Main definitions of left in English

: left1left2

left1

adjective

  • 1On, towards, or relating to the side of a human body or of a thing which is to the west when the person or thing is facing north:

    ‘her left eye’
    ‘the left side of the road’
    • ‘He fell off of me, and as he got up I punched him square on the side of his left eye.’
    • ‘Take your right leg, bend it and pull the knee over towards the floor next to your left side.’
    • ‘She was the victim of another stroke last March which affected the left side of her body and impaired her vision.’
    • ‘The patient was a sturdy young man with an abscess on the outer side of his left thigh.’
    • ‘In his right hand he grasped his sheathed sword, and his left arm he held close to his body.’
    • ‘I reached out with my left arm, towards the window and gently rested my hand upon it.’
    • ‘He dismounted on the left side, and his leather boots gave a loud thud when they hit the ground.’
    • ‘He placed the sharp edge against his left cheek, just below his eye but didn't make a cut.’
    • ‘There is a cluster of small, neat circular wounds on both sides of his left knee.’
    • ‘Bandages covered the left side of his face and his left arm, which lay atop the blankets.’
    • ‘He has been left with slurred speech, and the left side of his body is weak after his brain was damaged.’
    • ‘It veers slightly to one side, so I end up with my left shoulder aching after a while of constantly having to correct it.’
    • ‘Another shot had hit her in the left knee, and this bullet also remained in her body.’
    • ‘She could only extend her left arm for nine inches sideways from her body.’
    • ‘I'm slowly coming to realise that the left side of my body is far superior to my right side.’
    • ‘I laugh at her, pull my clothes towards me and then glance at the Rolex adorning my left wrist.’
    • ‘Whenever I am extremely stressed, I suffer from an infection on the side of my left foot.’
    • ‘King testified that the angles of impact were on the left side of the body and the right side of the head.’
    • ‘He still has difficulty using his left-hand side and has a splint on his left ankle.’
    • ‘Language only grounds itself in the left side of the brain as we move towards adulthood.’
    left-hand, sinistral, at nine o'clock
    port
    larboard
    sinister
    View synonyms
  • 2Relating to a person or group favouring radical, reforming, or socialist views:

    ‘Left politics’
    ‘left periodicals such as Marxism Today’
    • ‘It is clearly time for a realignment of left politics as there is no chance of reclaiming the Labour Party now.’
    • ‘The large left vote in the elections shows that it can still be an independent force in Indian politics.’
    • ‘The Green Party leadership appear to believe that the left vote is theirs by right.’
    • ‘Some people think that it's the time to create a left alternative outside the Labour Party.’
    • ‘In the absence of a real left alternative, the working class had to choose between one devil and another.’
    • ‘The existence of Respect has begun to create a left alternative to New Labour.’
    • ‘The solution which the left cabinets proposed for the railway question is emblematic of the new regime.’
    • ‘Now that this perspective has so obviously failed, the left groups have little to say.’
    • ‘The crowd was solidly left and markedly anarchist and Marxist for the most part it seems.’
    • ‘The best thing that could happen is left unity - for all the small left parties to unite.’
    • ‘Together, we could have seriously eroded New Labour's hegemony on the left vote.’
    • ‘But there is also a much wider necessity to put forward a viable left alternative to Labour.’
    • ‘The Respect coalition has shown people are willing to vote for a left alternative.’
    • ‘There has been no real fight against the Le Pen vote organised by the dominant left parties.’
    • ‘The left union leaders should issue a call for action in our workplaces for peace on 1 May.’
    • ‘Instead we have seen the election of left leaders who have called openly for solidarity action.’
    • ‘If a left platform had come out of the election with anything like that it would have been a sensation.’
    • ‘Wills has been forced into adopting a more left posture to defend his parliamentary position.’
    • ‘This is less than the combined share of the smaller left parties in the first round.’
    • ‘A united left campaign to rebuild the union at school level is urgently needed.’

adverb

  • On or to the left side:

    ‘turn left here’
    ‘keep left’
    • ‘Leave the ticket office and pass in front of the main house, turning left at the far side.’
    • ‘Continue to the main road, turn left and then right at a junction with the B6365.’
    • ‘The third incident was when I hit the side of a bus that was turning left near a blind corner.’
    • ‘Silverdale train station can be reached by going left at this road junction.’
    • ‘Follow the lane and at the next road junction bear left to another junction of lanes.’

noun

  • 1the leftThe left-hand part, side, or direction:

