leath·​er | \ˈle-t͟hər \

Definition of leather 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : animal skin dressed for use

2 : the flap of the ear of a dog — see dog illustration

3 : something wholly or partly made of leather


leathered; leathering\ˈle-​t͟hə-​riŋ, ˈlet͟h-​riŋ \

Definition of leather (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cover with leather

2 : to beat with a strap : thrash

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Other Words from leather


leather adjective
leatherlike \ˈle-​t͟hər-​ˌlīk \ adjective

Synonyms for leather

Synonyms: Noun

fur, hide, pelt, skin

Synonyms: Verb

birch, cowhide, flagellate, flail, flog, hide, horsewhip, lash, rawhide, scourge, slash, switch, tan, thrash, whale, whip

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Examples of leather in a Sentence


the company claims to use only the finest leathers for its shoes and handbags this jacket was made from real leather


an expert rider will find almost no reason to leather a horse
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Early this month, Ford filed a patent to reduce the odor of some of the adhesive, leather, and other materials that produce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that contribute to new car smell. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Chinese customers hate “new car smell,” so Ford files a patent to bake it out," 20 Nov. 2018 Her stilettos were leopard print, her skirt leather, her coat suede, in a warm ocher color that would have blended nicely with the red-earth airstrips of the African bush. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "Melania Trump Gave Us All a Valuable Lesson in How Not to Dress in Africa," 9 Oct. 2018 Cow Ears, Nose and Forehead Template Trace the ears and nose templates on brown leather, scaling up or down as necessary; cut out. Country Living Staff, Country Living, "40+ Halloween Templates for Your Craftiest October Yet," 5 Sep. 2018 Pair yours – or anything leather, honestly – with major amounts of denim to keep things perfectly casual. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "10 Cute Fall Outfits That Demand to Be Instagrammed," 25 July 2018 Bella topped the gown with a high-collared black leather coat, matching elbow-length gloves, a gold cross necklace, and angelic, gold eye makeup. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Bella Hadid's Wears a Black Crop Top to the Met Gala 2018 After-Party," 8 May 2018 Clean shaven and looking relaxed in a brown leather coat, Benyettou tried to be optimistic. Fox News, "Confessions of a former jihadist recruiter who now deradicalizes potential terrorists," 3 May 2018 Alice's leather jacket and plaid shirt wrapped around her waist. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Riverdale Season 3 Episode 4 Recap: All the Breakfast Club References," 7 Nov. 2018 The Southsiders live in Sunnyside Trailer Park (until recently), wear leather jackets, and have undying loyalty for each other. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Riverdale Quiz: Are You A Southside Serpent or a Northsider?!," 5 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

With no hesitation, the right back gallops up to the ball, before leathering it with untethered power back across the goal and into the corner. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 12 Weeks to Go - The Goal That Defined the Legendary 1970 Brazil Team," 1 Apr. 2018 As the half ticked on Zinedine Zidane's side's frustrations began to surface, but the 12-time kings of Europe levelled things up three minutes before the break, as Ronaldo leathered home from 12 yards to mark his 110th Champions League goal. SI.com, "Spurs Grind Out Well Deserved Draw on Disappointing Night for Real Madrid," 17 Oct. 2017 Leather purses sell for as little as $70 and handbags are available for $95. Elizabeth Paton And Chad Bray, New York Times, "Michael Kors to Buy Jimmy Choo in $1.2 Billion Deal," 25 July 2017 Made of everything from silk to shells and beads to leather the handbag collection was donated by Jean Nemer who collected them over the years. Karla Peterson, sandiegouniontribune.com, "San Diego purse exhibit has women's history in the bag," 9 June 2017 Em Son is a thin, one-legged man with sun-leathered skin. Matthew M. Burke, Newsweek, "The Truth About the Lost Marines of the Vietnam War's Last Battle," 24 Jan. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'leather.' 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 leather


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for leather


Middle English lether, from Old English lether-; akin to Old High German leder leather, Old Irish lethar

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Statistics for leather

Last Updated

30 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for leather

The first known use of leather was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for leather



English Language Learners Definition of leather

: animal skin that is chemically treated to preserve it and that is used in making clothes, shoes, furniture, etc.


leath·​er | \ˈle-t͟hər \

Kids Definition of leather

: animal skin that is prepared for use

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