Definitions

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

  • noun A location where male animals of the same species gather and often present displays and where females go to select a male to mate with.
  • noun A group of males gathered at such a place.
  • intransitive verb To have a mating system in which males form leks.
  • intransitive verb To participate in a lek.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • A dialectal variant of lake.
  • noun An assemblage of black cocks, Tetrao tetrix, during the pairing season, when the birds select their mates.

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

  • noun The currency unit of Albania, divided into 100 qindarka.
  • noun biology An aggregation of male animals for the purposes of courtship and display.
  • verb biology To take part in the courtship and display behaviour of a lek.
  • verb UK, dialect, Yorkshire, colloquial To play.

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

  • noun the basic unit of money in Albania

Etymologies

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

[Short for Swedish lekställe, playground, mating ground (as of black grouse) : lek, play, sport, mating; see fartlek + ställe, place.]

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

[Albanian, after Lek, Dukagjin, 15th-century Albanian feudal lord and lawgiver.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Germanic roots meaning "play". In the biology sense, it comes specifically from Swedish lek ("child's play") in 1871, by means of Swedish leka ("to play").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Albanian lek.

Examples

  • Lekking behavior, biologists call it, and the display site itself is known as a lek.

    The Song of The Dodo

  • Lekking behavior, biologists call it, and the display site itself is known as a lek.

    The Song of The Dodo

  • I have no doubt the two party crashers at my lek were the same two I had flushed off their pole four miles back.

    grouse Diary Entry

  • Fortunately we were off to finally check Scottys Peak lek, which is only about a dozen miles from town.

    grouse Diary Entry

  • In ornithology, a lek is a pocket of forest where male birds put on curious sexual displays.

    NYT > Home Page

  • The only known 'lek' mating system in any marine mammal in the world is observable amongst South Cove dugong.

    Shark Bay, Australia

  • (It wasn't until I was parked at the second new lek, which is actually the first new lek, that I remember one if the reasons I bought this Olympus camera is because it can use regular alkaline batteries.

    grouse Diary Entry

  • "The female Twi'lek's voice was tinged with just a touch of cynicism.

    The Cat is a Metaphor

  • We did not find the lek but discovered some beautiful natural outcrops of rock and juniper, and raced from one to the next, proclaiming each rock-and-tree arrangement more handsome than the last.

    Bird Cloud

  • We did not find the lek but discovered some beautiful natural outcrops of rock and juniper, and raced from one to the next, proclaiming each rock-and-tree arrangement more handsome than the last.

    Bird Cloud

Comments

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  • A traditional place where males assemble during the mating season and engage in competitive displays that attract females.

    Oh, I forgot to say "birds." Male birds. ;->

    October 13, 2007

  • Haha, how could the dictionary leave that part out?

    October 13, 2007

  • Also the currency of Albania (I think).

    October 13, 2007

  • Yes, see its presence on my Filthy Stinking Rich list.

    October 13, 2007

  • They must need an editor, uselessness.

    Yes, it is Albanian currency, but that should never be used to buy a girl bird a drink. Unless, of course, you're in Albania.

    October 13, 2007

  • *holding head*

    October 13, 2007

  • Errrr - certain ungulates and I think some bats use leks as well...

    October 13, 2007

  • True, trivet. But they probably have more fun at the bars.

    October 13, 2007

  • ...showing off to the opposite sex in groups is a strategy used by many animals (it is known as lekking).

    - "Why Music?", The Economist, vol. 389 no. 8611, p. 42

    December 24, 2008

  • Sorry darling, you're out of lek.

    October 22, 2009