    ‘turn to the left’
    ‘the general sat to his left’
    • ‘He was sitting on my left while Tyson sat on my right holding a bag of ice on his black eye.’
    • ‘To my left were a weight bench and a long horizontal bar that was built into the wall.’
    • ‘There were only a few seats left, and one of them was the place directly to the left of him.’
    • ‘They claim she began to lose weight and leaned badly to the left when sitting in a chair.’
    • ‘Follow the path over a ladder stile that leads in front of the farmhouse then cross the stile to the left by a gate after the house.’
    • ‘They were in a small room with a table to the right side, and a small window to the left.’
    • ‘She turned her eyes directly to the left when she saw a flicker of light from the barn.’
    • ‘To the left of this is Israel and the West Bank; to the right is the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.’
    • ‘That's the museum building on the left and the reading room on the right.’
    • ‘Because far more people look at departure boards than arrival boards, it is normal to put departures on the left.’
    • ‘Our road took us along this western side with the sandy belt on our left.’
    • ‘There was another subdivision on her right side, and a good sized church on her left.’
    • ‘A truck passed them on the left going the opposite direction, with Jared at the wheel.’
    • ‘There is a small bar area to the left as you walk inside and then the main dining room to the right.’
    • ‘And it must have been coincidence that I happened to be walking on the left when he'd passed.’
    • ‘Cross over to the left hand side and the canal can be reached on the left via a series of wooden steps.’
    • ‘Swing left here and follow the path under pylons with the wall on the left.’
    • ‘She looks at him, shakes her head, and moves slightly to the left so she's standing in front of the other bank of tills.’
    • ‘This climbs gradually on to the high plateau north of Bynack Mor and swings gently to the left of the mountain.’
    • ‘He was now lying to the side, but he had one arm to my left, and the other to my right.’
    1. 1.1 (in football or a similar sport) the left-hand half of the field when facing the opponents' goal:
      ‘a free kick from the left’
      • ‘Villa gained possession and advanced into the penalty area to the left of goal.’
      • ‘Celtic go on a rare foray outside their own half and win a free-kick just to the left of the Milan box.’
      • ‘Brian Flynn made a great burst down the left with a goal very much on his mind.’
      • ‘Another charge was cut short illegally by a tug from Barker five yards to the left of the penalty area.’
      • ‘Del Piero, who's had a quiet game, expertly cuts in from the left and goes for goal.’
    2. 1.2 The left wing of an army:
      ‘a token attack on the Russian left’
    3. 1.3 A left turn:
      ‘take a left here’
      • ‘There are six rights and eight lefts, and the main straight is only 650m, so it will be quite demanding.’
      • ‘I knew Lake Forest well enough to envision where I was going by the lefts and rights we took but I lost track once we made the fifth turn.’
      • ‘Make a right, and two lefts, than another right.’
      • ‘Take two lefts, then a right past Venice and you're there.’
      • ‘‘Then make two lefts and I'm the ranch house with the blue shutters,’ he explained.’
      • ‘After doing right turns and lefts until I lost count, I came to a huge oak brown door and knocked on it.’
      • ‘She went down the stairs with me trailing along while telling me a few things I needed to remember, turned a few lefts and rights until I didn't know where I was, and finally stopped at a large door.’
    4. 1.4 A road, entrance, etc. on the left:
      ‘my road's the first left’
    5. 1.5 A person's left fist, especially a boxer's:
      ‘a dazzler with the left’
    6. 1.6 A blow given with the left fist:
      ‘a left to the body’
      • ‘A right hand and a succession of lefts hurt Carey again in the third.’
      • ‘He was a tough opponent and he caught me with a few big lefts.’
      • ‘Although O'Malley continued to come forward McLeod delivered all of the important shots, hitting him with rights and lefts.’
      • ‘However, he pulled himself together and near corners scored frequently with well-placed lefts to the nose, drawing blood.’
      • ‘Hunt KOs Jerome, with a flurry of lefts and rights, polished off by a right hook to the head that tracks him down to the mat.’
  • 2[treated as singular or plural] A group or party favouring radical, reforming, or socialist views:

    ‘the Left is preparing to fight presidential elections’
    ‘he is on the left of the party’
    • ‘The parties of the Left and of the Right are in conflict because they both aim at supreme power.’
    • ‘In the broader picture, does this contention imply that America needs a credible party of the Left?’
    • ‘The cover, then as now, was a moral imperialist fantasy that appealed to parts of the Left.’
    • ‘It is against this background that a recomposition and realignment of the Left is taking place.’
    • ‘This would be the time for the Left to unite and lay the basis for the party that Argentinian workers need.’
    • ‘It is of course the Right who regard the Left as little more than empty slogans and iconography.’
    • ‘That experience in Scotland has directly led to the rebuilding of the Left in England.’
    • ‘The Left has much in common with the radicals in the Green movement and wants to work with them.’
    • ‘One is never enough because the Left is going to distort the facts just as much as the Right.’
    • ‘Radical feminism emerged from the Left and brought left-wing values of equality to women.’
    • ‘From this point of view the change in the vote for the radical Left is extremely significant.’
    • ‘A key element in this process will be the capacity of the Argentinian Left to overcome its divisions.’
    • ‘Serge clearly still saw himself as an active member of the anti-Stalinist Left.’
    • ‘That a common approach on all the central questions was agreed is significant for the Left in Europe.’
    • ‘The radical Left will need better representation than Ralph Nader at the next election.’
    • ‘The national question is not a problem for the Left; it is a problem for the British ruling class.’
    • ‘We have built a great movement, whose social weight resonates well beyond the borders of the Left.’
    • ‘The Left's place, in this conception, is clearly on the side of the victims of the imperial power.’
    • ‘The book is littered with one-liners and anecdotes that will be familiar to activists on the Left.’
    • ‘Critics of America are not, in any case, drawn exclusively from the pacifist Left.’

Origin

Old English lyft, left ‘weak’ (the left-hand side being regarded as the weaker side of the body), of West Germanic origin.

Pronunciation:

left

/lɛft/

Main definitions of left in English

: left1left2

left2

  • past and past participle of leave

Pronunciation:

left

/lɛft/