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Awkwardness. – Chesterfield.

LEG, n. [Dan. læg; It. lacca.]

  1. The limb of an animal, used in supporting the body and in walking and running; properly, that part of the limb from the knee to the foot, but in a more general sense, the whole limb, including the thigh, the leg and the foot.
  2. The long or slender support of any thing; as, the leg of a table. To make a leg, to bow; a phrase introduced probably by the practice of drawing the right leg backward. [Little used.] – Locke. Swift. To stand on one's own legs, to support one's self; to trust to one's own strength or efforts without aid.

LEG'A-CY, n. [Sp. legado; Fr. legs; L. legatum, from lego, to send, to bequeath; Eth. ለከአ laka, Ar. أَلَكَ‎‎ alaka, to send. Class Lg, No 1.]

A bequest; a particular thing, or certain sum of money given by last will or testament. Good counsel is the best legacy a father can leave to his child. – L'Estrange.


One who flatters and courts for legacies.

LE'GAL, a. [Fr.; from L. legalis, from lex, legis, law.]

  1. According to law; in conformity with law; as, a legal standard or test; a legal procedure.
  2. Lawful; permitted by law; as, a legal trade. Any thing is legal which the laws do not forbid.
  3. According to the law of works, as distinguished from free grace; or resting on works for salvation. – Scott. Milton.
  4. Pertaining to law; created by law. The exception must be confined to legal crimes. – Paley. So we use the phrase, criminal law.


  1. Lawfulness; conformity to law.
  2. In theology, a reliance on works for salvation. – Scott.

LE'GAL-IZE, v.i.

  1. To make lawful; to render conformable to law; to authorize. What can legalize revenge?
  2. To sanction; to give the authority of law to that which is done without law or authority. Irregular proceedings may be legalized by a subsequent act of the legislature.


Made lawful.

LE-GAL-I'Z-ING, ppr.

Making lawful.

LE'GAL-LY, adv.

Lawfully; according to law; in a manner permitted by law.

LEG'A-TA-RY, n. [Fr. legataire; L. legatarius, from lego, to bequeath.]

A legatee; one to whom a legacy is bequeathed. [But legatee is generally used.]

LEG'ATE, n. [Fr. legat; L. legatus, from lego, to send. See Lackey.]

  1. An embassador; but especially,
  2. The pope's embassador to a foreign prince or state; a cardinal or bishop sent as the pope's representative or commissioner to a sovereign prince. Legates are of three kinds; legates a latere, or counselors and assistants of his holiness, legates de latere, who are not cardinals, and legates by office. – Encyc.

LEG-A-TEE', n. [L. lego, to send.]

One to whom a legacy is bequeathed. – Swift.


The office of a legate.


  1. Pertaining to a legate; as, legatine power. – Shak.
  2. Made by or proceeding from a legate; as, a legatine constitution.

LE-GA'TION, n. [L. legatio, from lego, to send.]

An embassy; a deputation; properly a sending, but generally, the person or persons sent as envoys or embassadors to a foreign court. – Bacon.

LEGATO, adv. [Legato.]

In music, directs the notes to be performed in a close, smooth, gliding manner.

LE-GA'TOR, n. [L.]

A testator; one who bequeaths a legacy. [Little used.] – Dryden.

LEGE, v.t.

To allege; to lighten. [Not in use.] – Chaucer.

LE'GEND, n. [It. leggenda; L. legenda, from lego, to read; originally, in the Romish church, a book of service or lessons to be read in worship.]

  1. A chronicle or register of the lives of saints, formerly read at matins and at the refectories of religious houses. Hence,
  2. An idle or ridiculous story told respecting saints. – Encyc.
  3. Any memorial or relation. – Johnson.
  4. An incredible, unauthentic narrative. – Blackmore.
  5. An inscription, particularly on medals and on coins. – Addison.

LE'GEND, v.t.

To tell or narrate, as a legend. – Hall.


Consisting of legends; strange; fabulous.


A book of legends; a relater of legends. – Sheldon.

LEG'ER, n. [D. leggen, to lie, Sax. lecgan.]

Any thing that lies in a place; that which rests or remains; sometimes used as a noun, but more frequently as an adjective, as, a leger ambassador, that is, resident; but the word is now obsolete, except in particular phrases. A leger-line, in music, a line added to the staff of five lines, when more lines than five are wanted, for designating notes ascending or descending. A leger-book, or leger, a book that lies in the counting-house, the book into which merchants carry a summary of the accounts of the journal; usually and properly written ledger.

LEG'ER-DE-MAIN, n. [Fr. leger, It. leggiero, light, slight, and Fr. de main, of hand. See Light.]

Slight of hand; a deceptive performance which depends on dexterity of hand; a trick performed with such art and adroitness, that the manner or art eludes observation. The word is sometimes used adjectively; as, a legerdemain trick.