\ ˈler \

Definition of lair

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 dialectal British : a resting or sleeping place : bed
2a : the resting or living place of a wild animal : den tracked the bear back to its lair
b : a refuge or place for hiding a villain's lair


laired; lairing; lairs

Definition of lair (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

chiefly Scotland : to cause to sink in mire

intransitive verb

chiefly Scotland : wallow

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Examples of lair in a Sentence


tracking the bear back to its lair She runs the project from her private lair in the suburbs.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Scientists find great white shark lair in Pacific Ocean: report. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Supreme showdown set for Kavanaugh, accuser; DOJ asked to probe John Kerry's 'shadow diplomacy'," 18 Sep. 2018 This week’s development introduces Nathan Lane into the lair as Abraham Stern, a cunning manipulator out to recover, at whatever cost, the fortune that is his birthright. Kathryn Shattuck, New York Times, "James Spader Still Lives for the Surprise of ‘The Blacklist’," 12 Jan. 2018 Just the bedroom sensation of settling into your lair and waiting for the Universe to come calling at your boudoir door. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Weekly Horoscopes February 5-11," 5 Feb. 2011 Shadows move over the land as the day passes and as the fox hunts—and then is hunted right back, to the security of his lair—in this graceful armchair excursion into the wild. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: Season’s Readings," 30 Nov. 2018 Their lair was the sort of natural marvel that might welcome busloads of tourists in a place better known. Henry Wismayer, WSJ, "Undiscovered Europe: A Vacation Like No Other," 23 May 2018 The launch was not a surprise: Epic had been teasing it for weeks, with a countdown displayed on certain in-game TVs and a loud klaxon alarm blaring from the mountain, which was also home to an supervillain-style lair. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Fortnite has the most interesting video game story in years," 2 July 2018 Look Smart An 18th century English slant-front desk serves as a work station or polished display case for treasures, and adds substance to a room that might otherwise be mistaken for a playboy’s lair. Tim Gavan, WSJ, "The Gentleman Cave: How to Create a Tastefully Macho Room," 1 June 2018 This not-so-mad scientist's lair is in a house not far from the public-housing complex where the musician grew up. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Milford Graves: Full Mantis': Film Review," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lair.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lair


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1560, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for lair


Middle English, from Old English leger; akin to Old High German legar bed, Old English licgan to lie — more at lie


Scots lair mire

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Statistics for lair

Last Updated

24 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lair

The first known use of lair was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for lair



English Language Learners Definition of lair

: the place where a wild animal sleeps
: a place where someone hides or where someone goes to be alone and to feel safe or comfortable


\ ˈler \

Kids Definition of lair

: the den or resting place of a wild animal

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More from Merriam-Webster on lair

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lair

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lair

Spanish Central: Translation of lair

Nglish: Translation of lair for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lair for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lair

What made you want to look up lair? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deny responsibility for

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