lei·​sure | \ ˈlē-zhər How to pronounce leisure (audio) , ˈle-, ˈlā- How to pronounce leisure (audio) \

Definition of leisure

1 : freedom provided by the cessation of activities especially : time free from work or duties increase of leisure, diminution of hustle are the ends to be sought — Bertrand Russell
at leisure or at one's leisure
: in one's leisure time : at one's convenience read the book at her leisure

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Other Words from leisure

leisure adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for leisure


decompression, ease, relaxation, repose, rest


exertion, labor, toil, work

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Examples of leisure in a Sentence

I don't have much time for leisure. upon retiring, the elderly couple looked forward to a life of well-deserved leisure

Recent Examples on the Web

Exercise isn't just a leisure-time activity anymore. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "The 2 Things That Will Help Motivate You to Be More Active, According to a New Strava Report," 28 Nov. 2018 Many bars serve the tonic in its own bottle on the side, allowing the guest to pour in tonic at leisure, pondering the ratio as the ice melts on a hot afternoon al aire libre. Lisa Futterman, chicagotribune.com, "No mere gin and tonic: Spanish craze employs fruits and herbs to pause summer," 11 July 2018 Winter is in full swing—and the current climate makes scheduling a soak in the tub less about leisure and more about survival (albeit of the supremely tranquil variety). Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "From Luxurious Oils to Detoxing Soaks, How to Take the Perfect Winter Bath," 9 Jan. 2019 The sprawling villa, once a monastery, recalls a Sicily of opulent leisure and eccentric aristocrats. Washington Post, "Pruning olive trees is a balance of art, lore and science," 1 May 2018 Still, others suggest that the balance of leisure and work is most important to health. WSJ, "Relaxation Guide For Stressful Times," 3 Nov. 2018 Spending more time on leisure activities, making healthy food and health care easier to obtain (via roving AVs that come to you), and taking the slog out of commuting does sound nice. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Ikea’s Space10 imagines the future of self-driving cars," 17 Sep. 2018 And much new construction has been driven by developers, which tend to put profit before the provision of leisure or communal facilities. Michael Taylor, The Christian Science Monitor, "Won't you be my neighbor: Melbourne experiments with community-led housing," 11 July 2018 Soon after came the rise of leisure among those toiling in the industrial revolution — holidays bought factories time to retool — and its concomitant: sports as a pastime and spectacle. OregonLive.com, "'Kicks' gives us a lively, engaging history of the sneaker (book review)," 1 May 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for leisure

Middle English leiser, from Anglo-French leisir, from leisir to be permitted, from Latin licēre — see license entry 1

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Statistics for leisure

Last Updated

24 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for leisure

The first known use of leisure was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for leisure



English Language Learners Definition of leisure

: time when you are not working : time when you can do whatever you want to do
: enjoyable activities that you do when you are not working


lei·​sure | \ ˈlē-zhər How to pronounce leisure (audio) \

Kids Definition of leisure

: free time
at leisure or at someone's leisure
1 : in a way that is not hurried
2 : when there is free time available
3 : not busy

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Comments on leisure

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


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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