Etymology
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lieu (n.)

late 13c., usually as part of the phrase in lieu of "in the place, room, or stead of," from Old French lieu, lou "place, position, situation, rank" (10c.) from Latin locum (nominative locus) "a place" (see locus).

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Definitions of lieu

lieu (n.)
the post or function properly or customarily occupied or served by another;
in lieu of
Synonyms: stead / position / place
From wordnet.princeton.edu