\ 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
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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective That this one involves working for a left-wing Venezuelan government reviled in South Florida is quite another. Patricia Mazzei, New York Times, "Venezuelan Oil Company Sues Miami Ex-Congressman Over $50 Million Deal," 13 May 2020 Last month, Johnson won the biggest Conservative majority for more than 30 years in an election that saw his party seize swaths of territory in northern England and parts of central England which the left-wing Labour Party had held for decades. Robert Hutton, Bloomberg.com, "U.K. High Speed Rail Project Wins Backing From Chancellor," 13 May 2020 Lamb needed surgery on his left knee (torn ligament) and leg (broken bone) and is out for the season regardless. J. Michael, Indianapolis Star, "Source: Pacers returning to practice facility for training," 12 May 2020 Though HaystaqDNA has a reputation as a left-wing firm, Chrabaszcz confirmed that its data was just as useful for right-wing political messaging. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "How political campaigns use personal data to decode voters’ opinions," 23 Apr. 2020 Some view them as protective public health gear on par with condoms; conservative protesters are pointing to them as signs of left-wing elitism. Clay Chandler, Fortune, "As the pandemic rages, designers race to create more face masks and shields," 21 Apr. 2020 Griffin was limited by a left knee and hamstring soreness early in the season and averaged 15.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists on 35.2% shooting, before having season-ending knee surgery in January. Detroit Free Press, "What we learned from Detroit Pistons' 2019-20 season and what it means for future," 20 Apr. 2020 For example, when your left hand is on the top sloper, your right hand should in a deep slot. Popular Science, "Five beast-mode workouts PopSci editors are doing from home," 29 Mar. 2020 Hogwash,’ says one extremist Extremist activists in Georgia dismissed the warnings by the FBI as either fantasy or a hoax perpetrated by federal authorities or planted by left-wing activists. Chris Joyner, ajc, "Congress seeks answers as extremists plot to exploit pandemic," 24 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At the same time, at another fund-raiser, a donor told Mr. Biden’s wife that the candidate was already moving too far to the left — an illustration of the competing forces Mr. Biden must navigate. New York Times, "restoring America to the pre-Trump era," 13 May 2020 So, any notion that a Dalmatian is there primes the cortex to identify an ambiguous white stripe as a leg, the black mark above and to the left as an ear, and so on. Claire Maldarelli, Popular Science, "These splotches hide an image if you think about it hard enough," 9 May 2020 Also inside the large open room and to the left: a drumkit and bass guitar rig. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "Alabama native on trying out for Ozzy Osbourne’s band in the ’80s," 4 May 2020 Democratic proposals have been getting more ambitious, and a handful of figures on the right have been taking tentative, calculated steps to the left. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "It’s Time to Build a Better Political Culture," 29 Apr. 2020 There is a tall light pole to the right of the TV screen and a camera sitting on a tripod to the left. Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati.com, "BX: Inside ‘Draft Room East,’ the Cincinnati Bengals’ virtual NFL Draft hub," 18 Apr. 2020 The video then shows George made a deliberate jerk of the wheel to the left and into the oncoming semi truck. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "‘I keep seeing that car come at me like a bullet’: A 19-year-old Alaskan steered into a semi after sex-abuse accusations surfaced, troopers say," 11 Apr. 2020 All Gray had to do Thursday morning was move forward, take two steps to the left and salute Col. Sig Christenson, ExpressNews.com, "In San Antonio, historic basic training graduation now has a coronavirus twist — masks," 9 Apr. 2020 Bernie Sanders’s allies, aware their preferred candidate is unlikely to win the Democratic nomination, are now aiming to cement his legacy as the politician who pushed the party to the left on health care, climate and more. Eliza Collins, WSJ, "Bernie Sanders’s Allies Aim to Keep Shaking Up Democratic Party," 8 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for left

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for left

Last Updated

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Left.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/left. Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for left

How to pronounce left (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for left

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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