lamented (adj.) Look up lamented at
"mourned for," 1610, past participle adjective from lament (v.).
lamia (n.) Look up lamia at
female demon, late 14c., from Latin lamia "witch, sorceress, vampire," from Greek lamia "female vampire, man-eating monster," literally "swallower, lecher," from laimos "throat, gullet" (see larynx). Perhaps cognate with Latin lemures "spirits of the dead" (see lemur) and, like it, borrowed from a non-IE language. Used in early translations of the Bible for screech owls and sea monsters. In Middle English also sometimes, apparently, mermaids:
Also kynde erreþ in som beestes wondirliche j-schape, as it fareþ in a beest þat hatte lamia, þat haþ an heed as a mayde & body as a grym fissche[;] whan þat best lamya may fynde ony man, first a flatereþ wiþ hym with a wommannes face and makeþ hym ligge by here while he may dure, & whanne he may noferþere suffice to here lecherye þanne he rendeþ hym and sleþ and eteþ hym. [John of Trevisa, translation of Bartholomew de Glanville's "De proprietatibus rerum," 1398]
laminar (adj.) Look up laminar at
"made or arranged in layers," 1811, from Latin lamina "thin plate, slice, layer" (see laminate (v.)) + -ar.
laminate (v.) Look up laminate at
1660s, "to beat or roll into thin plates," from Latin lamina "thin piece of metal or wood, thin slice, plate, leaf, layer," a word of unknown origin; de Vaan writes that "The only serious etymology offered is a connection with latus 'wide' ...." Many modern senses in English are from the noun meaning "an artificial thin layer" (1939), especially a type of plastic adhesive. Related: Laminated; laminating; laminable.
laminate (n.) Look up laminate at
"artificial thin layer," 1939, especially a type of plastic adhesive; see laminate (v.).
lamination (n.) Look up lamination at
1670s, "action of beating into thin plates," noun of action from laminate (v.). Meaning "any layer of laminated substance" is from 1858; meaning "process of manufacturing laminated products" is from 1945.
Lammas (n.) Look up Lammas at
Aug. 1 harvest festival with consecration of loaves, Old English hlafmæsse, literally "loaf mass," from hlaf (see loaf (n.)) + mæsse (see mass (n.2)). Altered by influence of lamb and from late 15c.-17c. occasionally spelled lambmas.
lamp (n.) Look up lamp at
c. 1200, "vessel containing flammable liquid and a wick to lift it by capillary action when lit," from Old French lampe "lamp, lights" (12c.), from Latin lampas "a light, torch, flambeau," from Greek lampas "a torch, oil-lamp, beacon-light, light," from lampein "to shine," from nasalized form of PIE root *lap- "to light, burn" (source also of Lithuanian lope "light," Old Irish lassar "flame").

Replaced Old English leohtfæt "light vessel." From 19c. in reference to gas and later electric lamps. To smell of the lamp "be a product of laborious night study," said disparagingly of a literary work, is from 1570s (compare midnight oil). The Greek stem lampad- formed a number of compounds, some in English, such as lampadomancy (1650s) "divination from variations in the flame of a lamp."
lamp-black (n.) Look up lamp-black at
pigment or ink made with pure, fine carbon, originally from the soot produced by burning oil in lamps, 1590s, see lamp (n.) + black (n.).
lamp-post (n.) Look up lamp-post at
also lamppost, 1731, from lamp + post (n.1).
lamp-shade (n.) Look up lamp-shade at
also lampshade, 1829, from lamp + shade (n.).
lamp-stand (n.) Look up lamp-stand at
1848, from lamp (n.) + stand (n.).
lamp-wick (n.) Look up lamp-wick at
1832, from lamp (n.) + wick (n.).
lamplight (n.) Look up lamplight at
also lamp-light, "the light shown by lamps," late 14c., from lamp + light (n.). Related: Lamplighter (1750).
lampoon (n.) Look up lampoon at
"A personal satire; abuse; censure written not to reform but to vex" [Johnson], 1640s, from French lampon (17c.), a word of unknown origin, said by French etymologists to be from lampons "let us drink," which is said to have been a popular refrain for scurrilous songs, in which case it would be originally a drinking song. French lampons is from lamper "to drink, guzzle," a nasalized form of laper "to lap," from a Germanic source akin to lap (v.). Also see -oon.
lampoon (v.) Look up lampoon at
1650s, from lampoon (n.), or else from French lamponner, from the Middle French noun. Related: Lampooned; lampooning.
lamprey (n.) Look up lamprey at
c. 1300 (perhaps c. 1200 as a surname), from Old French lamproie "lamprey" (12c.), from Medieval Latin lampreda, from Late Latin lampetra "lamprey," a word of uncertain origin, usually explained as literally "lick-rock," from Latin lambere "to lick" (see lap (v.1)) + petra "rock" (see petrous), but this might be folk etymology. The animals attach themselves with sucker-like mouths.
