the skin of an animal, with the hair removed, prepared for use by tanning or a similar process designed to preserve it against decay and make it pliable or supple when dry.
an article made of this material.
pertaining to, made of, or resembling leather: leather processing; leather upholstery.
Slang. catering to or patronized by customers who typically wear leather clothing, often as a means of signaling interest in or preference for sadomasochistic sexual activity.
verb (used with object)
to cover or furnish with leather.
Informal. to beat with a leather strap.

before 1000; Middle English lether, Old English lether- (in compounds); cognate with Dutch, German leder, Old Norse lethr, MIr lethar skin, leather, Welsh lledr, Middle Breton lezr leather

underleather, noun
unleathered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
leather (ˈlɛðə)
1.  a.  a material consisting of the skin of an animal made smooth and flexible by tanning, removing the hair, etc
 b.  (as modifier): leather goods Related: coriaceous, leathern
2.  (plural) leather clothes, esp as worn by motorcyclists
3.  the flap of a dog's ear
4.  to cover with leather
5.  to whip with or as if with a leather strap
Related: coriaceous, leathern
[Old English lether- (in compound words); related to Old High German leder, Old Norse lethr-]

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

O.E. leðer (in compounds only) "hide, skin, leather," from P.Gmc. *lethran (cf. O.N. leðr, O.Fris. lether, M.Du. leder, O.H.G. ledar, Ger. leder), from PIE *letrom (cf. O.Ir. lethar, Welsh lledr, Breton lezr). The word became synonymous with "sado-masochism" 1980s, having achieved that status
in homosexual jargon in the 1970s. Leatherneck "U.S. Marine" is Navy slang first recorded 1914, from the leather collars of their early uniforms; earlier in British use (1890) as a sailor's term for a soldier.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Leather definition

a girdle of, worn by Elijah (2 Kings 1:8) and John the Baptist (Matt. 3:4). Leather was employed both for clothing (Num. 31:20; Heb. 11:37) and for writing upon. The trade of a tanner is mentioned (Acts 9:43; 10:6, 32). It was probably learned in Egypt.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see hell-bent for leather.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
There is little distinction between wearing fur and wearing leather.
But he brought the shoe leather together using new media.
And look for wooden pegs rather than nails in the soles: when wet, the wood
  expands and contracts with the leather.
Natural vegetable-tanned leather in an everyday-sized tote.
Idioms & Phrases
Image for leather
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