\ ˈler How to pronounce lair (audio) \

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

Some user finally flagged the video to Facebook 12 minutes later, but by then it had been copied to the internet’s darker lairs. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Internet and Evil," 20 Mar. 2019 Like Skeletor has Snake Mountain, every villain has to have a lair. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Star Wars Toys for Any Aspiring Jedi," 27 Mar. 2019 Throughout the airy lair, uptown luxury rubs shoulders with downtown flair. Alina Cho, ELLE Decor, "Uptown Glamour Goes Downtown in a Bold West Village Pad," 22 Feb. 2019 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

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

2 May 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 How to pronounce lair (audio) \

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

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