from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An association of states, organizations, or individuals for common action; an alliance.
  • noun Sports An association of teams or clubs that compete chiefly among themselves.
  • noun A class or level of competition.
  • intransitive verb To come together in or as if in a league.
  • intransitive verb To bring together in or as if in a league.
  • noun A unit of distance equal to 3.0 statute miles (4.8 kilometers).
  • noun Any of various other units of about the same length.
  • noun A square league.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A compact or covenant between persons for the maintenance of joint interests or mutual service; hence, union; close affinity; friendship.
  • noun Specifically A political or military confederation; a covenanted alliance or coalition, as of persons or parties in a state, or more commonly of the ruling powers of different states, for the promotion of common objects or interests; a compact for mutual aid and support in public policy or war: as, the Hanseatic League; the Holy League in France; the league of Schmalkald.
  • noun A combination of different associations or bodies of persons for the promotion of common purposes: as, a base-ball league.
  • noun Synonyms Confederacy, Coalition, etc. (see alliance), society, federation, association, fraternity.
  • To form a league; join in friendship or interest; combine for mutual support; confederate.
  • To combine; band; confederate.
  • noun An itinerary unit not now in English use, except as a marine league. (See below.)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A measure of length or distance, varying in different countries from about 2.4 to 4.6 English statute miles of 5,280 feet each, and used (as a land measure) chiefly on the continent of Europe, and in the Spanish parts of America. The marine league of England and the United States is equal to three marine, or geographical, miles of 6080 feet each.
  • noun obsolete A stone erected near a public road to mark the distance of a league.
  • noun An alliance or combination of two or more nations, parties, organizations, or persons, for the accomplishment of a purpose which requires a continued course of action, as for mutual defense, or for furtherance of commercial, religious, or political interests, etc.
  • noun (Sports) An association of sports teams that establishes rules of play, decides questions of membership in the league, and organizes matches between the member teams. In some cases a sports league is called a conference, as in the National Football Conference.
  • noun an alliance of Roman Catholics formed in 1576 by influence of the Duke of Guise for the exclusion of Protestants from the throne of France.
  • noun See Covenant,2.
  • noun an association, organized in Dublin in 1879, to promote the interests of the Irish tenantry, its avowed objects being to secure fixity of tenure, fair rent, and free sale of the tenants' interest. It was declared illegal by Parliament, but vigorous prosecutions have failed to suppress it.
  • transitive verb To join in a league; to cause to combine for a joint purpose; to combine; to unite.
  • intransitive verb To unite in a league or confederacy; to combine for mutual support; to confederate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun measurement The distance that a person can walk in one hour, commonly taken to be approximately three English miles (about five kilometers).
  • noun A group or association of cooperating members.
  • noun An organization of sports teams which play against one another for a championship.
  • verb To form an association.

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

  • noun an association of states or organizations or individuals for common action
  • verb unite to form a league
  • noun an obsolete unit of distance of variable length (usually 3 miles)
  • noun an association of sports teams that organizes matches for its members


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

[Alteration (influenced by Italian lega) of Middle English liege, from Old French ligue, from Medieval Latin liga and from Old Italian lega, liga (from legare, to bind), both from Latin ligāre, to bind; see leig- in Indo-European roots.]

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

[Middle English lege, from Old French liue, leguee, from Latin leuga, a measure of distance, of Gaulish origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Late Latin leuga, possibly from Gaulish or Celtic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English ligg, from Middle French ligue, from Italian lega, from the verb legare, from Latin ligō ("to tie").


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  • League your fortunes with those of a man who would follow you in prosperity or in adversity through the world.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 7 ch. 7

    September 30, 2008

  • League, in its meaning of an association, is derived from Latin ligo, ligare, to bind, as in people bound together.

    League, as a measure of distance, is derived from medieval Latin, leuga

    April 12, 2009