Lancaster Look up Lancaster at
1086, Loncastre, literally "Roman Fort on the River Lune," a Celtic river name probably meaning "healthy, pure." In English history, the Lancastrians or House of Lancaster in the War of the Roses were the branch of the Plantagenets descended from John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. Lancastrian (1650s) is the usual adjective with places of that name; Lancasterian (1807) was used of the teaching methods popularized early 19c. by educator Joseph Lancaster (1778-1838).
lance (n.) Look up lance at
late 13c. (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French lance "spear, lance, lance-length" (12c.), from Latin lancea "light spear, Spanish lance" (Italian lancia, Spanish lanza), a word said by Varro to be of Spanish origin, hence possibly from Celt-Iberian. The French word spread generally into the Germanic languages: German Lanze, Middle Dutch lanse, Dutch lans, Danish landse.

Lance corporal "private soldier performing the duties of a corporal" (1786) is a folk-etymology or partial nativizing of obsolete lancepesade "officer of lowest rank" (1570s), which is an Englishing of Old Italian lancia spezzata "old soldier," literally "broken lance."
lance (v.) Look up lance at
"to pierce with a lance," c. 1300, from Old French lancier "to throw forward, hurl, dash; attack with a lance," from Late Latin lanceare "wield a lance; pierce with a lance," from lancea (see lance (n.)). The surgical sense (properly with reference to a lancet) is from late 15c. Related: Lanced; lancing.
Lancelot Look up Lancelot at
masc. proper name, Old French, a double-diminutive of Frankish Lanzo, itself a shortened pet-name (hypocoristic) of one of the many Germanic names in Land- (compare Old English Landbeorht "land-bright;" see Lambert).
lanceolate (adj.) Look up lanceolate at
"shaped like a lance-head," 1751, from Late Latin lanceolatus "armed with a little lance," from Latin lanceola, diminutive of lancea (see lance (n.)).
lancer (n.) Look up lancer at
1580s, "soldier armed with a lance," from French lancier "soldier, knight armed with a lance," from Old French lance (see lance (n.)).
lancet (n.) Look up lancet at
"small, sharp surgical instrument," late 14c., launcet, from Old French lancette "small lance" (12c.), diminutive of lance (see lance (n.)).
land (n.) Look up land at
Old English lond, land, "ground, soil," also "definite portion of the earth's surface, home region of a person or a people, territory marked by political boundaries," from Proto-Germanic *landom (source also of Old Norse, Old Frisian Dutch, Gothic land, German Land), from PIE *lendh- (2) "land, open land, heath" (source also of Old Irish land, Middle Welsh llan "an open space," Welsh llan "enclosure, church," Breton lann "heath," source of French lande; Old Church Slavonic ledina "waste land, heath," Czech lada "fallow land").

Etymological evidence and Gothic use indicates the original Germanic sense was "a definite portion of the earth's surface owned by an individual or home of a nation." The meaning was early extended to "solid surface of the earth," a sense which once had belonged to the ancestor of Modern English earth (n.). Original senses of land in English now tend to go with country. To take the lay of the land is a nautical expression. In the American English exclamation land's sakes (1846) land is a euphemism for Lord.
land (v.1) Look up land at
Old English lendan "to bring to land" (transitive), early 13c., from the source of land (n.). Intransitive sense "come to shore, go ashore, disembark" is from c. 1200. Spelling and pronunciation probably were influenced by the noun. Originally of ships; of fish, in the angling sense, from 1610s; hence figurative sense of "to obtain" (a job, etc.), first recorded 1854. Of aircraft, attested from 1916. Related: Landed; landing.
land (v.2) Look up land at
"to make contact, to hit home" (of a blow, etc.), by 1881, perhaps altered from lend (v.) in a playful sense, or else a sense extension of land (v.1).
land-shark (n.) Look up land-shark at
"person who cheats or robs sailors ashore," 1769, from land (n.) + shark (n.). Smyth ("Sailor's Word-book," 1867) lists the types as "Crimps, pettifogging attorneys, slopmongers, and the canaille infesting the slums of seaport towns." As "land-grabber, speculator in real estate" from 1839. In both senses often in Australian and New Zealand publications during 19c.
landau (n.) Look up landau at
type of two-seated, four-wheeled carriage, 1743, from Landau, town in Bavaria where they first were made. The first element is the common Germanic element found in English land (n.); the identity of the second is disputed. But Klein says the vehicle name is "in reality" Spanish lando "originally a light four-wheeled carriage drawn by mules," from Arabic al-andul.
landed (adj.) Look up landed at
"possessed of land," late Old English gelandod; see land (n.).
landfall (n.) Look up landfall at
"sighting of land," 1620s, also "the first land 'made' on a sea voyage" (1883); from land (n.) + fall (v.) in the sense of "happen." A word from the days of imprecise nautical navigation.
