\ ˈleft How to pronounce left (audio) \

Definition of left

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : of, relating to, situated on, or being the side of the body in which the heart is mostly located her left leg
b : done with the left hand a left hook to the jaw
c : located nearer to the left hand than to the right a man's left chest
d(1) : located on the left of an observer facing in the same direction as the object specified stage left the left arm of a chair
(2) : located on the left when facing downstream the left bank of a river
2 often capitalized : of, adhering to, or constituted by the left especially in politics this left government with a cabinet of moderate liberals— F. A. Magruder



Definition of left (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : the left hand
b : the location or direction of the left side
c : the part on the left side
d : a turn to the left take a left at the intersection
2a : left field
b : a blow struck with the left fist

3 often capitalized

a : the part of a legislative chamber located to the left of the presiding officer
b : the members of a continental European legislative body occupying the left as a result of holding more radical political views than other members

4 often capitalized

a : those professing views usually characterized by desire to reform or overthrow the established order especially in politics and usually advocating change in the name of the greater freedom or well-being of the common man
b : a radical as distinguished from a conservative position


Definition of left (Entry 3 of 3)

past tense and past participle of leave

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Other Words from left


left adverb


leftmost \ ˈleft-​ˌmōst How to pronounce leftmost (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for left

Synonyms: Noun

left wing, leftism, liberalism

Antonyms: Noun

conservatism, illiberalism, immobilism, right

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Examples of left in a Sentence


He felt a pain in his left side. He hit him with a left hook to the jaw. the left side of the street


We read from left to right. You'll take two lefts and then a right. He hit him with two quick lefts to the stomach followed by a right to the jaw.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Second team All-District Freshman pitcher Danielle Zarate, senior pitcher Madison Soliz, junior left fielder Illeana Lopez, Cy Lakes. Alvaro Montano, Houston Chronicle, "Cypress baseball, softball athletes selected to All-District 14-6A teams," 13 June 2019 On a deflating evening, both were left to wonder about a golden opportunity gone by the boards for a defining Cup title. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Once again, an imperfect finish for Tuukka Rask," 13 June 2019 After letting the left-handed Erlin pitch to the right-handed hitting Solano, Green brought in Miguel Diaz to get the final out in the seventh. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Giants sweep bumbling Padres to lowest point of season," 13 June 2019 With help from Mesa Air, troopers were able to stop the vehicle in the left emergency lane under Power Road, Lee said in an email. Mike Cruz, azcentral, "Wrong-way driver on U.S. 60 in Mesa arrested on suspicion of DUI," 13 June 2019 Another accident later happened in the highway's southbound lanes south of Ocala, and as of noon Thursday the left two lanes were blocked. Tiffini Theisen, orlandosentinel.com, "Deadly crash between tractor-trailer, 3 motorcycles near Ocala shuts down several lanes of I-75," 13 June 2019 Diego Valeri sent a long pass to Jeremy Ebobisse on the left flank. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive.com, "Brian Fernandez leads Portland Timbers to 2-1 win over Seattle Sounders in fourth round of U.S. Open Cup," 12 June 2019 Wall is currently rehabbing after tearing his left Achilles on Jan. 29 in a fall at home. Jon Becker, The Mercury News, "Can Kevin Durant avoid fate of other players with Achilles injuries?," 12 June 2019 An 8-year-old boy, who was sitting in the backseat with two other children, suffered graze wounds to his upper right arm, middle chest and upper left chest. Hanna Krueger, nola.com, "Woman accused of shooting at car containing 3 children, 1 of whom suffered multiple graze wounds," 12 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Ms Warren appeals to the left of the party, while Mr Biden has made a concerted effort to court moderate Democratic voters. The Economist, "The Democratic front-runners respond to the Green New Deal," 14 June 2019 The Giants expanded their lead to 4-2 in the seventh after Duggar dribbled an infield hit to the left of pitcher Robbie Erlin, who sailed his throw past the visiting bullpen. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants beat Padres again behind rookie pitcher, rarely used infielder," 12 June 2019 The moon shines above and to the left of the bright blue-white star Spica tonight. Arnold Pearlstein, sun-sentinel.com, "The Stars this Week: June 9-15," 9 June 2019 Just to the lower left of Mizar is a much fainter star, Alcor. Mike Lynch, Twin Cities, "Sky Watch: Let the Big Dipper be your guide for more stargazing," 9 June 2019 Peterson stayed across from building 12, which is out of view, just to the left of the pavement. CBS News, "Florida deputy charged after staying outside during Parkland school shooting," 5 June 2019 And what of the man standing to the left of the poster? Kaitlin Reilly, refinery29.com, "What Clues Can We Gather From This New Stranger Things 3 Poster?," 5 June 2019 There’s no telling how many times Ketel Marte lined up in shallow right field, leaving only Eduardo Escobar to the left of second base Wednesday. Greg Moore, azcentral, "As Diamondbacks slip, Torey Lovullo should lead the charge against shifts, analytics," 5 June 2019 If the mouse is to the left of the cat, this cross product will be in the positive z-direction. Rhett Allain, WIRED, "The Best Way for a Mouse to Escape a Cat, According to Math," 3 June 2019

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for left

Adjective and Noun

Middle English, from Old English, weak; akin to Middle Low German lucht left; from the left hand's being the weaker in most individuals

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Statistics for left

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for left

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

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More Definitions for left



English Language Learners Definition of left

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: located on the same side of your body as your heart
: done with your left hand
: located nearer to the left side of your body than to the right



English Language Learners Definition of left (Entry 2 of 2)

: a location closer to the left side of your body than to the right : the left side
: a turn or movement toward the left
: a punch made with the left hand


\ ˈleft How to pronounce left (audio) \

Kids Definition of left

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : located on the same side of the body as the heart the left leg
2 : located nearer to the left side of the body than to the right the left side of the road

Other Words from left

left adverb Take one step left.



Kids Definition of left (Entry 2 of 3)

: the left side : a part or location on or toward the left side Read from left to right.


Kids Definition of left (Entry 3 of 3)

past tense and past participle of leave


\ ˈleft How to pronounce left (audio) \

Medical Definition of left

: of, relating to, or being the side of the body in which the heart is mostly located also : located nearer to this side than to the right

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More from Merriam-Webster on left

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with left

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for left

Spanish Central: Translation of left

Nglish: Translation of left for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of left for Arabic Speakers

Comments on left

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