Etymology
Advertisement
leer (n.)
"a significant glance, amorous or malign or both," 1590s, from leer (v.).
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
leer (v.)
1520s, "to look obliquely" (since 18c. usually implying a lustful, wolfish, malicious intent), probably from Middle English noun ler "cheek," from Old English hleor "the cheek, the face," from Proto-Germanic *hleuza- "near the ear," from *hleuso- "ear," from PIE root *kleu- "to hear." If so, the notion is probably of "looking askance" (compare the figurative development of cheek). Related: Leered; leering.
Related entries & more 
leery (adj.)
"knowing, wide-awake, untrusting, suspicious, alert," 1718, originally slang, with -y (2), but otherwise of unknown origin. Perhaps from dialectal lere "learning, knowledge" (see lore), or from leer (v.) in a now-obscure sense "walk stealthily with averted looks, sneak away" (1580s). OED suggests connection with archaic leer (adj.) "empty, useless," a general Germanic word (cognate with German leer, Dutch laar), of unknown origin.
Related entries & more 
*kleu- 

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to hear."

It forms all or part of: ablaut; Cleon; Clio; Damocles; Hercules; leer; list (v.2) "hear, harken;" listen; loud; Mstislav; Pericles; Slav; slave; Slavic; Slovene; Sophocles; Themistocles; umlaut; Wenceslas; Yugoslav.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit srnoti "hears," srosati "hears, obeys," srutah "heard of, celebrated;" Avestan sraothra "ear;" Middle Persian srod "hearing, sound;" Greek klyo "hear, be called," klytos "heard of, celebrated," kleos "report, rumor, fame glory," kleio "make famous;" Latin cluere "to hear oneself called, be spoken of," inclutus "renowned, famous;" Armenian lu "known;" Lithuanian klausau, klausyti "to hear," šlovė "splendor, honor;" Old Church Slavonic slusati "to hear," slava "fame, glory," slovo "word;" Old Irish ro-clui-nethar "hears," clunim "I hear," clu "fame, glory," cluada "ears," Irish cloth "noble, brave;" Welsh clywaf "I hear," clod "praise, fame;" Old English hlud "loud," hlysnan "to listen, hear," hleoðor "tone, tune;" Old High German hlut "sound;" Gothic hiluþ "listening, attention."

Related entries & more 
lore (n.)

Old English lar "learning, what is taught, knowledge, science, doctrine; art or act of teaching," from Proto-Germanic *laisti- (compare Old Saxon lera, Old Frisian lare, Middle Dutch lere, Dutch leer, Old High German lera, German Lehre "teaching, precept, doctrine"), from PIE root *lois- "furrow, track;" compare learn.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
lorgnette (n.)
type of opera glass with a handle, 1803 (from 1776 as a French word in English), from French lorgnette, from lorgner "to squint," also "to leer at, ogle" (16c.), from lorgne "squinting, cross-eyed; silly, foolish" (Old French), a word of uncertain origin, perhaps from Germanic. With diminutive suffix -ette. Compare also French lorgnon "eyeglass, eyeglasses."
Related entries & more 
glower (v.)
mid-14c., "to shine;" c. 1500, "to stare with wide eyes," perhaps from a Scandinavian source (compare Norwegian dialectal glora "to glow, gleam; stare"), or related to Middle Dutch gluren "to leer;" in either case from Proto-Germanic *glo- (see glow (v.)), root of Old English glowan "to glow," which influenced the spelling of this word. Meaning "to look angrily, look intently and threateningly, scowl" is from 18c. Related: Glowered; glowering. As a noun, 1715, "an angry or threatening stare," from the verb.
Related entries & more 
praise (n.)

"expression of approbation or esteem because of some virtue, performance, or quality," early 14c., from praise (v.). Not common until 16c.; the earlier noun, and the common one through most of the Middle English period, was praising (c. 1200).

Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,
And without sneering, teach the rest to sneer;
[Pope, "Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot"]
Related entries & more 
gloom (n.)
1590s, originally Scottish, "a sullen look," probably from gloom (v.) "look sullen or displeased" (late 14c., gloumen), of unknown origin; perhaps from an unrecorded Old English verb or from a Scandinavian source (compare Norwegian dialectal glome "to stare somberly"), or from Middle Low German glum "turbid," Dutch gluren "to leer." Not considered to be related to Old English glom "twilight" (see gloaming).

Sense of "darkness, obscurity" is first recorded 1629 in Milton's poetry; that of "melancholy, dejection, cloudiness or cheerless heaviness of mind" is from 1744; but gloomy with a corresponding sense is attested from 1580s.
Related entries & more