Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A chain, rope, or strap attached to the collar or harness of an animal, especially a dog, and used to lead it or hold it in check.
  • n. Control or restraint: emotions kept in leash.
  • n. A set of three animals, such as hounds.
  • n. A set of three.
  • transitive v. To restrain with or as if with a leash.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A strap, cord or rope with which to restrain an animal, often a dog.
  • n. A brace and a half; a tierce.
  • n. A set of three; three creatures of any kind, especially greyhounds, foxes, bucks, and hares; hence, the number three in general.
  • n. A string with a loop at the end for lifting warp threads, in a loom.
  • n. A leg rope.
  • v. To fasten or secure with a leash.
  • v. to curb, restrain

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A thong of leather, or a long cord, by which a person may hold or restrain an animal, such as a falconer holding his hawk, or a courser his dog. For dogs and cats, the leash is commonly attached to a collar around the neck of the animal.
  • n. A brace and a half; a tierce; three; three creatures of any kind, especially greyhounds, foxes, bucks, and hares; hence, the number three in general.
  • n. A string with a loop at the end for lifting warp threads, in a loom.
  • transitive v. To tie together, or hold, with a leash.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bind or secure by a leash.
  • n. A band, lace, or thong; a snare.
  • n. Especially— The line used to hold hounds or coursing-dogs until the time comes to set them on the game.
  • n. A pack of hounds.
  • n. A light line used to give the falcon a short flight without releasing her altogether. It is secured to the varvels on the bird's ankle.
  • n. Among sportsmen, a brace and a half; three creatures of any kind, especially greyhounds, foxes, bucks, or hares; hence, three things in general.
  • n. In weaving, one of the threads, cords, or wires extending between the parallel bars or shafts of the heddles and having a loop or eye in the middle for the reception of a warp-thread. See heddle.
  • n. In physiology, an aggregation of similar cord-like structures, such as fibers, nerves, blood-vessels, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. restraint consisting of a rope (or light chain) used to restrain an animal
  • n. a figurative restraint
  • v. fasten with a rope
  • n. the cardinal number that is the sum of one and one and one

Etymologies

Middle English lees, lesh, from Old French laisse, from laissier, to let go; see lease.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English leesshe, leysche, lesshe, a variant of more original lease, from Middle English lees, leese, leece, lese, from Old French lesse (modern French laisse), from Latin laxa ("thong, a loose cord"), feminine form of laxus ("loose"); compare lax. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • "Among sportsmen, a brace and a half; three creatures of any kind, especially greyhounds, foxes, bucks, or hares; hence, three things in general."

    --Cent. Dict.

    August 13, 2012