\ˈlir \
leered; leering; leers

Definition of leer 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to cast a sidelong glance especially : to give a leer Some female employees complained that they were being leered at by male employees.



Definition of leer (Entry 2 of 2)

: a lascivious, knowing, or wanton look

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Other Words from leer


leeringly \ˈlir-​iŋ-​lē \ adverb

Examples of leer in a Sentence


She complained that some disgusting man was leering at her. He gave her a leering look.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

To leer, grope, force, no matter what age, profession, protestation. Michael Arceneaux, Glamour, "If We Want Men to Be a Part of #MeToo, We Have to Stop Gendering the Movement," 27 Aug. 2018 Ohio State is investigating Meyer while also facing three federal lawsuits about its response to allegations of groping, leering and other misconduct by a deceased athletic department doctor who treated wrestlers and other students for two decades. Fox News, "Urban Meyer investigation adds new scandal to Ohio State athletics," 2 Aug. 2018 The filmmakers seem to have other questions about roundness, flatness and perspective in mind, to judge by the chief visual preoccupations of this indiscreetly leering anime. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Time-travel romance, but no magic, in the Japanese anime 'Fireworks'," 2 July 2018 Severed heads leered from stakes at people waiting in line to get through. Jeremy Roebuck, Philly.com, "'The only good Krahn man is a dead Krahn man': How culpable is Delco resident for ethnic atrocities in Liberia?," 22 June 2018 The scene of leering pirates auctioning off women as brides on the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in Disneyland will be gone forever next month, replaced by a scene considered less offensive to contemporary tastes. Hugo Martin, latimes.com, "Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean ride closing next month to revamp scene of brides being auctioned," 20 Mar. 2018 Cole leered into the plate seconds after the call, not flinching from the finish of his follow-through. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros' Gerrit Cole fans 16 in one-hit shutout of Diamondbacks," 5 May 2018 The underlying premise of NFL cheerleaders is degrading, presenting women as nothing more than objects to be leered at. Nancy Armour, USA TODAY, "No place in the NFL for cheerleaders in 2018," 18 Apr. 2018 Male fans have been given plenty to leer at over the years. David Whitley, OrlandoSentinel.com, "It's hard to cheer for NFL's latest change," 31 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Still, freedom often meant pumping, grudgingly, in odd places, while women who chose to nurse endured tsk-tsks or leers. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "The Breastfeeding Movement Is Experiencing a Tech Revolution—Here's How It's Helping New Moms," 11 Sep. 2018 Marilyn Monroe’s rear is getting some leers in Connecticut. Dave Collins, Courant Community, "Some Like It Not: Marilyn Monroe Statue Has Stamford Church Venting," 8 June 2018 Marilyn Monroe's rear is getting some leers in Connecticut. Dave Collins, chicagotribune.com, "Marilyn Monroe statue near church draws some ire," 8 June 2018 Un conductor apartó la mirada para leer un texto y se estrelló contra ellos y contra otro hombre, empujando a Mitchell al río. Erika Pasantes Y John Maines, El Sentinel, "Tendencia mortal: Textear y manejar. Aumentan accidentes," 6 Feb. 2018 But, before flogging the soon-to-be-dead plot point, the muscle leers and the sound of cracking knuckles echoes off the walls. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Cavitation dilemma resolved in knuckle-cracking model," 5 Apr. 2018 All other sized fans sneer, jeer and leer at him simultaneously. Scott Harrison, latimes.com, "From the Archives: Jungle Boy," 3 Apr. 2018 Para leer esta historia en español, haga clic aquí. Jacqueline Charles, miamiherald, "Chile is used to welcoming migrants. But Haitians don’t always get a warm reception | Miami Herald," 1 Mar. 2018 For someone who spoke in a language so uniquely his and Donald’s, their particular mechanized hum of a lyrical leer remains impenetrable. Kelly Dwyer, Billboard, "No Static at All: The Great Walter Becker and One Final Sublimely Ruined Dinner Party," 3 Sep. 2017

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


1530, in the meaning defined above


1598, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for leer


probably from obsolete leer cheek


see leer entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near leer








Statistics for leer

Last Updated

20 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for leer

The first known use of leer was in 1530

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More Definitions for leer



English Language Learners Definition of leer

: to look at someone in an evil or unpleasantly sexual way


\ˈlir \
leered; leering

Kids Definition of leer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to look with an unpleasant, mean, or eager glance



Kids Definition of leer (Entry 2 of 2)

: an unpleasant, mean, or eager glance

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More from Merriam-Webster on leer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with leer

Spanish Central: Translation of leer

Nglish: Translation of leer for Spanish Speakers

Comments on leer

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to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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