\ˈlēsh \

Definition of leash 

1a : a line for leading or restraining an animal

b : something that restrains : the state of being restrained keeping spending on a tight leash

2a : a set of three animals (such as greyhounds, foxes, bucks, or hares)

b : a set of three

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from leash

leash transitive verb

Examples of leash in a Sentence

put a dog on a leash Dogs must be kept on a leash while in the park. The dog saw a cat and was straining at its leash trying to get at it.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The worker reportedly told Fitzpatrick that Kona needed to be on a leash, KUTV said. Crystal Hill, miamiherald, "Shopper with service dog says Walmart employee accused her of faking a disability," 12 July 2018 Despite the short leash, Uber’s new London license provides a measure of relief in one of the company’s largest markets, with about 3.6 million active users, roughly 5% of its global tally of 75 million. Sam Schechner, WSJ, "Uber Granted New London License by U.K. Court," 26 June 2018 Tinley Park is advising residents to keep pets on a leash when outside and prevent them from coming into contact with dead wildlife. Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown, "Rabbit found in Tinley Park tests positive for tularemia," 19 June 2018 Family dogs are also welcome at the farmers market, so long as they are well behaved and on a leash. Joan Hunt, Courant Community, "Wethersfield Farmers Market In Full Swing," 12 June 2018 Residents who want to walk their pets in Swampscott woods should take extra precaution after dark and keep their pets on a short leash, police say. Debora Almeida, BostonGlobe.com, "Swampscott police urge caution after a teen was bitten by a coyote," 10 June 2018 Another, Waffle, is relegated back on a leash after being disobedient. Gabriella Paiella, The Cut, "Maggie Siff Is TV’s Quiet Powerhouse," 8 June 2018 But Meehan said the state encourages dog owners to use the refuge responsibly, which might mean keeping dogs on a leash. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "Worries about wildlife prompt push for dog ban in South Anchorage estuary," 27 May 2018 Under the changes, businesses that want to allow dogs would need policies on controlling animals, such as keeping them on a leash, in outdoor dining spaces. Jessie Balmert, Cincinnati.com, "Grab a beer with man's best friend: Ohio expected to allow dogs on patios," 27 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of leash

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for leash

Middle English lees, leshe, from Anglo-French *lesche, lesse, probably from lesser to leave, let go

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about leash

Dictionary Entries near leash


lease rod

lease system


leash law



Phrases Related to leash

strain at the leash

Statistics for leash

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for leash

The first known use of leash was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for leash



English Language Learners Definition of leash

: a long, thin piece of rope, chain, etc., that is used for holding a dog or other animal


\ˈlēsh \

Kids Definition of leash

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a line for holding or controlling an animal


leashed; leashing

Kids Definition of leash (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put on a line for holding or controlling All dogs must be leashed.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on leash

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


a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!