noun (1)
\ˈlā, ˈlā-ˌē \

Definition of lei 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a wreath or necklace usually of flowers or leaves


noun (2)
\ˈlā \

Definition of lei (Entry 2 of 2)

plural of leu

the basic monetary unit of Moldova and Romania — see Money Table

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Synonyms for lei

Synonyms: Noun (1)

choker, collar, dog collar, necklace

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Examples of lei in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Shortly after arriving at Bondi Beach, the duchess received an unexpected accessory to complete her look—a pink floral lei. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Wore a Striped Martin Grant Dress for a Walk on Bondi Beach in Sydney," 18 Oct. 2018 In Dragnea's case, prosecutors estimated the damages at 108,000 lei ($27,000). Fox News, "Romanian party leader convicted of graft vows to change laws," 22 June 2018 One by one, each is welcomed with a lei made of the most fragrant fresh flowers. NBC News, "Be proactive and step out of your comfort zone:," 13 July 2018 There’s the lightsaber toting Skywalker OG or Maui Waui, who carries around a ukulele and wears a lei. Marco Santana, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Marijuana advocates promote education amidst growing legalization push," 14 July 2018 This event is all about how many people can gather and make a difference with the inspiring symbolism of the lei, in a fun Hawaiian atmosphere. Heather Mcghee, Ramona Sentinel, "16th Annual 24-hour Relay for Life starts at 9 a.m. Saturday," 30 May 2018 On Aloha Nights every other Saturday in July and August, the garden is staging a cultural complement of activities, including lei making, hula lessons and ukulele performances. New York Times, "23 Art Exhibitions to View in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 12 July 2018 After coming ashore, Burgess was captured in photos sporting a pink lei and celebrating with onlookers. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Florida woman paddleboards from Cuba to Key West," 27 June 2018 But a lei can also be simply a tribute to the islands’ beauty, improvised from flowers foraged while wandering back roads. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "The Power of Wearing Flowers," 16 Feb. 2018

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

Noun (1)

1843, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lei

Noun (1)


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Statistics for lei

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lei

The first known use of lei was in 1843

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More Definitions for lei



English Language Learners Definition of lei

: a necklace of flowers that is given to a visitor in Hawaii

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More from Merriam-Webster on lei

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lei

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about lei

Comments on lei

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


playful or foolish behavior

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