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

  • n. A series of names, words, or other items written, printed, or imagined one after the other: a shopping list; a guest list; a list of things to do.
  • n. A considerable number; a long series: recited a list of dates memorized.
  • transitive v. To make a list of; itemize: listed his previous jobs.
  • transitive v. To enter in a list; register: listed each item received.
  • transitive v. To put (oneself) in a specific category: lists herself as an artist.
  • transitive v. Archaic To recruit.
  • intransitive v. To have a stated list price: a radio that lists for ten dollars over the sale price.
  • intransitive v. Archaic To enlist in the armed forces.
  • n. A narrow strip, especially of wood.
  • n. Architecture See listel.
  • n. A border or selvage of cloth.
  • n. A stripe or band of color.
  • n. An arena for jousting tournaments or other contests. Often used in the plural.
  • n. A place of combat.
  • n. An area of controversy.
  • n. A ridge thrown up between two furrows by a lister in plowing.
  • n. Obsolete A boundary; a border.
  • transitive v. To cover, line, or edge with list.
  • transitive v. To cut a thin strip from the edge of.
  • transitive v. To furrow or plant (land) with a lister.
  • n. An inclination to one side, as of a ship; a tilt.
  • transitive v. To lean or cause to lean to the side: The damaged ship listed badly to starboard. Erosion first listed, then toppled the spruce tree.
  • transitive v. Archaic To listen or listen to.
  • transitive v. To be pleasing to; suit.
  • intransitive v. To be disposed; choose.
  • n. A desire or an inclination.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A strip of fabric, especially from the edge of a piece of cloth.
  • n. Material used for cloth selvage.
  • n. The palisades or barriers used to fence off a space for tilting or jousting tournaments.
  • n. A codified representation of a list, used to store data or in processing; especially, in the LISP programming language, a data structure consisting of a sequence of zero or more items.
  • v. To create or recite a list.
  • v. To place in listings.
  • v. To engage in public service by enrolling one's name; to enlist.
  • n. Art; craft; cunning; skill.
  • n. a tilting or careening manoeuvre, which causes the ship to roll. Usually used to describe tilting not under a ship's own power.
  • n. a tilt to a building.
  • v. to carry out such a manoeuvre
  • v. To listen
  • v. To be pleasing to.
  • v. To wish, like, desire (to do something).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A line inclosing or forming the extremity of a piece of ground, or field of combat; hence, in the plural (lists), the ground or field inclosed for a race or combat.
  • n. Inclination; desire.
  • n. An inclination to one side.
  • n. A strip forming the woven border or selvedge of cloth, particularly of broadcloth, and serving to strengthen it; hence, a strip of cloth; a fillet.
  • n. A limit or boundary; a border.
  • n. The lobe of the ear; the ear itself.
  • n. A stripe.
  • n. A roll or catalogue, that is, row or line; a record of names
  • n. A little square molding; a fillet; -- called also listel.
  • n. A narrow strip of wood, esp. sapwood, cut from the edge of a plank or board.
  • n. A piece of woolen cloth with which the yarns are grasped by a workman.
  • n.
  • n. The first thin coat of tin.
  • n. A wirelike rim of tin left on an edge of the plate after it is coated.
  • intransitive v. To hearken; to attend; to listen.
  • intransitive v. To desire or choose; to please.
  • intransitive v. To lean; to incline.
  • intransitive v. To engage in public service by enrolling one's name; to enlist.
  • transitive v. To inclose for combat.
  • transitive v. To listen or hearken to.
  • transitive v. To sew together, as strips of cloth, so as to make a show of colors, or form a border.
  • transitive v. To cover with list, or with strips of cloth; to put list on; ; to stripe as if with list.
  • transitive v. To enroll; to place or register in a list.
  • transitive v. To engage, as a soldier; to enlist.
  • transitive v. To cut away a narrow strip, as of sapwood, from the edge of.
  • transitive v. To plow and plant with a lister.
  • transitive v. In cotton culture, to prepare, as land, for the crop by making alternating beds and alleys with the hoe.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To attend; give heed; harken; listen.
  • To listen or harken to.
  • To please; be agreeable to; gratify; suit: originally impersonal, with indirect object of the person.
  • Nautical, to cause to incline or lean to one side; cause to careen or heel over, as a ship by force of a side wind or by unequal stowage of cargo, etc.
  • To be disposed or inclined; wish; choose; like; please: with a personal subject: absolute, or followed by an infinitive with to.
  • Nautical, to incline to one side or careen: as, the ship listed to starboard.
  • n. The outer edge of anything; a border, limit, or boundary.
  • n. The border or edge of cloth, forming the selvage, and usually different from the rest of the fabric; also, such borders collectively. This, which is torn or cut off when the cloth is made up, is used for many purposes requiring a cheap material.
  • n. Hence Any strip of cloth; a fillet; a stripe of any kind.
  • n. The lobe of the ear; also, the ear itself.
  • n. In architecture, a square molding; a fillet. Also called listel.
  • n. In carpentry:
  • n. A narrow strip from the edge of a plank.
  • n. The upper rail of a railing.
  • n. A woolen flap used by ropemakers as a guard for the hand.
  • n. In tinning iron plates, a thin coat of tin applied preparatory to a thicker coat.
  • n. A close dense streak in heavy bread.
  • n. A ridge of earth thrown up by a double-moldboard plow, as in cultivating Indian corn.
  • Made of lists or strips of woolen selvage; made of list: as, list carpet.
  • To border; edge. See list, n., 1.
  • To sew or put together, as strips of cloth, so as to make a variegated display of color, or to form a border.
  • To cover with list, or with lists or strips of cloth: as, to list a door; hence, to mark as if with list; streak.
  • In carpentry, to take off the edge of, as a board; shape by chopping preparatory to finishing, as a block or stave.
  • To ridge with raised borders of earth, as rows of Indian corn, by throwing up a furrow on each side with a double-moldboard plow.
  • In cotton-culture, to prepare for the crop (as land) by making a bed with the hoe, and alternating beds with alleys.
  • To put into a list or catalogue; register; enroll.
  • Specifically To register the name of as a soldier; muster into the public service as a soldier; enlist: in this sense partly by apheresis from enlist.
  • To enter for taxation, as property of any kind, upon the assessment-roll or a tax-book.
  • To enter the public service by enrolling one's name; enlist: in this use partly by apheresis from enlist.
  • To inclose for a tournament, or for any contest: used especially in the past participle.
  • n. The sense of hearing.
  • n. An attitude of attention.
  • n. Desire; wish; choice; inclination.
  • n. Pleasure; lust.
  • n. Nautical, a careening or leaning to one side: as, the ship has a list to port.
  • n. Cunning; craft; skill.
  • n. A roll or catalogue; an enumeration of persons or things by their names: as, a list of officers or members of a society; a list of books or of clothing.
  • n. A book, card, or slip of paper containing a series of names of persons or things, or prepared for the noting of such names: as, a visiting-list; a washing-list.
  • n. Specifically— A list of the articles exempt from duty under existing revenue laws.
  • n. A list of persons allowed free admittance to any public entertainment.
  • n. Synonyms List, Roll, Register, Catalogue, Inventory, Schedule. Roll applies only to persons, inventory and schedule only to things; the rest apply to both. List is much the most general. A list may be merely of names, without description or order, as a list of shops, a list of persons proscribed. Roll differs from list only in limitation to persons and in faint suggestion of its original meaning of a rolled-up paper or parchment. Register suggests an official act of some formality and fullness of detail, perhaps according to a legal or customary form: as, a register of voters, of marriages, or of deaths. Catalogue supposes orderly arrangement and some fullness of description: as, a catalogue of the paintings in a gallery, of the specimens in a museum, of the books in a library, or of the students in a college. An inventory is a list of property, generally with prices or values, made for legal or business purposes, as on a dissolution of partnership. A schedule is a list of things, made for any purpose, and showing what they are both in a general view and in some detail: as, a schedule of studies, or of assets.
  • n. One of the barriers inclosing the field of combat at a tournament; usually, in the plural (rarely in the singular), the space or field thus inclosed: now mostly used figuratively: as, to enter the lists in behalf of one's principles.
  • n. The flank.
  • n. A division or lock of the hair or beard.

