Definition of lees in US English:


plural noun

  • 1The sediment of wine in the barrel.

    • ‘But how do you sort the free-run juice from the lees?’
    • ‘A special building is used for the ageing of Milmanda, a Chardonnay wine fermented in small oak casks which spends a long period in contact with its own lees.’
    • ‘The title came about when the two owners tasted an experimental Chardonnay that had been left on the lees in barrels for some time.’
    • ‘These have long been used by the Champagne industry to seal bottles while they are aging on the lees.’
    • ‘The wine is aged on the lees in the bottle for about three years prior to disgorgement.’
    sediment, dregs, deposit, grounds, settlings, residue, remains, accumulation, silt, sludge
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The most worthless part or parts of something.
      ‘the lees of the Venetian underworld’


Late Middle English: plural of obsolete lee in the same sense, from Old French lie, from medieval Latin liae (plural), of Gaulish origin.