Definition of lee in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The sheltered side of something; the side away from the wind:

    ‘ducks were taking shelter on the lee of the island’
    Contrasted with weather
    • ‘You can normally tell the lee side from the windward side by looking for cornices.’
    • ‘I chose instead to fish the lee shore, hoping for a picture fish.’
    • ‘Canberra moved to the lee side of Christmas Island until the possible danger had passed.’
    • ‘I could see white caps in the channel, it was time to seek shelter on the lee shore.’
    • ‘The locals keep saying the lee side (the sunny side).’
    1. 1.1 Shelter from wind or weather given by an object:
      ‘he went round the front of the cab to be out of the wind and lit a cigarette in its lee’
      • ‘Suddenly, in the lee of a large dune, she spotted the glow of a campfire.’
      • ‘Choppy it was but as we got farther out into the lee of the outer islands the sea calmed considerably.’
      • ‘The pair had set up a tent in the lee of a dune.’
      • ‘A single vessel can moor in the lee of either island but it is not a comfortable place to stay.’
      • ‘The camp lies to the right in the lee of the cliff.’
      shelter, protection, cover, refuge, safety, security, sanctuary, haven, shield
      View synonyms


Old English hlēo, hlēow ‘shelter’, of Germanic origin; probably related to luke- in lukewarm.