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[leesh] /liʃ/
a chain, strap, etc., for controlling or leading a dog or other animal; lead.
check; curb; restraint:
to keep one's temper in leash; a tight leash on one's subordinates.
Hunting. a brace and a half, as of foxes or hounds.
verb (used with object)
to secure, control, or restrain by or as if by a leash:
to leash water power for industrial use.
to bind together by or as if by a leash; connect; link; associate.
Origin of leash
1250-1300; Middle English lesh, variant of lece, lese < Old French laisse. See lease1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for leash
  • Sometimes they are made into pets and walked on a leash.
  • He spins and gets the leash in his mouth, and sinks to the ground to avoid moving.
  • At last the leash has been cut and the dogs of political war have left their kennels.
  • Not only did that deter potential recruits, it also meant that the commission's budget is now on a much tighter leash.
  • Those whose game is borrow short to lend long have to be kept on a short leash.
  • When dogs are trained, flags are posted along the boundary wire and the dogs are walked toward them on a leash.
  • But in the long run, the lingering long leash of wasteful state programs must be reigned in.
  • We put the leash on her and she plants the paws and will not walk around the neighborhood.
  • And, she can't ever be let off leash in an open area or she'll bolt.
  • The pit bull's owner receives only summonses for having an unlicensed dog and for not keeping it on a leash.
British Dictionary definitions for leash


a line or rope used to walk or control a dog or other animal; lead
something resembling this in function: he kept a tight leash on his emotions
(hunting) three of the same kind of animal, usually hounds, foxes, or hares
straining at the leash, eagerly impatient to begin something
(transitive) to control or secure by or as if by a leash
Word Origin
C13: from Old French laisse, from laissier to loose (hence, to let a dog run on a leash), ultimately from Latin laxuslax
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 leash

"thong for holding a dog or hound," c.1300, from Old French laisse "hound's leash," from laissier "loosen," from Latin laxare, from laxus "loose" (see lax). Figurative sense attested from early 15c. The meaning "a set of three" is from early 14c., originally in sporting language.


"to attach to or with a leash," 1590s, from leash (n.). Related: Leashed; leashing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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