\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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The children practiced staying calm and attaching the puppy’s leash. Anne Kadet, WSJ, "Bagpipes or Urdu? After-School Options Multiply," 23 Oct. 2018 From next year, DPi will be its own class, and let off the leash, with LMP2 remaining an option for pro-am teams but almost guaranteed no chance of an overall win. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "IMSA’s WeatherTech series is going great, but where does it go next?," 3 Sep. 2018 Suddenly, the leash broke and the dog ran toward the strangers. Vincent T. Davis, San Antonio Express-News, "Thousands of dog bites in S.A. include three-dozen cases against dangerous dogs," 26 May 2018 Arriving officers found the victim unresponsive but still clutching the dog’s leash. Joseph A. Gambardello, Philly.com, "Man walking mother's dog shot, critically wounded in N. Philly," 15 May 2018 Now the good times have returned, and with them the temptation to slip the leash. The Economist, "American shale-oil producers are on a roll," 10 May 2018 The main reason is to rid the country of greedy people making money off the back of adorable puppies, and to shorten the leash on on backyard breeders who don’t follow good practices, such as vaccinating and providing health certificates. Lauren Ritchie, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Lake up next to shut down retail stores selling puppies, and Orange should do it too," 4 May 2018 The story of the offseason: The leash on a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, Joe Flacco, has tightened considerably with the drafting of Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson with the final pick of the first round. Peter King, SI.com, "One Question, 32 Answers: What Do You Think About Every Team’s Offseason?," 2 May 2018 But instead, the dog brought the ball back to Lopez, who then grabbed the leash. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "Quick-thinking Royals minor-leaguer catches runaway dog at Bark at the Park," 14 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.

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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

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Learn More about leash

Dictionary Entries near leash


lease rod

lease system


leash law



Statistics for leash

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for leash

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

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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on leash

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with leash

Spanish Central: Translation of leash

Nglish: Translation of leash for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of leash for Arabic Speakers

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).


to make faulty or ineffective

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