\ˈleg also ˈlāg \

Definition of leg 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a limb of an animal used especially for supporting the body and for walking: such as

a(1) : one of the paired vertebrate limbs that in bipeds extend from the top of the thigh to the foot

(2) : the part of such a limb between the knee and foot

b : the back half of a hindquarter of a meat animal

c : one of the rather generalized segmental appendages of an arthropod used in walking and crawling

2a : a pole or bar serving as a support or prop the legs of a tripod

b : a branch of a forked or jointed object the legs of a compass

3a : the part of an article of clothing that covers the leg

b : the part of the upper (as of a boot) that extends above the ankle

4 : obeisance, bow used chiefly in the phrase to make a leg

5 : a side of a right triangle that is not the hypotenuse also : a side of an isosceles triangle that is not the base

6a : the course and distance sailed by a boat on a single tack

b : a portion of a trip : stage

c : one section of a relay race

d : one of several events or games necessary to be won to decide a competition won the first two legs of horse racing's Triple Crown

7 : a branch or part of an object or system

8 legs plural : long-term appeal or interest a news story with legs

a leg to stand on

: support especially : a basis for one's position in a controversy

on one's last legs

: at or near the end of one's resources : on the verge of failure, exhaustion, or ruin


legged; legging

Definition of leg (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to use the legs in walking especially : run

Definition of leg (Entry 3 of 3)

1 legal

2 legato

3 legislative; legislature

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Other Words from leg


legless \ˈleg-​ləs also ˈlāg-​ \ adjective
a legless chair legless lizards
leglike or leg-like adjective
leglike appendages

Synonyms for leg

Synonyms: Noun


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Examples of leg in a Sentence


He sat on a chair with his legs crossed. He leaned against the wall with his legs spread so the police could search him. She broke her leg in a skiing accident. His legs gave way under him and he fell over. We had chicken legs for dinner. Would you like some more leg of lamb? the legs of a table a chair with a broken leg
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Sporting a crisp white wrap dress that showed off one endless exposed leg, the Westworld star paired her wavy, textured stands with a swirl of peony blush and matching sheer lip color. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Tessa Thompson's Easy Bob Makes the Case for a Big Night Out Transformation," 21 Nov. 2018 But like the length of a trouser leg, turkey fashion shifts. Kim Severson, The Seattle Times, "The rise and fall of turkey brining — and here’s one chef’s new recipe," 20 Nov. 2018 For the legs, connect T-couplers to each end of the 5-foot pieces [A].The top T’s will be upright [E]and the bottom T’s will have their stems facing forward [F]. A.c. Shilton, Popular Mechanics, "This DIY Halloween Monster Is a Perfect Project That's Good To Make With Kids Too," 22 Oct. 2018 There's the obvious: Unlike Harry's, Flamingo razors are designed to fit the curved areas women tend to shave most, such as our legs, toes, and bikini lines. Deanna Pai, Glamour, "Millennial Razor Brands Are on a Mission to Embrace Body Hair," 16 Oct. 2018 Of course, missing a few hairs isn't the end of the world — and if someone is mortally offended that there is hair on your legs, in patches or fully grown in, that's their problem, not yours. Ella Cerón, Teen Vogue, "I Tried David Beckham's House 99 Sharp Cut Shaving Stick on My Legs," 12 Oct. 2018 Wood suffered severe injuries to his head, neck, torso and legs, and was later pronounced dead at a hospital. Stephen Sorace, Fox News, "Freak accident at Jack in the Box drive-thru kills Missouri man, 20," 28 Sep. 2018 Serial demonstrated that this type of ongoing, narrative storytelling had legs, and in the years since, there have been thousands of followers using the same format and style, in ways that work and don’t. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "A deep dive into Cleveland’s criminal justice system," 23 Sep. 2018 One of the injured was shot through the leg, a Washington Post reporter at the church posted on Twitter, and along with others was allowed out by police and met by waiting ambulances. NBC News, "Violence rings out at Nicaraguan church, university after nationwide strike," 14 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Finishing touches, including nailhead trim and leg colors, can also be selected. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "One Kings Lane is the Answer to Your Custom Furniture Needs," 17 Oct. 2018 Enter: the surprisingly flattering—and simultaneously leg toning—dad sneaker. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Kendall Jenner's Secret For Mile Long Legs Includes a Pair of $1,500 Adidas Sneakers," 24 July 2018 Varicose veins result from inborn vein characteristics, not leg position. New York Times, "A Small Price for Sitting Pretty," 15 June 2018 Injury update: The Broncos lost senior defensive tackle David Moa and tailback Alexander Mattison, two important starters, to leg injuries in the first half. Dave Southorn And Rachel Roberts, idahostatesman, "Final: Boise State 41, Utah State 14; Broncos roll as Rypien gets hot," 28 Oct. 2017 Derrick Comby, 28, suffered a gunshot wound to leg. Justin Madden, cleveland.com, "Akron police looking to identify four possibly connected to fatal bar shooting," 24 Oct. 2017 Peacock spiders and other jumping spiders use internal hydraulic pumps rather than leg muscles to leap 30 times their body length. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Spider genes put a new spin on arachnids’ potent venoms, stunning silks, and surprising history," 19 Oct. 2017 Cornelius went to the locker room on the back on a cart, and a member of the training staff was holding the player’s leg down. Andrew Astleford, ajc, "Arkansas WR Jared Cornelius exits game against Texas A&M with ankle injury," 23 Sep. 2017 Some poachers sell giraffe leg bones to buyers in Africa and Asia so they can be carved to look like ivory or used for soup. Alex Shoumatoff, Smithsonian, "To Save Giraffes, We May Need to Put Our Necks Out," 29 Mar. 2017

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1587, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for leg


Middle English, from Old Norse leggr

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Statistics for leg

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for leg

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

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More Definitions for leg



Financial Definition of leg

What It Is

In the brokerage world, a leg is an individual component of a multistep trade.

How It Works

Let's say John Doe wants to do an options straddle, which involves buying call and put options with the same expiration date. John Doe's broker executes the first leg, which is to buy the call, and then he executes the second leg, which is to buy the put.

Why It Matters

Timing is everything is multistep trades. Accordingly, in John's case, his broker should try to execute both legs simultaneously, or at least very close in time, in order to avoid the risk of price changes for those products as the trading day progresses.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of leg

: one of the long body parts that are used especially for standing, walking, and running

: an animal's leg when it is used as food

: any one of the long thin parts that support a table, chair, etc.


\ˈleg \

Kids Definition of leg

1 : one of the limbs of an animal or person that support the body and are used in walking and running

2 : the part of the leg between the knee and the foot

3 : something like a leg in shape or use the legs of a table

4 : the part of a garment that covers the leg

5 : a stage or part of a journey We started the first leg of our trip.

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\ˈleg, ˈlāg \

Medical Definition of leg 

: a limb of an animal used especially for supporting the body and for walking: as

a : either of the two lower human limbs that extend from the top of the thigh to the foot and especially the part between the knee and the ankle

b : any of the rather generalized segmental appendages of an arthropod used in walking and crawling

Legal Definition of leg 

1 legal

2 legislative, legislature

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More from Merriam-Webster on leg

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with leg

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for leg

Spanish Central: Translation of leg

Nglish: Translation of leg for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of leg for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about leg

Comments on leg

What made you want to look up leg? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

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