It forms all or part of: allay; anlage; belay; beleaguer; bylaw; coverlet; fellow; lager; lair; law; lawful; lawless; lawsuit; lawyer; lay (v.) "to cause to lie or rest;" ledge; ledger; lees; lie (v.2) "rest horizontally;" litter; lochia; low (adj.) "not high;" outlaw; scofflaw; stalag; vorlage.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Hittite laggari "falls, lies;" Greek lekhesthai "to lie down," legos "bed," lokhos "lying in wait, ambush," alokhos "bedfellow, wife;" 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;" Old English licgan "be situated, have a specific position; remain; be at rest, lie down."
"a thick substance concreting in liquors; the lees or scum concreted" [Johnson], 1530s, probably from Middle Dutch modder "filth, dregs," from PIE *meu- (see mud).
"to draw off (wine, etc.) from the lees; draw off, as pure liquor, from sediment," late 15c., rakken, from Old French raquer, rëechier, rëequier which is of uncertain origin. Related: Racked, racking.
1640s, "purification of the mind or soul" (figurative); 1650s, "act or process of separating from lees or dregs, a cleansing from impurities," from Late Latin defecationem (nominative deficatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin defaecare "cleanse from dregs, purify," from the phrase de faece "from dregs" (see de- + feces). Meaning "act of evacuating the bowels" is from 1830. An Old English word for "bowel movement" was arse-gang literally "arse-going."
"the sediment of liquors, foreign matter that subsides to the bottom of a vessel containing liquors," c. 1300 (implied in surname Dryngedregges), from Old Norse dregg "sediment," from Proto-Germanic *drag- (source also of Old High German trestir, German Trester "grape-skins, husks"), from PIE *dher- (1) "to make muddy."
Replaced Old English cognate dræst, dærst "dregs, lees." Figurative use for "useless residue, the most worthless part of anything" is from 1530s.
"muddy, foul with extraneous matter, thick, not clear," used of liquids having the lees disturbed or colors, 1620s, from Latin turbidus "muddy, full of confusion," from turbare "to confuse, bewilder," from turba "turmoil, crowd," which is of uncertain origin. De Vaan writes:
Turba seems most similar to [Greek syrbe, Attic tyrbe] 'noise, commotion', ... which are probably loanwords. In that case, Latin would have borrowed the word from a Greek dialect, or both Greek and Latin borrowed it from a third source. In view of the quite well-developed word family already in Plautus, which suggests that turba had been in the language for some time, the latter option seems preferable.
Related: Turbidly; turbidness.
c. 1300, "freed from dregs or lees" (of ale, wine, etc.), probably literally "having stood long enough to clear," from Old French estale "settled, clear," from estal "place, fixed position," from Frankish *stal- "position," from Proto-Germanic *stol-, from PIE root *stel- "to put, stand, put in order," with derivatives referring to a standing object or place.
Cognate with Middle Dutch stel "stale" (of beer and old urine). Originally a desirable quality (in beer and wine); the meaning "not fresh" is first recorded late 15c. Figurative sense (of immaterial things) "old and trite, hackneyed" is recorded from 1560s. As a noun, "that which has become tasteless by exposure," hence "a prostitute" (in Shakespeare, etc.). Related: Staleness.