\ 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 He was placed on the IL before the game with left-hander Brent Suter being reinstated from the paternity list. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 17 May 2022 Right-hander Dean Kremer, who pitched in the majors the past two seasons, is progressing from a left oblique strain suffered a month ago while warming up for what would have been his season debut. Nathan Ruiz, Baltimore Sun, 12 May 2022 Outfielder Victor Reyes is making progress in his rehabilitation program in Lakeland, Florida, recovering from a left quad strain. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 1 May 2022 Fletcher, who has been out with a left hip strain for more than two weeks, was three for 17 in four rehab games. ... Los Angeles Times, 27 Apr. 2022 However, VanVleet suffered a left hip flexor strain during the second quarter of Game 4 and did not return. Bryan Toporek, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2022 Booker was out nearly three weeks with a left hamstring strain in December, then was in the NBA's health and safety protocols after testing positive for COVID-19 in March. Mark Faller, The Arizona Republic, 26 Apr. 2022 All-Star point guard Fred VanVleet sat out with a left hip flexor strain. oregonlive, 25 Apr. 2022 Doncic has missed the first three games of the series after suffering a left calf strain in the Mavs’ regular-season finale on April 10. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Vogel made a 45-yard field goal as Houston went ahead 10-0 with 14:17 left in the second quarter and a 44-yard field goal to give the Gamblers a 20-15 lead with 3:34 to play. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, 15 May 2022 With 5:38 left in the game, the Celtics have their biggest lead yet. Katie Mcinerney, BostonGlobe.com, 15 May 2022 Johns Hopkins did mount a comeback, embarking on a 4-2 spurt that narrowed the deficit to 7-5 with 11:52 left in the second quarter – the slimmest margin since the score was 2-0 with 12:38 remaining in the first. Edward Lee, Baltimore Sun, 13 May 2022 Jaques provided the team’s second goal with 19:28 left in the second half, and the third with just over eight minutes remaining. Alex Vejar, The Salt Lake Tribune, 12 May 2022 Dallas leads Phoenix, 24-23, with under 1:30 left in the quarter. Dana Scott, The Arizona Republic, 12 May 2022 Missing the remainder of the third quarter, Paul checked into the game with 10:28 left in the fourth only to pick up his sixth foul to foul out less than two minutes later. Duane Rankin, USA TODAY, 9 May 2022 But Nicklas Lidstrom, stopped on his first 47 shots in the playoffs, backhanded a loose puck in the slot past Shtalenkov with 10:51 left in the final period. Gene Myers, Detroit Free Press, 8 May 2022 Golden State was trailing by 10 with 5:11 left in the opening quarter when head coach Steve Kerr subbed in Otto Porter Jr. for rookie forward Jonathan Kuminga and Jordan Poole for Klay Thompson. C.j. Holmes, San Francisco Chronicle, 7 May 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

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Left.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/left. Accessed 27 May. 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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