus "border, hem, fringe, edge," of uncertain origin. Klein suggests cognate with Sanskrit lambate "hangs down," and English limp. But Tucker writes that "the sense appears to be that of something which twists, goes round, or binds ... not of something which hangs loose," and suggests cognates in Lithuanian linta "ribbon," Old Norse linnr "whether." Astronomical sense of "edge of the disk of a heavenly body" first attested 1670s.
limbate (adj.) Look up limbate at Dictionary.com
"edged, bordered," 1826, from Late Latin limbatus, from Latin limbus (see limb (n.2)).
limber (adj.) Look up limber at Dictionary.com
"pliant, flexible," 1560s, of uncertain origin, possibly from limb (n.1) on notion of supple boughs of a tree [Barnhart], or from limp "flaccid" [Skeat], or somehow from Middle English lymer "shaft of a cart" (see limber (n.)), but the late appearance of the -b- in that word argues against it. Related: Limberness. Dryden used limber-ham (see ham (n.1) in the "joint" sense) as a name for a character "perswaded by what is last said to him, and changing next word."
limber (n.) Look up limber at Dictionary.com
"detachable forepart of a gun carriage," 1620s, from Middle English lymer (early 15c.), earlier lymon (c. 1400), probably from Old French limon "shaft," a word perhaps of Celtic origin, or possibly from Germanic and related to limb (n.1). Hence, limber (v.) "to attach a limber to a gun" (1783). Compare related Spanish limon "shaft," leman "helmsman."
limber (v.) Look up limber at Dictionary.com
1748, from limber (adj.). Related: Limbered; limbering.
limbic (adj.) Look up limbic at Dictionary.com
1879, from French limbique (1878, Broca), from limbe, from Latin limbus "edge" (see limb (n.2)). Limbic system is attested from 1950.
limbless (adj.) Look up limbless at Dictionary.com
1590s, from limb (n.1) + -less. Related: Limblessness.
limbo (n.1) Look up limbo at Dictionary.com
"region supposed to exist on the border of Hell" reserved for pre-Christian saints (Limbus patrum) and unbaptized infants (Limbus infantum);" c. 1300, from Latin limbo, ablative of limbus "edge, border" (see limb (2)). It emerged from Latin in the ablative form from frequent use in phrases such as in limbo (patrum), etc. Figurative sense of "condition of neglect or oblivion" is from 1640s.
limbo (n.2) Look up limbo at Dictionary.com
dance in which the dancer bends backward and passes under a bar, 1956, of W.Indian origin, probably an alteration of limber.
Limburger (n.) Look up Limburger at Dictionary.com
1870, short for Limburger cheese (1817), from Limburg, province in northeast Belgium, where the cheese is made.
Some frauds a few years ago started a Limburger cheese factory down in Keyport, New Jersey, but the imposition was soon exposed. A man could come within 300 yards of the spurious article without being knocked down, and as the smell never had any effect on the town clock the business was soon discontinued. [John E. Boyd, "The Berkeley Heroine and Others Stories"]
The place name is from Germanic *lindo "lime tree" + *burg "fortification."
limbus (n.) Look up limbus at Dictionary.com
Latin, literally "edge, border" (see limb (n.2)). In Medieval Latin, "region on the border of Hell," and thus sometimes used in English for limbo (n.1).
lime (n.1) Look up lime at Dictionary.com
"chalky mineral used in making mortar," from Old English lim "sticky substance, birdlime, mortar, cement, gluten," from Proto-Germanic *leimaz (cognates: Old Saxon, Old Norse, Danish lim, Dutch lijm, German Leim "birdlime"), from PIE root *(s)lei- "slime, slimy, sticky" (cognates: Latin limus "slime, mud, mire," linere "to smear;" see slime (n.)). Lime is made by putting limestone or shells in a red heat, which burns off the carbonic acid and leaves a brittle white solid which dissolves easily in water. Hence lime-kiln (late 13c.), lime-burner (early 14c.). As a verb, c. 1200, from the noun.
lime (n.2) Look up lime at Dictionary.com
greenish-yellow citrus fruit, 1630s, probably via Spanish lima, from Arabic limah "citrus fruit," from Persian limun "lemon" (see lemon (n.1)). Related: Limeade (1892), with ending as in lemonade.
lime (n.3) Look up lime at Dictionary.com
"linden tree," 1620s, earlier line (c. 1500), from Middle English lynde (early 14c.), from Old English lind "lime tree" (see linden). Klein suggests the change of -n- to -m- probably began in compounds whose second element began in a labial (such as line-bark, line-bast). An ornamental European tree unrelated to the tree that produces the citrus fruit.
lime-juicer (n.) Look up lime-juicer at Dictionary.com
see Limey.
limelight (n.) Look up limelight at Dictionary.com
1826, popular name for Drummond light, a brilliant light created by the incandescence of lime (n.1); adopted for lighthouses and later for the Victorian stage, where it illuminated the principal actors, hence the figurative sense of "on stage, at the center of attention" (1877).
limerick (n.) Look up limerick at Dictionary.com
nonsense verse of five lines, 1896, perhaps from the county and city in Ireland, but if so the connection is obscure. Often (after OED's Murray) attributed to a party game in which each guest in turn made up a nonsense verse and all sang a refrain with the line "Will you come up to Limerick?" but he reported this in 1898 and earlier evidence is wanting. Or perhaps from Learic, from Edward Lear (1812-1888) English humorist who popularized the form. Earliest examples are in French, which further complicates the quest for the origin. OED's first record of the word is in a letter of Aubrey Beardsley. The place name is literally "bare ground," from Irish Liumneach, from lom "bare, thin." It was famous for hooks.
