9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[leg] /lɛg/
either of the two lower limbs of a biped, as a human being, or any of the paired limbs of an animal, arthropod, etc., that support and move the body.
Anatomy. the lower limb of a human being from the knee to the ankle.
something resembling or suggesting a leg in use, position, or appearance.
the part of a garment that covers the leg:
the leg of a stocking; trouser leg.
one of usually several, relatively tall, slender supports for a piece of furniture.
one of the sides of a forked object, as of a compass or pair of dividers.
one of the sides of a triangle other than the base or hypotenuse.
a timber, bar, or the like, serving to prop or shore up a structure.
one of the flanges of an angle iron.
one of the distinct sections of any course:
the last leg of a trip.
  1. one of the series of straight runs that make up the zigzag course of a sailing ship.
  2. one straight or nearly straight part of a multiple-sided course in a sailing race.
  1. one of a designated number of contests that must be successfully completed in order to determine the winner.
  2. one of the stretches or sections of a relay race.
legs, (in wine tasting) the rivulets of wine that slowly descend along the inside of a glass after the wine has been swirled, sometimes regarded as an indication that the wine is full-bodied.
  1. the part of the field to the left of and behind the batsman as he faces the bowler or to the right of and behind him if he is left-handed.
  2. the fielder playing this part of the field.
  3. the position of this fielder.
Electricity. a component or branch of a circuit, network, antenna, etc.
Radio and Television. a connecting link between stations in a network, as the microwave relays used in transmitting a show from one geographical area to another.
bride2 (def 1).
verb (used with object), legged, legging.
to move or propel (a boat) with the legs:
They legged the boat through the tunnel.
Verb phrases
leg up, to help (someone) to mount a horse.
leg it, Informal. to walk rapidly or run:
We'd better leg it or we'll be late for class.
leg up,
  1. a means of help or encouragement; assist; boost:
    Studying the material with a tutor will give you a leg up on passing the exam.
  2. advantage; edge.
not have a leg to stand on, to lack a valid or logical basis for one's argument or attitude:
Without evidence, the prosecutor doesn't have a leg to stand on.
on one's / its last legs, just short of exhaustion, breakdown, failure, etc.:
The aristocracy was on its last legs.
pull someone's leg,
  1. to make fun of someone; tease.
  2. to deceive someone; trick someone.
shake a leg, Informal.
  1. to hurry up.
  2. Older Use. to dance.
stretch one's legs, to take a walk; get some needed exercise after prolonged sitting:
He got up during the intermission to stretch his legs.
Origin of leg
1225-75; 1915-20 for def 10; Middle English < Old Norse leggr
Related forms
legless, adjective
leglike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for legs
  • He talks about fighting back the anxiety and abdominal pains, about his jangled nerves and wobbly legs.
  • He'll keep you warm at night, loves to sleep on the bed pressed against your legs.
  • He must therefore take up this pressure by means of his legs if he does not wish to be laid out full length on the floor.
  • At which he was much offended, and told them, they must then look to stand on their own legs.
  • But that theory lacks legs, according to a new study.
  • They could change paleontologists' view yet again: the tracks are from the rear legs.
  • He took a seat on a chair in the middle of the stage and tucked his legs up under him in the lotus position.
  • The climber slipped through that small opening and sat there on the sill for some time, with his legs still inside the monument.
  • It has four legs, and tiny claws made from surgical needles that can dig into a vertical surface.
  • In his standard demonstration, he then disconnects one of its four legs.
British Dictionary definitions for legs


  1. either of the two lower limbs, including the bones and fleshy covering of the femur, tibia, fibula, and patella
  2. (as modifier): leg guard, leg rest, related adjective crural
any similar or analogous structure in animals that is used for locomotion or support
this part of an animal, esp the thigh, used for food: leg of lamb
something similar to a leg in appearance or function, such as one of the four supporting members of a chair
a branch, limb, or part of a forked or jointed object
the part of a garment that covers the leg
a section or part of a journey or course
a single stage, lap, length, etc, in a relay race
either one of two races on which a cumulative bet has been placed
either the opposite or adjacent side of a right-angled triangle
  1. the distance travelled without tacking
  2. (in yacht racing) the course between any two marks
one of a series of games, matches, or parts of games
  1. the side of the field to the left of a right-handed batsman as he faces the bowler
  2. (as modifier): a leg slip, leg stump
give someone a leg up
  1. to help someone to climb an obstacle by pushing upwards
  2. to help someone to advance
(informal) have legs, to be successful or show the potential to succeed
not have a leg to stand on, to have no reasonable or logical basis for an opinion or argument
on its last legs, worn out; exhausted
(informal) pull someone's leg, to tease, fool, or make fun of someone
(informal) shake a leg
  1. to hurry up: usually used in the imperative
  2. to dance
(informal) show a leg, to get up in the morning
stretch one's legs, See stretch (sense 17)
verb legs, legging, legged
(transitive) (obsolete) to propel (a canal boat) through a tunnel by lying on one's back and walking one's feet along the tunnel roof
(informal) leg it, to walk, run, or hurry
Derived Forms
leglike, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old Norse leggr, of obscure origin
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 legs



late 13c., from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse leggr "leg, bone of the arm or leg," from Proto-Germanic *lagjaz, with no certain ulterior connections, perhaps from a PIE root meaning "to bend" [Buck]. Cf. German Bein "leg," in Old High German "bone, leg." Replaced Old English shank. Of furniture supports from 1670s. The meaning "a part or stage of a journey or race" (1920) is from earlier sailing sense of "a run made on a single tack" (1867), which was usually qualified as long leg, short leg, etc. Slang phrase shake a leg "dance" is attested from 1881. To be on (one's) last legs "at the end of one's life" is from 1590s.


"to use the legs; walk or run," c.1500 (from the beginning usually with it); from leg (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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legs in Medicine

leg (lěg)

  1. One of the two lower limbs of the human body, especially the part between the knee and the foot.

  2. A supporting part resembling a leg in shape or function.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for legs


  1. Sluggish and awkward; clumsy: The bungling, lead-footed fellow (1596+)
  2. Tending to drive very fast (1940s+ Truckers)

[the first dated form is leaden-footed]


  1. An infantry soldier; grunt (Vietnam War Army)
  2. A woman, esp a sexually promiscuous one (1960s+ College students fr black)

(also leg it) To go; travel: I was legging down the line (1601+)

Related Terms

an arm and a leg, bootleg, give someone leg, have a leg up on someone or something, peg leg, pull someone's leg, shake a leg, shake a wicked calf, tangle-foot

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with legs
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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