[las-ting, lah-sting]
continuing or enduring a long time; permanent; durable: a lasting friendship.
a strong, durable, closely woven fabric for shoe uppers, coverings on buttons, etc.
Archaic. the quality of surviving or continuing and maintaining strength, effectiveness, etc.

1125–75 for def 1; 1775–85 for def 2; Middle English (adj.). See last2, -ing2

lastingly, adverb
lastingness, noun
unlasting, adjective Unabridged


2 [last, lahst]
verb (used without object)
to go on or continue in time: The festival lasted three weeks.
to continue unexpended or unexhausted; be enough: We'll enjoy ourselves while our money lasts.
to continue in force, vigor, effectiveness, etc.: to last for the whole course.
to continue or remain in usable condition for a reasonable period of time: They were handsome shoes but they didn't last.
verb (used with object)
to continue to survive for the duration of (often followed by out ): They lasted the war in Switzerland.

before 900; Middle English lasten, Old English lǣstan to follow (literally, go in the tracks of), perform, continue, last; cognate with German laisten to follow, Gothic laistjan. See last3

1. See continue.


3 [last, lahst]
a wooden or metal form in the shape of the human foot on which boots or shoes are shaped or repaired.
the shape or form of a shoe.
verb (used with object)
to shape on or fit to a last.
stick to one's last, to keep to that work, field, etc., in which one is competent or skilled.

before 900; Middle English lest(e), last(e), Old English lǣste; cognate with German Leisten; akin to Old English lāst, Gothic laists track

laster, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
last1 (lɑːst)
1.  being, happening, or coming at the end or after all others: the last horse in the race
2.  being or occurring just before the present; most recent: last Thursday
3.  last but not least coming last in order but nevertheless important
4.  last but one next to last
5.  only remaining: one's last cigarette
6.  most extreme; utmost
7.  least suitable, appropriate, or likely: he was the last person I would have chosen
8.  esp relating to the end of a person's life or of the world
 a.  final or ultimate: last rites
 b.  (capital): the Last Judgment
9.  dialect (Liverpool) (postpositive) inferior, unpleasant, or contemptible: this ale is last
10.  after all others; at or in the end: he came last
11.  a.  most recently: he was last seen in the mountains
 b.  (in combination): last-mentioned
12.  (sentence modifier) as the last or latest item
13.  the last
 a.  a person or thing that is last
 b.  the final moment; end
14.  one's last moments before death
15.  the last thing a person can do (esp in the phrase breathe one's last)
16.  the final appearance, mention, or occurrence: we've seen the last of him
17.  at last in the end; finally
18.  at long last finally, after difficulty, delay, or irritation
usage  Since last can mean either after all others or most recent, it is better to avoid using this word where ambiguity might arise as in her last novel. Final or latest should be used in such contexts to avoid ambiguity

last2 (lɑːst)
vb (when intr, often foll by for) (when intr, often foll by for)
1.  to remain in being (for a length of time); continue: his hatred lasted for several years
2.  to be sufficient for the needs of (a person) for (a length of time): it will last us until Friday
3.  to remain fresh, uninjured, or unaltered (for a certain time or duration): he lasted for three hours underground
[Old English lǣstan; related to Gothic laistjan to follow]

last3 (lɑːst)
1.  the wooden or metal form on which a shoe or boot is fashioned or repaired
2.  (tr) to fit (a shoe or boot) on a last
[Old English lǣste, from lāst footprint; related to Old Norse leistr foot, Gothic laists]

last4 (lɑːst)
a unit of weight or capacity having various values in different places and for different commodities. Commonly used values are 2 tons, 2000 pounds, 80 bushels, or 640 gallons
[Old English hlæst load; related to hladan to lade1]

lasting (ˈlɑːstɪŋ)
1.  permanent or enduring
2.  a strong durable closely woven fabric used for shoe uppers, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"following all the others," from O.E. latost (adj.) and lætest (adv.), superl. of læt (adj.) and late (adv.). Cognate with O.Fris. lest, Du. laatst, O.H.G. laggost, Ger. letzt). Adj. Last-ditch "on the last line of defense" is from 1715, attributed to William of Orange. Last hurrah is from
the title of Edwin O'Connor's 1956 novel. Last word "final, definitive statement" is from 1881. Related: Lasting; lastly.

"endure," from O.E. læstan "to continue, endure," earlier "accomplish, carry out," lit. "to follow a track," from P.Gmc. *laistijanan (cf. Goth. laistjan "to follow," O.Fris. lasta "to fulfill, to pay (duties)," Ger. leisten "to perform, achieve, afford"). Related to
last (n.), not to last (adj.).

"shoemaker's block," from O.E. læste, from last "track, footprint, trace," from P.Gmc. *laistaz (cf. O.N. leistr "the foot," O.H.G. leist "track, footprint," Goth. laistjan "to follow," O.E. læran "to teach").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Small, even bubbles are more lasting than big, uneven ones.
Soft yellow wintertime flowers are small but prolific and long lasting.
It would also make a lasting contribution to science.
The latter is the sagacity to combine all these purposes for his own lasting
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