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

  • n. a database containing an ordered array of items (names or topics)
  • n. the property possessed by a line or surface that departs from the vertical
  • v. tilt to one side
  • v. cause to lean to the side
  • v. include in a list
  • v. enumerate
  • v. give or make a list of; name individually; give the names of


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

French liste, from Old French, from Old Italian lista, of Germanic origin.
Middle English, from Old English līste.
Origin unknown.
Middle English listen, from Old English hlystan; see kleu- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English listen, to desire, please, from Old English lystan; see las- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English līste "hem, edge, strip", from Proto-Germanic *līstōn. Cognate with Dutch lijst, German Leiste, Icelandic lista/listi.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English liste, from Old English list ("art, cleverness, cunning, experience, skill, craft"), from Proto-Germanic *listiz (“craft, art”), from Proto-Indo-European *leys-, *leyǝs- (“track, furrow, trace, trail”). Cognate with Scots list ("art, skill, craft, cunning"), Eastern Frisian list ("cunning, knowledge"), Dutch list ("ruse, strategem, guile, artifice, sleight"), Low German list ("wisdom, prudence, cunning, artifice"), German List ("cunning, ruse, trick, guile, ploy"), Swedish list ("cunning, art, trick, ruse, wile, guile, stealth"), Icelandic list ("art"). Related to lore, lere, learn.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From listen

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Possibly from tilting on lists in jousts.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English lystan, from Proto-Germanic *lustijanan, from Proto-Germanic *lustuz (“pleasure”). Akin to Old Norse lysta (whence cognate with Danish and Norwegian lyste), Old High German lusten (German gelüsten and obsolete lüsten).



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  • Wikipedia's List of lists of lists

    February 3, 2012

  • I wasn't familiar with "list" in the sense of "a strip of cloth" until now:

    "Speaking of Rabelaisian lists, A said, the list (using the word in its sartorial sense) with the most historical and mythical weight here is the one the Citizen is wearing, in its epic-parodic transposition.

    The row of stones hanging from his belt, B recalled, on which are carved the figures of numerous heroes and historical characters."

    The House of Ulysses by Julián Ríos, translated by Nick Caistor, p 164

    December 26, 2010

  • Vikram Seth, in his virtuosic novel in verse The Golden Gate, at one point refers to unsophisticated people mingling with others who have more refined tastes: "Thus the young yahoos coexist / With those who list to list to Liszt." The first "list" is being used in the archaic sense of "have an inclination for" (which seems similar to the nautical sense of the word, though my Oxford American doesn't connect the two meanings).

    August 26, 2008

  • Love that website. :-)

    August 26, 2008

  • I love this list of lists.

    August 26, 2008

  • I bought a book of Eno's diaries from a woman on the sidewalk a couple of weeks back. I'm dipping into them in parallel with Kafka's diaries and the combination is hilarious.

    Edit: on topic, I like the sense of "to lean over", e.g. of a ship or even better, the imperative for "listen" c.f. Hamlet.

    October 19, 2007

  • Make an exhaustive list of everything you might do and do the last thing on the list

    from Oblique Strategies, Brian Eno

    October 19, 2007