Definition of leather in English:


Line breaks: lea¦ther
Pronunciation: /ˈlɛðə


  • 1 [mass noun] A material made from the skin of an animal by tanning or a similar process: [as modifier]: a leather jacket
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    • The production of leather from animal hides was a time consuming and dreadfully smelly process.
    • Today, machines trim and cut the thickness and polish the leather.
    • She wore what was then the fashion for women, a leather one piece outfit with detachable sleeves and pant legs.
  • 1.1 (leathers) Leather clothes, especially those worn by a motorcyclist: he was dressed head to toe in black leathers
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    • Structured leathers and neoprene coats contrast with stretch mohair and fine cobweb knits to present a soft-military look.
    • She has taken a tumble before, but the compulsory crash helmet, leathers and gloves prevented injuries.
    • Maybe we need to find out a way to get Thrasher shirts over our leathers and then we will have a chance.
  • 2A piece of leather as a polishing cloth.
  • 3 short for stirrup leather.
    More example sentences
    • With a round to go of the 4190-metre journey, the leathers holding her right stirrup iron came loose and dangled under the horse's belly for almost 2000m.
    • Strap leathers are common and inspired from English saddles.
    • She was reluctant to leave but headed off into the darkness, reins fastened to the saddle and stirrups run up the leathers.


[with object] informal , chiefly British Back to top  
  • 1Beat or thrash (someone): he caught me and leathered me black and blue (as noun leathering) go, before you get a leathering
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    • I only had the knife to scare him in case he got me and gave me a leathering.
    • I got him down and I was going to leather him.
    • Despite being unable to breathe properly or see clearly, Arthur then absolutely leathered his Polish quarter-final opponent.
    beat, strap, belt, thrash, flog, whip, lash, scourge, horsewhip, birch, cane, strike, hit, clout, batter, spank
    informal wallop, whack, tan someone's hide, give someone a (good) hiding, lather
  • 1.1Strike or kick (a ball) very hard: Carlos took his customary 20-metre sprint up to the ball and leathered it
    More example sentences
    • We had a howling gale at our backs in the first half and we decided to show everybody how we could play football instead of leathering it down the other end.
    • Deep in the heart of the fourth set, Ferrero drew himself up to his full height and started leathering that forehand again.
    • Even in that third set, Sharapova was leathering winners from impossible situations and simply refusing to go away.


Old English lether, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch leer and German Leder, from an Indo-European root shared by Irish leathar and Welsh lledr.

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elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody