\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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Synonyms for lair

Synonyms: Noun

bed, bunk, doss [chiefly British], hay [slang], kip, pad, rack, sack

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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

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 But to the third-grader, the dojo was way more than a superhero’s secret lair. Jill Tucker,, "San Francisco superhero camp hits on altruistic themes," 4 July 2018 Bev's Eyes Turn White During the scene in It's lair with the bodies floating in the air like horses around a carousel, Bev seems to be doing more than just floating. Chanel Vargas, Good Housekeeping, "10 Extremely Chilling Things You Didn't Notice While Watching IT," 6 Oct. 2017 In the first movie, the villain Syndrome’s lair is pretty much a copy of the Charles Deaton Sculptured House, the vast elliptical prow on Genesee Mountain. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "The Incredibles 2 Addresses the State of the Union," 19 June 2018 On the other hand, the feckless writer's lair created by Ward Shelley of Easton CT, with Douglas Paulson and Adam Zimmerman, is a total hoot. Joey Morona,, "Cleveland featured in premiere of Travel Channel's 'Eat, Drink, Haggle' with Lara Spencer," 21 Apr. 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

3 Oct 2018

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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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).


by force of circumstances

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