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league1

[leeg] /lig/
noun
1.
a covenant or compact made between persons, parties, states, etc., for the promotion or maintenance of common interests or for mutual assistance or service.
2.
the aggregation of persons, parties, states, etc., associated in such a covenant or compact; confederacy.
3.
an association of individuals having a common goal.
4.
a group of athletic teams organized to promote mutual interests and to compete chiefly among themselves:
a bowling league.
5.
6.
group; class; category:
As a pianist he just simply isn't in your league.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), leagued, leaguing.
7.
to unite in a league; combine.
Idioms
8.
in league, working together, often secretly or for a harmful purpose; united.
Origin
late Middle English
1425-1475
1425-75; earlier leage < Italian lega, noun derivative of legare < Latin ligāre to bind; replacing late Middle English ligg < Middle French ligue < Italian liga, variant of lega
Synonyms
1. See alliance. 2. combination, coalition.

league2

[leeg] /lig/
noun
1.
a unit of distance, varying at different periods and in different countries, in English-speaking countries usually estimated roughly at 3 miles (4.8 kilometers).
2.
a square league, as a unit of land measure.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English lege, leuge < Late Latin leuga a Gaulish unit of distance equal to 1.5 Roman miles, apparently < Gaulish; replacing Old English lēowe < Late Latin, as above
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for leagues
  • So they are showing their signs of age, but they still are definitely in the major leagues and still are pitching again.
  • Over the years the sport has seen many leagues and name changes.
  • Scratch that-and remind me not to extrapolate my gardening experience to the big leagues.
  • Already there was talk about his pitching in the major leagues one day.
  • In turn, developing domestic leagues and markets is the best way to spread interest in sports beyond cricket.
  • River's demotion will also probably accelerate the struggling circuit's descent down the ranks of the world's top leagues.
  • There's no particular reason why such teams deserve a tax exemption, especially as compared to professional leagues.
  • Instead, he honed his technique batting on the perilous, unpredictable matted wickets of the non-white leagues.
  • Relegated to lower leagues, developing countries were long denied access to markets for their textiles and garments.
  • He had coached college teams in several different sports before joining the big leagues.
British Dictionary definitions for leagues

league1

/liːɡ/
noun
1.
an association or union of persons, nations, etc, formed to promote the interests of its members
2.
an association of sporting clubs that organizes matches between member teams of a similar standard
3.
a class, category, or level: he is not in the same league
4.
in league, working or planning together (with)
5.
(modifier) of, involving, or belonging to a league: a league game, a league table
verb leagues, leaguing, leagued
6.
to form or be formed into a league
Word Origin
C15: from Old French ligue, from Italian liga, ultimately from Latin ligāre to bind

league2

/liːɡ/
noun
1.
an obsolete unit of distance of varying length. It is commonly equal to 3 miles
Word Origin
C14 leuge, from Late Latin leuga, leuca, of Celtic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for leagues

league

n.

"alliance," mid-15c., ligg, from Middle French ligue "confederacy, league" (15c.), from Italian lega, from legare "to tie, to bind," from Latin ligare "to bind" (see ligament). Originally among nations, subsequently extended to political associations (1846) and sports associations (1879). League of Nations first attested 1917 (created 1919).

distance of about three miles, late 14c., ultimately from Late Latin leuga (cf. French lieue, Spanish legua, Italian lega), said by Roman writers to be from Gaulish. A vague measure (perhaps originally an hour's hike) never in official use in England, where it is recorded more often in poetic than in practical writing.

v.

"to form a league," 1610s, from league (n.1). Related: Leagued; leaguing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for leagues

leagues

Related Terms

the big leagues, the bush leagues


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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leagues in the Bible

a treaty or confederacy. The Jews were forbidden to enter into an alliance of any kind (1) with the Canaanites (Ex. 23:32, 33; 34:12-16); (2) with the Amalekites (Ex. 17:8, 14; Deut. 25:17-19); (3) with the Moabites and Ammonites (Deut. 2:9, 19). Treaties were permitted to be entered into with all other nations. Thus David maintained friendly intercourse with the kings of Tyre and Hamath, and Solomon with the kings of Tyre and Egypt.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with leagues
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for leagues

league

any of several European units of measurement ranging from 2.4 to 4.6 statute miles (3.9 to 7.4 km). In English-speaking countries the land league is generally accepted as 3 statute miles (4.83 km), although varying lengths from 7,500 feet to 15,000 feet (2.29 to 4.57 km) were sometimes employed. An ancient unit derived from the Gauls and introduced into England by the Normans, the league was estimated by the Romans to be equal to 1,500 paces-a pace, or passus, in Roman measure being nearly 5 feet (1.5 metres).

Learn more about league with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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