Definitions

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

  • noun A sweetheart; a lover.
  • noun A mistress.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who is dear; a person beloved.
  • noun A sweetheart of either sex; a gallant or a mistress: often in a bad sense; a paramour.

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

  • noun Archaic A sweetheart, of either sex; a gallant, or a mistress; -- usually in a bad sense.

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

  • noun archaic One beloved; a lover, a sweetheart of either sex (especially a secret lover, gallant, or mistress).
  • noun A paramour.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English leofman, lemman : leof, dear (from Old English lēof; see leubh- in Indo-European roots) + man, man; see man.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English lemman, from Middle English leofman, from Old English lēof +‎ mann, equivalent to lief +‎ man ("beloved person").

Examples

Comments

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

  • a sweetheart or lover; Middle English origin

    February 28, 2009

  • You say that she apples your eye,

    Your peach, your adored sweetie pie,

    But “leman,” though apt

    Will get your face slapped -

    Too bitter a fruit to apply.

    February 14, 2019