The limerick may be the only traditional form in English not borrowed from the poetry of another language. Although the oldest known examples are in French, the name is from Limerick, Ireland. John Ciardi suggests that the Irish Brigade, which served in France for most of the eighteenth century, might have taken the form to France or developed an English version of a French form. ... The contemporary limerick usually depends on a pun or some other turn of wit. It is also likely to be somewhat suggestive or downright dirty. [Miller Williams, "Patterns of Poetry," Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1986]
limestone (n.) Look up limestone at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from lime (n.1) + stone (n.).
limey (n.) Look up limey at Dictionary.com
1888, Australian, New Zealand, and South African slang for "English immigrant;" U.S. use is attested from 1918, originally "British sailor, British warship," short for lime-juicer (1857), in derisive reference to the British Navy's policy (begun 1795) of issuing lime (n.2) juice on ships to prevent scurvy among sailors. In U.S., extended to "any Englishman" by 1924.
Midway Signs Limey Prof to Dope Yank Talk ["Chicago Tribune" headline, Oct. 18, 1924]
liminal (adj.) Look up liminal at Dictionary.com
1884, from Latin limen "threshold, cross-piece, sill" (see limit (n.)) + -al (1). Related: Liminality.
limit (v.) Look up limit at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French limiter "mark (a boundary), restrict; specify," from Latin limitare "to bound, limit, fix," from limes "boundary, limit" (see limit (n.)). Related: limited; limiting.
limit (n.) Look up limit at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, "boundary, frontier," from Old French limite "a boundary," from Latin limitem (nominative limes) "a boundary, limit, border, embankment between fields," related to limen "threshold." Originally of territory; general sense from early 15c. Colloquial sense of "the very extreme, the greatest degree imaginable" is from 1904.
limitary (adj.) Look up limitary at Dictionary.com
1610s, from Latin limitaris, from limes (genitive limitis); see limit (n.).
limitation (n.) Look up limitation at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French limitacion and directly from Latin limitationem (nominative limitatio), noun of action from past participle stem of limitare (see limit (v.)). Phrase statute of limitations attested by 1768.
limited (adj.) Look up limited at Dictionary.com
1550s, past participle adjective from limit (v.); as a stand-alone for limited express train, by 1883. Limited edition is from 1920; limited monarchy from 1640s; limited war is from 1948. In British company names, Limited (abbrev. Ltd.), 1855, is short for limited liability company, one in which the liability of partners is limited, usually to the amount of their capital investment.
limitless (adj.) Look up limitless at Dictionary.com
1580s, from limit (n.) + -less. Related: Limitlessly; limitlessness.
limn (v.) Look up limn at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "to illuminate" (manuscripts), altered from Middle English luminen, "to illuminate manuscripts" (late 14c.), from Old French luminer "light up, illuminate," from Latin luminare "illuminate, burnish," from lumen (genitive luminis) "radiant energy, light," related to lucere "to shine" (see light (n.)). Sense of "portray, depict" first recorded 1590s. Related: Limned.
limnology (n.) Look up limnology at Dictionary.com
study of lakes and fresh water, 1892, with -logy + limno-, comb. form of Greek limne "pool of standing water, tidal pool, marsh, lake," from PIE root *(s)lei- "slime" (see slime (n.)). The science founded and the name probably coined by Swiss geologist François-Alphonse Forel (1841-1912). Related: Limnological; limnologist.
limo (n.) Look up limo at Dictionary.com
abbreviation of limousine, by 1959, American English.
Limoges (n.) Look up Limoges at Dictionary.com
painted porcelain or enamel from Limoges in France, 1838; for place name see Limousine.
limousine (n.) Look up limousine at Dictionary.com
1902, "enclosed automobile with open driver's seat," from French limousine, from Limousin, region in central France, originally an adjective referring to its chief city, Limoges, from Latin Lemovices, name of a people who lived near there, perhaps named in reference to their elm spears or bows. The Latin adjective form of the name, Lemovicinus, is the source of French Limousin.

Modern automobile meaning evolved from perceived similarity of the car's profile to a type of hood worn by the inhabitants of that province. Since 1930s, synonymous in American English with "luxury car;" applied from 1959 to vehicles that take people to and from large airports. Limousine liberal first attested 1969.
limp (v.) Look up limp at Dictionary.com
1560s, of unknown origin, perhaps related to Middle English lympen "to fall short" (c. 1400), which is probably from Old English lemphealt "halting, lame, limping," which has a lone cognate in the rare Middle High German limphin, and perhaps is from a PIE root meaning "slack, loose, to hang down" (cognates: Sanskrit lambate "hangs down," Middle High German lampen "to hang down"). Related: Limped; limping. As a noun, 1818, from the verb.
limp (adj.) Look up limp at Dictionary.com
1706, "flaccid, drooping," of obscure origin, perhaps related to limp (v.).
limpet (n.) Look up limpet at Dictionary.com
marine gastropod mollusk, early 14c., from Old English lempedu, from Medieval Latin lampreda "limpet" (see lamprey).
limpid (adj.) Look up limpid at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, from French limpide (15c.) and directly from Latin limpidus "clear," from limpa "water goddess, water;" probably cognate with lympha "clear liquid" (see lymph). Related: Limpidly.