Land-fall. The first land discovered after a sea voyage. Thus a good land fall implies the land expected or desired; a bad landfall the reverse. [John Hamilton Moore, "The New Practical Navigator," London, 1814]
Of hurricanes, by 1932.
landfill (n.) Look up landfill at
1916, from land (n.) + fill (n.). A euphemism for dump (n.).
landform (n.) Look up landform at
1889 (earlier in German); see land (n.) + form (n.). Perhaps immediately from German Landform.
landing (n.) Look up landing at
c. 1600, "place on a shore where persons or goods are landed from boats," verbal noun from land (v.1). In architecture, "part of a floor adjoining a flight of stairs," also "resting place interrupting a flight of stairs," 1789. Landing place is from 1510s.
landlady (n.) Look up landlady at
"woman who owns a house or land occupied by tenants, 1520s, from land (n.) + lady.
landline (n.) Look up landline at
also land-line, by 1861, originally a telegraph wire run over land (as opposed to under sea); from land (n.) + line (n.). Later (by 1965), a telephone line which uses wire or some other material (distinguished from a radio or cellular line).
landlocked (adj.) Look up landlocked at
also land-locked, "almost shut in by land," 1620s, from land (n.) + past participle of lock (v.).
landlord (n.) Look up landlord at
early 15c. (late 13c. as a surname), "owner of a tenement, one who rents land or property to a tenant," from land (n.) + lord (n.).
landlubber (n.) Look up landlubber at
also land-lubber, "A useless long-shorer; a vagrant stroller. Applied by sailors to the mass of landsmen, especially those without employment" [W.H. Smyth, "The Sailor's Word-book"], c. 1700, from land (n.) + lubber (q.v.).
landmark (n.) Look up landmark at
Old English landmearc "object set up to mark the boundaries of a kingdom, estate, etc.," from land (n.) + mearc (see mark (n.1)). General sense of "conspicuous object in a landscape," originally especially one that can be seen from sea, is from 1560s. Modern figurative sense of "event, etc., considered a high point in history" is from 1859.
landowner (n.) Look up landowner at
also land-owner, 1733, from land (n.) + owner.
landscape (n.) Look up landscape at
c. 1600, "painting representing an extensive view of natural scenery," from Dutch landschap "landscape," in art, a secondary sense from Middle Dutch landscap "region," from land "land" (see land) + -scap "-ship, condition" (see -ship).

A painters' term; the non-artistic meaning "tract of land with its distinguishing characteristics" is an extended sense from 1886. Similar formation in Old English landscipe "region," Old High German lantscaf, German Landschaft, Old Norse landskapr, Danish landskab "a region, district, province."
landscape (v.) Look up landscape at
"to lay out lawns, gardens, etc., plant trees for the sake of beautification," by 1916, from landscape (n.) in its non-artistic sense. Earlier it was used in an artistic sense, "to represent in a landscape setting" (1660s). Related: Landscaped; landscaping.
landscaping (n.) Look up landscaping at
"art of laying out grounds and arranging plants and trees for picturesque effect," by 1861, verbal noun from landscape (v.). Earlier in the same sense was landscape-gardening (1763).
The question, however, is, Can landscape-gardening (or short and sweet, landscaping) be taught? It, plainly, cannot. ["The Gardener's Monthly" July 1861]
Also, in reference to the visual arts, "depiction as a landscape" (1868).
landslide (n.) Look up landslide at
also land-slide, 1841, "fall or down-slide of a mass of rock, earth, etc. from a slope or mountain," American English, from land (n.) + slide (n.). Earlier was landslip (1670s), which is preferred in Britain. Old English used eorðgebyrst in this sense; literally "earth-burst." Landslide in the political sense "lopsided electoral victory" is attested from 1888.
landslip (n.) Look up landslip at
1670s, from land (n.) + slip (n.). Compare landslide.
landsman (n.) Look up landsman at
1590s, "man of the same country," from genitive of land (n.) + man (n.). From 1660s as "one who lives on land and has little experience of the sea."
landward (adv.) Look up landward at
early 15c., from land (n.) + -ward.
landwehr (n.) Look up landwehr at
military reserves of Germany, Austria, or Switzerland, 1815, from German Landwehr, from Old High German lantweri, from lant "land" (see land (n.)) + weri "protection," from PIE root *wer- (4) "to cover." As distinguished from the militia, the Landsturm, with sturm "alarm; storm" (see storm (n.)).
lane (n.) Look up lane at
Old English lane, lanu "narrow hedged-in road," common Germanic (cognates: Old Frisian lana, Middle Dutch lane, Dutch laan "lane, alley, avenue," Old Norse lön "small, oblong hayrick," in modern use "row of houses"), but of unknown origin. From early 15c. as "any well-defined track;" as "one track of a marked road" from 1921, American English.