lavish (v.) Look up lavish at Dictionary.com
1540s, from lavish (adj.). Related: Lavished; lavishing.
law (n.) Look up law at Dictionary.com
Old English lagu (plural laga, comb. form lah-) "law, ordinance, rule, regulation; district governed by the same laws," from Old Norse *lagu "law," collective plural of lag "layer, measure, stroke," literally "something laid down or fixed," from Proto-Germanic *lagan "put, lay" (see lay (v.)).

Replaced Old English æ and gesetnes, which had the same sense development as law. Compare also statute, from Latin statuere; German Gesetz "law," from Old High German gisatzida; Lithuanian istatymas, from istatyti "set up, establish." In physics, from 1660s. Law and order have been coupled since 1796.
law-abiding (adj.) Look up law-abiding at Dictionary.com
1839, from law + abiding.
lawbreaker (n.) Look up lawbreaker at Dictionary.com
also law-breaker, mid-15c., from law + agent noun from break (v.).
lawful (adj.) Look up lawful at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, laghful; see law + -ful. Similar construction in Old Norse logfullr. Related: Lawfully; lawfulness.
lawless (adj.) Look up lawless at Dictionary.com
c. 1200, lawelese (see law + -less) Related: Lawlessly; lawlessness.
lawmaker (n.) Look up lawmaker at Dictionary.com
also law-maker, late 15c., from law + maker.
lawman (n.) Look up lawman at Dictionary.com
1530s, "lawyer," from law + man (n.). Meaning "law-enforcement officer" is from 1865. There is an Anglo-Latin lagamannus "magistrate" from early 12c.
lawn (n.1) Look up lawn at Dictionary.com
"turf, stretch of grass," 1540s, laune "glade, open space between woods," from Middle English launde (c. 1300), from Old French lande "heath, moor, barren land; clearing" (12c.), from Gaulish (compare Breton lann "heath"), or from its Germanic cognate, source of English land (n.). The -d perhaps mistaken for an affix and dropped. Sense of "grassy ground kept mowed" first recorded 1733.
lawn (n.2) Look up lawn at Dictionary.com
"thin linen or cotton cloth," early 15c., probably from Laon, city in northern France, a center of linen manufacture. The town name is Old French Lan, from Latin Laudunum, of Celtic origin.
lawn mower (n.) Look up lawn mower at Dictionary.com
also lawn-mower, 1853 as a type of machine to cut grass, from lawn (n.1) + mower.
Lawrence Look up Lawrence at Dictionary.com
see Laurence.
Lawrencium (n.) Look up Lawrencium at Dictionary.com
1961, Modern Latin, from the name of Ernest O. Lawrence (1901-1958), U.S. physicist, cyclotron pioneer and founder of the lab where it was discovered. With metallic element ending -ium.
lawsuit (n.) Look up lawsuit at Dictionary.com
1620s, from law + suit (n.).
lawyer (n.) Look up lawyer at Dictionary.com
late 14c. (mid-14c. as a surname), from Middle English lawe "law" (see law) + -iere. Spelling with -y- first attested 1610s (see -yer).
lax (adj.) Look up lax at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, "loose" (in reference to bowels), from Latin laxus "wide, loose, open," figuratively "loose, free, wide," from PIE root *(s)leg- "to be slack, be languid" (cognates: Greek legein "to leave off, stop," lagos "hare," literally "with drooping ears," lagnos "lustful, lascivious," lagaros "slack, hollow, shrunken;" Latin languere "to be faint, weary," languidis "faint, weak, dull, sluggish, languid"). Of rules, discipline, etc., attested from mid-15c.
lax (n.) Look up lax at Dictionary.com
"salmon," from Old English leax (see lox).
laxative (adj.) Look up laxative at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French laxatif (13c.), from Medieval Latin laxativus "loosening," from Latin laxatus, past participle of laxare "loosen," from laxus "loose, lax" (see lax). The noun meaning "a laxative medicine" is from late 14c.
laxity (n.) Look up laxity at Dictionary.com
1520s, from Middle French laxité, from Latin laxitatem (nominative laxitas) "width, spaciousness," from laxus (see lax).
lay (v.) Look up lay at Dictionary.com
Old English lecgan "to place on the ground (or other surface)," also "put down (often by striking)," from Proto-Germanic *lagjan (cognates: Old Saxon leggian, Old Norse leggja, Old Frisian ledza, Middle Dutch legghan, Dutch leggen, Old High German lecken, German legen, Gothic lagjan "to lay, put, place"), causative of lie (v.2). As a noun, from 1550s, "act of laying." Meaning "way in which something is laid" (as in lay of the land) first recorded 1819.

