also live-long, of a period of time, "long, whole" c. 1400, lefe longe (day or night), from leve, lief "dear" (see lief), used here as an emotional intensive + long (adj.). From late 16c. conformed in spelling and pronunciation to live (v.) as lief grew strange. German has cognate die liebe lange (Nacht), etc., literally "the dear long (night)."
Entries linking to livelong
"dearly, gladly, willingly" (obsolete or archaic), c. 1250, from Middle English adjective lief "esteemed, beloved, dear," from Old English leof "dear, valued, beloved, pleasant" (also as a noun, "a beloved person, friend"), from Proto-Germanic *leuba- (source also of Old Norse ljutr, Old Frisian liaf, Dutch lief, Old High German liob, German lieb, Gothic liufs "dear, beloved"), from PIE root *leubh- "to care, desire, love."
Often with the dative and in personal constructions with have or would in expressions of choice or preference (and yet, to say the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of freedom, as the morality of imprisonment; "Measure for Measure"). I want and I'd love to are overworked and misused to fill the hole left in the language when I would lief faded in 17c.
Old English lang "having a great linear extent, that extends considerably from end to end; tall; lasting," from Proto-Germanic *langa- (source also of Old Frisian and Old Saxon lang, Old High German and German lang, Old Norse langr, Middle Dutch lanc, Dutch lang, Gothic laggs "long").
The Germanic words perhaps are from PIE *dlonghos- (source also of Latin longus "long, extended; further; of long duration; distant, remote," Old Persian darga-, Persian dirang, Sanskrit dirghah "long"), from root *del- (1) "long" (source also of Greek dolikhos "long," endelekhes "perpetual"). Latin longus (source of prolong, elongate, longitude, etc.) thus is probably cognate with, but not the source of, the Germanic words. The word illustrates the Old English tendency for short "a" to become short "o" before -n- (also retained in bond/band and West Midlands dialectal lond from land and hond from hand).
Also in Old English in reference to time, "drawn out in duration," with overtones of "serious." The old sense of "tall" now appears to be dialectal only, or obsolete. For long "during a long time" is from c. 1300. To be long on something, "have a lot" of it, is from 1900, American English slang. A long vowel (c. 1000) originally was pronounced for an extended time. Mathematical long division is from 1808. Sporting long ball is from 1744, originally in cricket. Long jump as a sporting event is attested from 1864. A long face, one drawn downward in expression of sadness or solemnity, is from 1786. Long in the tooth (1841 of persons) is from horses showing age by recession of gums (but not in this sense until 1870). Long knives, name Native Americans gave to white settlers (originally in Virginia/Kentucky) is from 1774, perhaps a reference to their swords. Long time no see, supposedly imitative of American Indian speech, is first recorded 1919 as Chinese English.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to care, desire, love."
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit lubhyati "desires," lobhaya- "to make crazy;" Persian ahiftan "to be tangled, be hit down, be in love;" Latin lubet, later libet "pleases," libido, lubido "desire, longing; sensual passion, lust;" Old Church Slavonic l'ubu "dear, beloved," ljubiti, Russian ljubit' "to love;" Lithuanian liaupsė "song of praise;" Old English lufu "feeling of love; romantic sexual attraction," German Liebe "love," Gothic liufs "dear, beloved."
updated on August 07, 2016
all the livelong day