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

  • noun Nautical The side away from the direction from which the wind blows.
  • noun An area sheltered from the wind.
  • noun Cover; shelter.
  • adjective Nautical Of or relating to the side sheltered from the wind.
  • adjective Located in or facing the path of an oncoming glacier. Used of a geologic formation.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A dialectal (Scotch) form of lie.
  • noun In geology, the side of a ledge of rocks which is turned away from the approach of an eroding agent, such as a glacier. The other side is the stoss or shock side.
  • noun The grosser part of any liquor which has settled on the bottom of a vessel; dregs; sediment: as, the lees of wine: usually in the plural, lees, which is sometimes treated as a singular.
  • noun An obsolete or dialectal form of lye.
  • noun Shelter.
  • noun The quarter toward which the wind blows, as opposed to that from which it proceeds; also, the shelter afforded by an object interposed which keeps off the wind: almost exclusively a nautical term.
  • Nautical, of or pertaining to the part or side toward which the wind blows, or which is sheltered from the wind: opposed to weather: as, the lee side of a vessel.
  • Lonely.
  • noun An obsolete form of lea.

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

  • noun A sheltered place; esp., a place protected from the wind by some object; the side sheltered from the wind; shelter; protection.
  • noun (Naut.) That part of the hemisphere, as one stands on shipboard, toward which the wind blows. See Lee, a.
  • noun See under By, and Bring.
  • noun on that side which is sheltered from the wind.
  • adjective (Naut.) Of or pertaining to the part or side opposite to that against which the wind blows; -- opposed to weather.
  • adjective (Naut.) See Gauge, n.
  • adjective the shore on the lee side of a vessel.
  • adjective a tide running in the same direction that the wind blows.
  • adjective directly to the leeward; in a line at right angles to the length of the vessel and to the leeward.
  • noun Lees occurs also as a form of the singular. That which settles at the bottom, as of a cask of liquor (esp. wine); sediment; dregs; -- used now only in the plural.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To lie; to speak falsely.

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

  • noun sailing A protected cove or harbor, out of the wind.
  • noun sailing The side of the ship away from the wind.

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

  • noun United States striptease artist who became famous on Broadway in the 1930s (1914-1970)
  • noun United States actor who was an expert in kung fu and starred in martial arts films (1941-1973)
  • noun soldier of the American Revolution (1756-1818)
  • noun American general who led the Confederate Armies in the American Civil War (1807-1870)
  • adjective towards the side away from the wind
  • noun leader of the American Revolution who proposed the resolution calling for independence of the American Colonies (1732-1794)
  • noun United States physicist (born in China) who collaborated with Yang Chen Ning in disproving the principle of conservation of parity (born in 1926)
  • noun the side of something that is sheltered from the wind
  • noun United States filmmaker whose works explore the richness of black culture in America (born in 1957)


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

[Middle English le, from Old English hlēo, shelter, protection; see kelə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English, from Old English hlēo(w) ("shelter, protection"), from Proto-Germanic *hliwan (compare German Lee ("lee"), lau ("lukewarm"), Swedish , Danish læ, Dutch lij), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱley- (compare Welsh clyd ("warm, cozy"), Latin calēre ("to warm up"), Lithuanian šiltas ("warm, pleasant"), Sanskrit शरद् (śarad, "autumn")).


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word lee.


  • Labels: alvin lee, i'm going home, music desk, ten years after, woodstock

    Archive 2008-11-01 2008

  • Matt you know what everyone else has said it for me spike lee is an arrogant jerk and he has milked the race card so many times. spike lee if you are reading this, shut the hell up.

    Quote: Don’t Put Spike Lee Next to Judd Apatow | /Film 2008

  • Labels: alvin lee, i'm going home, music desk, ten years after, woodstock

    Friday Music Desk: Ten Years After - I'm Going Home 2008

  • Spike lee is a racist idiot who makes boring terrible movies with the exception of he got game. judd apatow should be upset that spike lees name was even mentioned in the same breath as his. spike lee is about as good of a director as micheal bay and he looks like a slightly less retarded version of beetlejuice on the howard stern show

    Quote: Don’t Put Spike Lee Next to Judd Apatow | /Film 2008

  • Ai called Maus a chikkin shortlee befoar he asked fur teh danse.

    flying: - Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger? 2008

  • Actually you reversed the arguments, robert e lee is on your side of the argument.

    Think Progress » Rita Evacuation Exposes Class Divide 2005

  • A more promising story to note is that of a corruption of the word lee: for those working in the country, a place for relieving oneself was always chosen out of the bite of the wind, that is, in the lee.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XIX No 4 1993

  • If necessary, they may be baled into the hallway and permitted to escape by way of the stairs, which we may term the lee scuppers.

    Whirligigs O. Henry 1886

  • I have often enough been close to wars and rumours of wars, but was never in a regular sea-fight; and though I have also witnessed a few shipwrecks and disasters, I never was myself in much danger of what might be honestly called a lee shore; neither is it my good fortune to be able to recount, from personal knowledge, any scenes of hardship or suffering from hunger, cold, or any other misery.

    The Lieutenant and Commander Hall, Basil, 1788-1844 1862

  • The narrow shelf behind the seats has a neat sliding double cupholder and what yachties would call a lee-board - a little wall in front which stops loose items such as pens and calculators rolling off and getting lost behind the seats.

    Motoring 2009


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • He turned into Cumberland street and, going on some paces, halted in the lee of the station wall.

    Joyce, Ulysses, 5

    December 31, 2006

  • Leesburg International Airport.

    October 24, 2008