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[las] /læs/
a girl or young woman, especially one who is unmarried.
a female sweetheart:
a young lad and his lass.
Origin of lass
1250-1300; Middle English las, lasse, of uncertain origin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for lass
Historical Examples
  • And that you shall have, my dear lass, he said emphatically.

    Elsie at Ion Martha Finley
  • Weel, what think ye o' the lass by this time, Mr. Bletherwick?

    Salted With Fire George MacDonald
  • The dory was within fifty yards of the lass before the men on deck became aware of its approach.

    The Harbor of Doubt Frank Williams
  • Saying this he put the cup the lass had offered him to his lips.

    The Story of Don Quixote Arvid Paulson, Clayton Edwards, and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • Even Robin, with his bag on his shoulder, stopped a moment to gaze at “our lass,” as he called her in a whisper to his friend.

    Allison Bain Margaret Murray Robertson
  • "Your father is nothing but an ache and a stound to you, lass," Sim would say in a whimper.

  • Come now, my lass, said the housekeeper, what has been going on so slyly here?

  • "It's just t'edge o' dark, lass," said Matthew to Rotha while filling his pipe.

  • Look you, lass, I took this frae the man's trunk when he lodged wi' yer father and yersel' at Fornside.

  • I'd be nothing but an ache and a stound to the lass, as I've olas been—nothing but an ache and a stound to them all.

British Dictionary definitions for lass


a girl or young woman
(informal) a familiar form of address for any female
Word Origin
C13: origin uncertain
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 lass

"young woman," c.1300, probably from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Swedish løsk kona "unmarried woman," but also perhaps related to Old Norse löskr "idle, weak," West Frisian lask "light, thin." Liberman suggests Old Danish las "rag." "Slang words for 'rag' sometimes acquire the jocular meaning 'child' and especially 'girl.'" "Used now only of mean girls" [Johnson, who also has lasslorn "forsaken by his mistress"]. Scottish diminutive lassie first recorded 1725.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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