1 of 2

noun (1)

: an assembly area where animals (such as the prairie chicken) carry on display and courtship behavior
also : an aggregation of animals assembled on a lek for courtship


2 of 2

noun (2)

plural lekë ˈle-kə How to pronounce lek (audio) or leks also leku ˈle-kü How to pronounce lek (audio)
the basic monetary unit of Albania see Money Table

Examples of lek in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Sage Grouse: Breeding Behaviors Sage grouse are best known for their breeding behavior on leks, which can be any area of short grass with high visibility, such as a grass-stubble flat, a dry lakebed, or a recent burn. Phil Bourjaily, Field & Stream, 11 Jan. 2024 To show off for females, the male birds congregate at an area known as a lek. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Sep. 2023 Two Sage-Grouse fight for dominance while strutting on a lek in the Parker Mountain area, near Loa, Utah, Friday, April 22, 2016. The Salt Lake Tribune, 1 Apr. 2021 In these species, what often evolves is a courtship display arena, or what ornithologists call a lek, where males aggregate to do their dances and females choose among the available males. Veronique Greenwood, Discover Magazine, 4 Apr. 2013

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lek.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

Swedish, short for lekställe mating ground, from lek mating, sport + ställe place

Noun (2)


First Known Use

Noun (1)

1871, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1927, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lek was in 1871

Dictionary Entries Near lek

Cite this Entry

“Lek.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lek. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: an area where animals (as the prairie chicken) assemble and carry on display and courtship behavior
also : a group of animals assembled in such an area

Geographical Definition


geographical name

river 40 miles (64 kilometers) long in the Netherlands flowing west into the Atlantic

Note: The Lek is the northern branch of the lower Rhine River.

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