a | b | c | d | e | f | g | h | i | j | k | l | m | n | o | p | q | r | s | t | u | v | w | x | y | z |


LE-THAR'GIC, or LE-THAR'GIC-AL, a. [L. lethargicus; Fr. lethargique.]

Preternaturally inclined to sleep; drowsy; dull; heavy. – Arbuthnot.


In a morbid sleepiness.


Preternatural or morbid sleepiness or drowsiness. – More. Herbert.

LETH'AR-GI-ED, pp. [or a.]

Laid asleep; entranced. – Shak.

LETH'AR-GY, n. [L. lethargia; Gr. ληθαργια; ληθη, oblivion, and αργος, idle.]

  1. Preternatural sleepiness; morbid drowsiness; continued or profound sleep, from which a person can scarcely be awaked.
  2. Dullness; inaction; inattention. Europe lay then under a deep lethargy. – Atterbury.

LETH'AR-GY, v.t.

To make lethargic or dull. – Churchill.

LE'THE, n. [le'the; Gr. ληθη, forgetfulness; ληθω, L. lateo, to be hid.]

Oblivion; a draught of oblivion. – Milton.


Inducing forgetfulness or oblivion. – Lempriere. As. Res.

LE-THIF'ER-OUS, a. [L. lethum, death, and fero, to bring.]

Deadly; mortal; bringing death or destruction. – Robinson.

LET'TER, n.1 [from let.]

  1. One who permits.
  2. One who retards or hinders.
  3. One who gives vent; as, a blood-letter.

LET'TER, n.2 [Fr. lettre; It. litera; L. litera; W. llythyr.]

  1. A mark or character, written, printed, engraved or painted; used as the representative of a sound, or of an articulation of the human organs of speech. By sounds, and articulations or closures of the organs are formed syllables and words. Hence a letter is the first element of written language, as a simple sound is the first element of spoken language or speech. As sounds are audible and communicate ideas to others by the ear, so letters are visible representatives of sounds, and communicate the thoughts of others by means of the eye.
  2. A written or printed message; an epistle; a communication made by visible characters froth one person to another at a distance. The style of letters ought to be free, easy, and natural. – Walsh.
  3. The verbal expression; the literal meaning. We must observe the letter of the law, without doing violence to the reason of the law, and the intentions of the law giver. – Taylor.
  4. Type; a character formed of metal or wood, usually of metal, and used in printing books.
  5. Letters, in the plural, learning; erudition; as, a man of letters. Dead letter, a writing or precept, which is without authority or force. The best law may become a dead letter. Letter of attorney, a writing by which one person authorizes another to act in his stead. Letter of marque, a private ship commissioned or authorized by a government to make reprisals on the ships of another state. [See Marque.] Letters patent, or overt, open, a writing executed and sealed, by which power and authority are granted to a person to do some act, or enjoy some right; as, letters patent under the seal of England.

LET'TER, v.t.

To impress or form letter on as, to letter a book; a book gilt and lettered.


A case or book to put letters in.


  1. Literate; educated; versed in literature or science. – Collier.
  2. Belonging to learning; suiting letters.


Stamped with letters.


One who casts letters; a type founder.


Impressing or forming letters on; as lettering a book on the cover.


Illiterate; unlettered; not learned. – Waterland.

LET'TER-PRESS, n. [letter and press.]

Print; letters and words impressed on paper or other material by types.

LET'TING, ppr.

Permitting; suffering.

LET'TUCE, n. [let'tis; Fr. laitue; It. lattuga; Sp. lechuga; Arm. lactuzen; G. lattich; D. latuw; from L. lactuca, according to Varro, from lac, milk.]

The English popular name of several species of Lactuca, some of which are used as salads.

LEU'CIN, or LEU'CINE, n. [Gr. λευκος, white.]

A peculiar white pulverulent substance obtained from beef fibers, treated with sulphuric acid, and afterward with alcohol. – Bracconot.

LEU'CITE, n. [Gr. λευκος, white.]

A stony substance, so called from its whiteness, found among volcanic productions in Italy, in crystals, or in irregular masses; formerly called crystals of white shorl, or white granite or granilite. – Dict. Nat. Hist. Häuy calls this mineral, amphigene. It is called by some writers leucolite, and by others, dodecahedral zeolite.

LEU-CO-E-THI-OP'IC, a. [Gr. λευκος, white, and αεθιοψ, black.]

White and black; designating a white animal of a black species, or the albino of the negro race. – Lawrence.

LEU-CO-PHLEG'MA-CY, n. [Gr. λευκος, white, and φλεγμα, phlegm.]

A dropsical habit of body, or the commencement of anasarca; paleness, with viscid juices and cold sweats. – Coxe. Parr. Arbuthnot.