Meaning "have sex with" first recorded 1934, in U.S. slang, probably from sense of "deposit" (which was in Old English, as in lay an egg, lay a bet, etc.), perhaps reinforced by to lie with, a phrase frequently met in the Bible. The noun meaning "woman available for sexual intercourse" is attested from 1930, but there are suggestions of it in stage puns from as far back as 1767. To lay for (someone) "await a chance at revenge" is from late 15c.; lay low "stay inconspicuous" is from 1839. To lay (someone) low preserves the secondary Old English sense.
lay (n.) Look up lay at Dictionary.com
"short song," mid-13c., from Old French lai "song, lyric," of unknown origin, perhaps from Celtic (compare Irish laid "song, poem," Gaelic laoidh "poem, verse, play") because the earliest verses so called were Arthurian ballads, but OED finds this "out of the question" and prefers a theory which traces it to a Germanic source, such as Old High German leich "play, melody, song."
lay (adj.) Look up lay at Dictionary.com
"uneducated; non-clerical," early 14c., from Old French lai "secular, not of the clergy" (Modern French laïque), from Late Latin laicus, from Greek laikos "of the people," from laos "people," of unknown origin. In Middle English, contrasted with learned, a sense revived 1810 for "non-expert."
layabout (n.) Look up layabout at Dictionary.com
"habitual loafer," 1932, from lay (v.) + about. One who "lays about" the house, etc.
layaway Look up layaway at Dictionary.com
1961, as a system of payments for merchandise, from lay (v.) + away. Earlier in the same sense was Australian lay-by (1930).
layer (n.) Look up layer at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "one who or that lays" (especially stones, "a mason"), agent noun from lay (v.). Passive sense of "that which is laid over a surface" first recorded 1610s, but because earliest English use was in cookery, this is perhaps from French liue "binding," used of a thickened sauce. Layer cake attested from 1881.
layer (v.) Look up layer at Dictionary.com
1832, from layer (n.). Related: Layered; layering.
layette (n.) Look up layette at Dictionary.com
"baby's outfit," 1839, from French layette, properly the box in which it comes, subsequently transferred to the linen, from Middle French layette "chest of drawers," from laie "drawer, box," from Middle Dutch laeye, related to lade, load (v.).
layman (n.) Look up layman at Dictionary.com
"non-cleric," early 15c., from lay (adj.) + man (n.). Meaning "outsider, non-expert" (especially in regards to law or medicine) is from late 15c. Related: Laymen.
layoff (n.) Look up layoff at Dictionary.com
also lay-off, lay off; 1889, "rest, respite;" from lay (v.) + off. Via seasonal labor with periodic down time, it came to have a sense of "temporary release from employment," and by 1960s was being used somewhat euphemistically for permanent releases of masses of workers by employers. The verbal phrase lay off is attested from 1868 as "dismiss" (an employee); meaning "stop disturbing" is from 1908.
layout (n.) Look up layout at Dictionary.com
also lay-out, "configuration, arrangement," 1852, from lay (v.) + out. Meaning "rough design of a printing job" is from 1910.
layover (n.) Look up layover at Dictionary.com
also lay-over, "a stop overnight," 1873, from lay (v.) + over. Earlier as "a cloth laid over a table-cloth" (1777).
layperson (n.) Look up layperson at Dictionary.com
1972, gender-neutral version of layman.
layup (n.) Look up layup at Dictionary.com
also lay-up, "temporary period out of work," 1927, from lay (v.) + up (adv.). Basketball shot so called from 1948.
laywoman (n.) Look up laywoman at Dictionary.com
1520s, from lay (adj.) + woman; probably modeled on layman.
lazar (n.) Look up lazar at Dictionary.com
"filthy beggar, leper," c. 1300, from Medieval Latin lazarus "leper," from the Biblical name (see Lazarus).
lazaretto (n.) Look up lazaretto at Dictionary.com
"house for reception of lepers and diseased poor persons," 1540s, from Italian lazareto "place set aside for performance of quarantine" (especially that of Venice, which received many ships from plague-infested districts in the East), from the Biblical proper name Lazarus. Meaning "building set apart for quarantine" is c. 1600 in English. The word in Italian was perhaps influenced by the name of another hospital in Venice, that associated with the church of Santa Maria di Nazaret.
