\ 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

Now Maws will visit his disciple’s lair, serving nostalgic Craigie dishes including fried clams, corn pasta with lobster and chicken liver cream, and pork belly. Kara Baskin,, "Sally’s Sandwiches at Blackbird Doughnuts, and a Craigie on Main pop-up at Alcove," 18 July 2019 Here’s some good news for rich people, though: if your home is in danger of flooding from sea level rise, Aston Martin is now in the business of building lairs for cars. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "The world’s on fire, and Aston Martin wants to build ‘lairs’ for cars," 19 Aug. 2019 Cats’ sleeping spots soon acquire their scent, allowing predators to track them to their lairs. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Why does Pleasanton cat keep changing her sleeping spots?," 24 July 2019 Their sewers lair is not the grungy hole from the comics, but a cozy dwelling that reflects communal society of people who built comfort with their own hands. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Who Can Play the X-Men Now?," 7 June 2019 Stephen Dietz’s 2007 Edgar Award winner finds Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary sleuth and his companion, Dr. Watson, walking into the lair of the master criminal Professor Moriarty. Tom Titus, Daily Pilot, "On Theater: New shows coming up for Newport and GEM," 19 Aug. 2019 The Washington restaurant that seems to best address the situation is the fine-dining lair of chef Aaron Silverman on Capitol Hill. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "Does the lack of linens in restaurants present a food-safety issue?," 24 July 2019 Mukaddam claims many police are terrified to enter the gangsters’ lairs, adding that a local police sergeant who stood up to them was taken out just two weeks ago. Fox News, "Hundreds of murders threaten Cape Town's tourist mecca image: 'We are living in a warzone’," 12 July 2019 This was no fortified lair but a place for a strong, desperate, or well-connected man. Colin Barrett, Harper's magazine, "“Just Keep Going North”," 5 July 2019

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

19 Sep 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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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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