lair

\ \ [OE] Etymologically a lair is a place where you ‘lie’ down. For it comes ultimately from the same Germanic base, *leg-, as produced English lie. In Old English it had a range of meanings, from ‘bed’ to ‘grave’, which are now defunct, and the modern sense ‘place where an animal lives’ did not emerge until the 15th century.
\ \ Related Germanic forms show different patterns of semantic development: Dutch leger, for instance, means ‘bed’ and ‘camp’ (it has given English beleaguer [16] and, via Afrikaans, laager [19]) and German lager (source of English lager) means ‘bed’, ‘camp’, and ‘storeroom’. Layer in the sense ‘stratum’ [17] (which to begin with was a culinary term) may have originated as a variant of lair.
\ \ Cf.BELEAGUER, LAAGER, LAGER, LAY, LAYER, LIE

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

Synonyms:
(of a beast),


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Lair — (l[^a]r), n. [OE. leir, AS. leger; akin to D. leger, G. lager couch, lair, OHG. legar, Goth. ligrs, and to E. lie. See {Lie} to be prostrate, and cf. {Layer}, {Leaguer}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A place in which to lie or rest; especially, the bed or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Lair — Nom fréquent en Normandie (50, 76, 14), également porté dans la Sarthe. Sans doute celui qui est originaire d un lieu dit Lair, toponyme fréquent dans la Manche (c est le nom d une rivière et de hameaux situés sur cette rivière) et dans plusieurs …   Noms de famille

  • lair — [leə US ler] n [: Old English; Origin: leger act of lying, bed ] 1.) the place where a wild animal hides and sleeps = ↑den 2.) a place where you go to hide or to be alone = ↑den ▪ a smuggler s lair …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • lair — [ ler ] noun count 1. ) a place where a wild animal lives: a wolf s lair 2. ) a place where you can be alone and feel safe 3. ) INFORMAL the room or home of a frightening or dangerous person …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • lair — O.E. leger bed, couch, grave; act or place of lying down, from P.Gmc. *legraz (Cf. O.N. legr grave, also nuptials ( a lying down ); O.Fris. leger situation, O.S. legar bed, M.Du. legher act or place of lying down, Du. leger bed, ca …   Etymology dictionary

  • lair — [ler] n. [ME lier < OE leger, lit., lying place, hence bed, couch (in Du, a camp) < Gmc base (* leg ) of licgan, to LIE1] 1. a bed or resting place of a wild animal; den 2. any place of refuge or for hiding vi. to go to, rest in, or have a… …   English World dictionary

  • lair — [n] hideout, habitat burrow, cave, den, earth, form, hideaway, hole, nest, pen, refuge, resting place, retreat, sanctuary; concept 515 …   New thesaurus

  • lair — ► NOUN 1) a wild animal s resting place. 2) a person s hiding place or den. ORIGIN Old English, related to LIE(Cf. ↑lie) …   English terms dictionary

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