\ 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

Other Words from left


left adverb


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for left

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of left in a Sentence

Adjective He felt a pain in his left side. He hit him with a left hook to the jaw. the left side of the street Noun 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The controls for operating the headphones manually are located on both left and right earcups. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 21 June 2022 The decision ends an unusual period in Israeli politics, when a coalition of the country’s centrist, right, left and Arab factions came together for the first time to form a government. Dov Lieber, WSJ, 20 June 2022 The bleachers were packed for the game against the Atlanta Braves as fans stood behind the last rows in left and right field and congregated behind the concessions to socialize without the obligation of watching the actual game. Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune, 20 June 2022 The far left and far right have control over the no-longer-majority center. David A. Andelman, CNN, 20 June 2022 Marte suffered strains in both his left and right hamstrings last season, missing a month or more for each injury. Theo Mackie, The Arizona Republic, 18 June 2022 Two side doors opened left and right, revealing two rows of seats behind the driver and front passenger. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 13 June 2022 Skiers will change the angle for the left or right foot. Chris Meehan, Popular Mechanics, 12 June 2022 The choir will reach beyond Broadway, past country and delve into songs that come out of left, right and center field. oregonlive, 8 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Soon after, Powell and some of her attorneys staying at the Westin left, along with some of the cybersecurity experts. Los Angeles Times, 17 June 2022 At the bottom-left of your window, there is a video button used to start or stop video on Zoom. Mythili Devarakonda, USA TODAY, 15 June 2022 That smacks to them of Trump, or, worse, the socialist left. The Politics Of Everything, The New Republic, 15 June 2022 The pronounced vertical of the tall spindly tree at the left, which stretches from the top of the painting to almost the bottom, its dark roots rotting, further underscores the passage. Helen A. Cooper, WSJ, 10 June 2022 Patrick Ewing scores the winning basket with 1:30 left, with the Heat’s Jamal Mashburn then bypassing a scoring opportunity to pass to Clarence Weatherspoon, whose miss seals the Heat’s loss. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 28 May 2022 One campaign battlefield seen from the bottom-left. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 18 May 2022 Then the procession will make successive right turns onto Prairie and then Garden, then a left onto Prospect. George Castle, Chicago Tribune, 7 May 2022 In the past several decades, Michael Kazin has written a series of books on the history of the American left—which have touched on labor and antiwar movements—as well as long studies of populism and a biography of William Jennings Bryan. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 19 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About left

Time Traveler for left

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near left



left and right

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Statistics for left

Last Updated

24 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Left.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/left. Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for left


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on left

Nglish: Translation of left for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of left for Arabic Speakers


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