Meaning of LEFT in English


I. ˈleft adjective

( sometimes -er/-est )

Etymology: Middle English luft, lift, left, from Old English left, lyft- (as in lyftādl palsy) weak; akin to Middle Dutch lucht, luft, loft left, Middle Low German lucht


a. : of or relating to the hand that in most persons is weaker, to the side of the body on which it is, or to the parts of that side of the body

combat men who looked at a man's left chest before they looked at his face — C.H.Norcross

b. : located on an observer's left or directed as his left hand would point

outflanked the army's left wing

the left fork of the road looked the more inviting of the two

2. often capitalized : of, adhering to, or constituted by the left especially in politics

this left government with a cabinet of moderate liberals — F.A.Magruder

the Communists and their political ally, the Left Socialists — C.A.L.Rich

fashionable … among many left intellectuals — Philip O'Connor

the left religious movements … animated by the social gospel — G.A.Almond

untiring representative of the leftest of left-wingers — Glasgow Herald

in some respects they are going still lefter — A.A.Berle

- over the left shoulder

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English luft, lift, left, from luft, lift, left, adjective


a. : the left hand

lashed out with his left — Gregor Felsen

b. : the location or direction lying on the left side of one's body

passed a house on his left

c. : the part (as the wing of an army) that is on the left side of an observer facing in the direction it faces

d. : the member of a pair situated or used on the left side


a. : left field

b. : a boxer's blow with the left fist

broke through the American's defense repeatedly with jolts and spearing lefts — P.J.Cunningham

3. often capitalized

a. : the part of a legislative chamber located to the left of the presiding officer and usually occupied in continental European and other countries having a similar political pattern by members professing a more radical position on political issues than other members

loud applause in the center and on certain benches of the left — D.W.S.Lidderdale

in the other European countries … the left is occupied by the Communists and Socialists — Enzo Di Cocco

— compare center 3c, right

b. : the members of a legislative body occupying the left as a result of their political views

members of the Chamber of Deputies … became tense; the Left became vociferous — A.W.Macmahon & W.R.Dittmar

4. usually capitalized

a. : individuals or groups professing views usually characterized by opposition to and a desire to alter (as by reform or revolution) the established order especially in politics and usually advocating change in the name of the greater freedom or well-being of the common man

the tradition of liberalism, democracy, and socialism belongs to the democratic Left — Simon Paynter

the totalitarianism of the Left — Howard Rushmore

his position in the literary Left — Paul Potts

his contempt for the Right is exceeded only by his contempt for the Left — Bergen Evans

— compare right

b. : the symbolic position occupied by persons professing such views : a radical as distinguished from a conservative position

the clericalist threat from the Right drove the earlier governments of the Third Republic … further to the radical Left — Times Literary Supplement

after an interval of twenty or thirty years the Left of one period becomes the Right of the next — Barbara & Robert North

III. adverb

Etymology: Middle English luft, lift, left, from luft, lift, left, adjective

: on or to the left

questing neither left nor right — Rudyard Kipling

as right-center governments continued to ignore reform, the people moved left — New Republic


past of leave

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.