Lazarus Look up Lazarus at Dictionary.com
Biblical character (Luke xvi:20), the poor man covered in sores; his name was extended in medieval usage to "any poor and visibly diseased person" (compare lazar, mid-14c., "one deformed and nauseous with filthy and pestilential diseases" [Johnson]). The name is from a Greek rendition of Hebrew El'azar, literally "God has helped."
laze (v.) Look up laze at Dictionary.com
1590s, back-formation from lazy. Related: Lazed; lazing.
lazily (adv.) Look up lazily at Dictionary.com
1580s, from lazy + -ly (2).
laziness (n.) Look up laziness at Dictionary.com
1570s, from lazy + -ness.
lazy (adj.) Look up lazy at Dictionary.com
1540s, laysy, of unknown origin. Replaced native slack, slothful, and idle as the main word expressing the notion of "averse to work." In 19c. thought to be from lay (v.) as tipsy from tip. Skeat is responsible for the prevailing modern view that it probably comes from Low German, from a source such as Middle Low German laisch "weak, feeble, tired," modern Low German läösig, early modern Dutch leuzig, all of which may go back to the PIE root *(s)leg- "slack." According to Weekley, the -z- sound disqualifies a connection with French lassé "tired" or German lassig "lazy, weary, tired." A supposed dialectal meaning "naught, bad," if it is the original sense, may tie the word to Old Norse lasenn "dilapidated," lasmøyrr "decrepit, fragile," root of Icelandic las-furða "ailing," las-leiki "ailment." Lazy Susan is from 1917. Grose ("Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1788) has Lazy Man's Load: "Lazy people frequently take up more than they can safely carry, to save the trouble of coming a second time."
lazybones (n.) Look up lazybones at Dictionary.com
1590s, from lazy + plural of bone (n.).
LCD Look up LCD at Dictionary.com
1973, initialism (acronym) from liquid crystal display, which is attested from 1968.
lea (n.) Look up lea at Dictionary.com
Old English leah "open field, meadow, piece of untilled ground," earlier læch, recorded in place names, from Proto-Germanic *laukhaz (cognates: Old High German loh "clearing," and probably also Flemish -loo, which forms the second element in Waterloo), from PIE *louko- "light place" (cognates: Sanskrit lokah "open space, free space, world," Latin lucus "grove, sacred grove, wood," Lithuanian laukas "open field, land"), perhaps from or related to *leuk- "to shine, be bright" (see light (n.)).
leach (v.) Look up leach at Dictionary.com
Old English leccan "to moisten, water, wet, irrigate," (see leak (v.)). The word disappears, then re-emerges late 18c. in a technological sense in reference to percolating liquids. Related: Leached; leaching.
leachate (n.) Look up leachate at Dictionary.com
1920, from leach + -ate (1).
lead (v.1) Look up lead at Dictionary.com
"to guide," Old English lædan "cause to go with one, lead, guide, conduct, carry; sprout forth; bring forth, pass (one's life)," causative of liðan "to travel," from Proto-Germanic *laidjan (cognates: Old Saxon lithan, Old Norse liða "to go," Old High German ga-lidan "to travel," Gothic ga-leiþan "to go"), from PIE *leit- "to go forth."

Meaning "to be in first place" is from late 14c. Sense in card playing is from 1670s. Related: Led; leading. Lead-off "commencement, beginning" attested from 1879; lead-in "introduction, opening" is from 1928.
lead (n.1) Look up lead at Dictionary.com
heavy metal, Old English lead, from West Germanic *loudhom (cognates: Old Frisian lad, Middle Dutch loot, Dutch lood "lead," German Lot "weight, plummet"). The name and the skill in using the metal seem to have been borrowed from the Celts (compare Old Irish luaide), probably from PIE root *plou(d)- "to flow."

Figurative of heaviness since at least early 14c. Black lead was an old name for "graphite," hence lead pencil (1680s) and the colloquial figurative phrase to have lead in one's pencil "be possessed of (especially male sexual) vigor," attested by 1902. Lead balloon "a failure," American English slang, attested by 1957 (as a type of something heavy that can be kept up only with effort, from 1904). Lead-footed "slow" is from 1896; opposite sense of "fast" emerged 1940s in trucker's jargon, from notion of a foot heavy on the gas pedal.
lead (n.2) Look up lead at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "action of leading," from lead (v.1). Meaning "the front or leading place" is from 1560s. Johnson stigmatized it as "a low, despicable word." Sense in card-playing is from 1742; in theater, from 1831; in journalism, from 1912; in jazz bands, from 1934.
lead (v.2) Look up lead at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "to make of lead," from lead (n.1). Meaning "to cover with lead" is from mid-15c. Related: Leaded (early 13c.); leading.