1 [leeg]
a covenant or compact made between persons, parties, states, etc., for the promotion or maintenance of common interests or for mutual assistance or service.
the aggregation of persons, parties, states, etc., associated in such a covenant or compact; confederacy.
an association of individuals having a common goal.
a group of athletic teams organized to promote mutual interests and to compete chiefly among themselves: a bowling league.
group; class; category: As a pianist he just simply isn't in your league.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), leagued, leaguing.
to unite in a league; combine.
in league, working together, often secretly or for a harmful purpose; united.

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

1. See alliance. 2. combination, coalition.
Dictionary.com Unabridged


2 [leeg]
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).
a square league, as a unit of land measure.

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

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
league1 (liːɡ)
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
vb , leagues, leaguing, leagued
6.  to form or be formed into a league
[C15: from Old French ligue, from Italian liga, ultimately from Latin ligāre to bind]

league2 (liːɡ)
an obsolete unit of distance of varying length. It is commonly equal to 3 miles
[C14 leuge, from Late Latin leuga, leuca, of Celtic origin]

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

"alliance," 1452, ligg, from M.Fr. ligue "confederacy, league," from It. lega, from legare "to tie, to bind," from L. 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., from L.L. leuga (cf. Fr. lieue, Sp. legua, It. 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 the record of it is more often poetic than practical.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

League definition

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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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see big league; in league with; in the same league.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


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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Example sentences
For many decades, almost no major league baseball players wore batting gloves.
In the world of banking and financial services, however, it is already in the
  premier league.
Robots in this league are tested on their abilities to find mannequins trapped
  inside a three-story building that has collapsed.
Although an amateur event, the pressure was big league.
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