\ ˈlēsh How to pronounce leash (audio) \

Definition of leash

1a : a line for leading or restraining an animal
b : something that restrains : the state of being restrained keeping spending on a tight leash
2a : a set of three animals (such as greyhounds, foxes, bucks, or hares)
b : a set of three

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from leash

leash transitive verb

Examples of leash in a Sentence

put a dog on a leash Dogs must be kept on a leash while in the park. The dog saw a cat and was straining at its leash trying to get at it.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Police freed a dog that was entangled in its leash at about 1:30 p.m. Sept. 30. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, 7 Oct. 2021 The Twins keep their managers on a short leash, as evidenced by the firing of Hall of Famer Paul Molitor, a St. Paul native wildly popular in the Twin Cities, during the 2018 campaign. Dan Schlossberg, Forbes, 4 Oct. 2021 After bringing Penny home, Bautista also posted a video to his Instagram Story of the hyper pup jumping on his legs and tugging at her leash — sharing that her energy continued through the day and into the night. Vanessa Etienne, PEOPLE.com, 24 Sep. 2021 Hinch kept Manning on a short leash in his fourth MLB start. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 4 July 2021 In addition, pets should be walked on a short leash and picked up when coyotes are visible. Brian L. Cox, chicagotribune.com, 25 May 2021 During these many months on a short leash, our increasingly longer daily walks have saved us from the throes of cabin fever. David Lyon, BostonGlobe.com, 28 Jan. 2021 But all are kept on a short leash through legislation and commercial imperatives in a market where the government is the chief source of advertising. Geoffrey Ssenoga, Quartz Africa, 12 Jan. 2021 By yanking Jackson from the second-half lineup Lue opted against riding a veteran through a tough start and showed his willingness to use a short leash. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 23 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'leash.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of leash

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for leash

Middle English lees, leshe, from Anglo-French *lesche, lesse, probably from lesser to leave, let go

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About leash

Time Traveler for leash

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near leash

lease system


leash law

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for leash

Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Leash.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leash. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for leash



English Language Learners Definition of leash

: a long, thin piece of rope, chain, etc., that is used for holding a dog or other animal


\ ˈlēsh How to pronounce leash (audio) \

Kids Definition of leash

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a line for holding or controlling an animal


leashed; leashing

Kids Definition of leash (Entry 2 of 2)

: to put on a line for holding or controlling All dogs must be leashed.

More from Merriam-Webster on leash

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for leash

Nglish: Translation of leash for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of leash for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!