under the lee

lee

1 [lee]
noun
1.
protective shelter: The lee of the rock gave us some protection against the storm.
2.
the side or part that is sheltered or turned away from the wind: We erected our huts under the lee of the mountain.
3.
Chiefly Nautical. the quarter or region toward which the wind blows.
adjective
4.
pertaining to, situated in, or moving toward the lee.
Idioms
5.
by the lee, Nautical. accidentally against what should be the lee side of a sail: Careless steering brought the wind by the lee.
6.
under the lee, Nautical. to leeward.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English; Old English hlēo(w) shelter, cognate with Old Frisian hli, hly, Old Saxon hleo, Old Norse hlé

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
lee (liː)
 
n
1.  a sheltered part or side; the side away from the direction from which the wind is blowing
2.  nautical by the lee so that the wind is blowing on the wrong side of the sail
3.  nautical under the lee towards the lee
 
adj
4.  (prenominal) nautical Compare weather on, at, or towards the side or part away from the wind: on a lee shore
 
[Old English hlēow shelter; related to Old Norse hle]

Lee1 (liː)
 
n
a river in SW Republic of Ireland, flowing east into Cork Harbour. Length: about 80 km (50 miles)

Lee2 (liː)
 
n
1.  Ang (æŋ). born 1954, Taiwanese film director; his films include Sense and Sensibility (1995), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), and Brokeback Mountain (2005)
2.  Bruce, original name Lee Yuen Kam. 1940--73, US film actor and kung fu expert who starred in such films as Enter the Dragon (1973)
3.  Gypsy Rose, original name Rose Louise Hovick. 1914--70, US striptease and burlesque artiste, who appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies (1936) and in films
4.  Laurie (ˈlɒrɪ). 1914--97, British poet and writer, best known for the autobiographical Cider with Rosie (1959)
5.  Richard Henry. 1732--94, American Revolutionary statesman, who moved the resolution in favour of American independence (1776)
6.  Robert E(dward). 1807--70, American general; commander-in- chief of the Confederate armies in the Civil War
7.  Spike, real name Shelton Jackson Lee. born 1957, US film director: his films include She's Gotta Have It (1985), Malcolm X (1992), and 25th Hour (2002)
8.  T(sung)-D(ao) (tsuːŋ daʊ). born 1926, US physicist, born in China. With Yang he disproved the principle that that parity is always conserved and shared the Nobel prize for physics in 1957

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

lee
O.E. hleo "shelter," from P.Gmc. *khlewo- (cf. O.N. hle, Dan. læ, Du. lij "lee, shelter"); no known cognates outside Gmc.; original sense uncertain and may have been "warm" (cf. Ger. lau "tepid," O.N. hly "shelter, warmth").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Matching Quote
"This "charity-house," as the wrecker called it, this "Humane house," as some call it, that is, the one to which we first came, had neither window nor sliding shutter, nor clapboards, nor paint. As we have said, there was a rusty nail put through the staple. However, as we wished to get an idea of a Humane house, and we hoped that we should never have a better opportunity, we put our eyes, by turns, to a knot-hole in the door, and, after long looking, without seeing, into the dark,—not knowing how many shipwrecked men's bones we might see at last, looking with the eye of faith, knowing that, though to him that knocketh it may not always be opened, yet to him that looketh long enough through a knot-hole the inside shall be visible,—for we had had some practice at looking inward,—by steadily keeping our other ball covered from the light meanwhile, putting the outward world behind us, ocean and land, and the beach,—till the pupil became enlarged and collected the rays of light that were wandering in that dark (for the pupil shall be enlarged by looking; there was never so dark a night but a faithful and patient eye, however small, might at last prevail over it),—after all this, I say, things began to take shape to our vision,—if we may use this expression where there was nothing but emptiness,—and we obtained the long-wished-for insight. Though we thought at first that it was a hopeless case, after several minutes' steady exercise of the divine faculty, our prospects began steadily to brighten, and we were ready to exclaim with the blind bard of "Paradise Lost and Regained,"—
"Hail, holy Light! offspring of Heaven first-born,
Or of the Eternal coeternal beam
May I express thee unblamed?"
A little longer, and a chimney rushed red on our sight. In short, when our vision had grown familiar with the darkness, we discovered that there were some stones and some loose wads of wool on the floor, and an empty fireplace at the further end; but it was not supplied with matches, or straw, or hay, that we could see, nor "accommodated with a bench." Indeed, it was the wreck of all cosmical beauty there within.
Turning our backs on the outward world, we thus looked through the knot-hole into the Humane house, into the very bowels of mercy; and for bread we found a stone. It was literally a great cry (of sea-mews outside), and a little wool. However, we were glad to sit outside, under the lee of the Humane house, to escape the piercing wind; and there we thought how cold is charity! how inhumane humanity! This, then, is what charity hides! Virtues antique and far away, with ever a rusty nail over the latch; and very difficult to keep in repair, withal, it is so uncertain whether any will ever gain the beach near you. So we shivered round about, not being able to get into it, ever and anon looking through the knot-hole into that night without a star, until we concluded that it was not a humane house at all, but a seaside box, now shut up, belonging to some of the family of Night or Chaos, where they spent their summers by the sea, for the sake of the sea-breeze, and that it was not proper for us to be prying into their concerns."
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