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L1 US English

The twelfth letter of the alphabet

L2 US English

(In tables of sports results) games lost

L New Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors

12th letter of the alphabet

fifty US English

The number equivalent to the product of five and ten; half of one hundred; 50

L in L1 US English

A shape like that of a capital L

L in fifty New Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors

hyphen in compound numbers, e.g. fifty-one; Roman numeral l or L

l US English

(Giving position or direction) left

l in L1 US English

The twelfth letter of the alphabet

liter US English

A metric unit of capacity, formerly defined as the volume of 1 kilogram of water under standard conditions, now equal to 1,000 cubic centimeters (about 1.75 pints)

l in liter US English

A metric unit of capacity, formerly defined as the volume of 1 kilogram of water under standard conditions, now equal to 1,000 cubic centimeters (about 1.75 pints)

l. in l US English

(In textual references) line

L. in L2 US English

Lake, Loch, or Lough (chiefly on maps)

leaf New Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors

single piece of paper; two pages back to back

Linnaeus New Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors

, Carolus (1707–78), Swedish founder of systematic botany and zoology; Latinized name of Carl von Linné

l in fifty New Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors

hyphen in compound numbers, e.g. fifty-one; Roman numeral l or L

L/C US English

Letter of credit

L/R US English

Left/right

P & L US English

Profit and loss account

S & L US English

Savings and loan

P & L New Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors

profit and loss (account)

L-dopa US English

The levorotatory form of dopa, used to treat Parkinson’s disease

L-word US English

Used in place of such words as “liberal,” “lesbian,” and “love,” in contexts where the word is regarded as having negative or taboo connotations

L-plate US English

A sign bearing the letter L, attached to the front and rear of a motor vehicle to indicate that it is being driven by a learner

L-plate New Oxford Dictionary for Writers & Editors

sign on a vehicle showing that the driver is a learner

L'Aquila US English

Italian name for Aquila.

L-driver US English

A learner driver

Lowry, L. S. US English

(1887–1976), English painter; full name Laurence Stephen Lowry. He painted small matchstick figures set against the iron and brick expanse of urban and industrial landscapes, settings provided by his life in Salford, near Manchester

Austin, J. L. US English

(1911–60), English philosopher; full name John Langshaw Austin. Notable works: Sense and Sensibilia and How to Do Things with Words (both 1962)

Baum, L. Frank US English

(1856–1919), US journalist and author; full name Lyman Frank Baum. His many children’s books include Father Goose: His Book (1899), The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), and other Oz books

Hartley, L. P. US English

(1895–1972), English novelist and short-story writer; full name Leslie Poles Hartley. Much of his work deals with memory and the effects of childhood experience on adult life and character. Notable novels: The Shrimp and the Anemone (1944) and The Go-Between (1953)

Mencken, H. L. US English

(1880–1956), US journalist and literary and social critic; full name Henry Louis Mencken. From 1908, he attacked the political and literary Establishment. In The American Language (1919) he opposed the dominance of European culture in the US, arguing for and establishing the study of American English in its own right

Pont l'Évêque US English

A kind of creamy soft cheese made originally at Pont l'Évêque in Normandy, France

trompe l'oeil US English

Visual illusion in art, especially as used to trick the eye into perceiving a painted detail as a three-dimensional object

Doctorow, E. L. US English

(1931-), US writer; full name Edgar Lawrence Doctorow. His novels include Ragtime (1975), Billy Bathgate (1989), The Waterworks (1994), and City of God (2000)

James, C. L. R. US English

(1901–89), Trinidadian historian, journalist, political theorist, and novelist; full name Cyril Lionel Robert James. After working as a cricket columnist he established a reputation as a historian with his study of the Haitian revolution, Black Jacobins (1938)

L'Engle, Madeleine US English

(1918–2007), US writer; full name Madeleine Camp L’Engle. She wrote mainly children’s fiction, including A Wrinkle in Time (1962), the first of a quartet that also included A Wind in the Door (1973), A Swiftly Tilting Planet (1978), and Many Waters (1986)

Montgomery, L. M. US English

(1874–1942), Canadian novelist; full name Lucy Maud Montgomery. She is noted for Anne of Green Gables (1908) and its sequels, set on Prince Edward Island

Sayers, Dorothy L. US English

(1893–1957), English novelist, translator, essayist, and playwright; full name Dorothy Leigh Sayers. She is chiefly known for her detective novels that feature amateur detective Lord Peter Wimsey and include Murder Must Advertise (1933) and The Nine Tailors (1934). She translated the medieval French La Chanson de Roland and Dante’s La Divina Commedia. Her plays include The Devil to Pay (1939)

Sullivan, John L. US English

(1858–1918), US boxer; full name John Lawrence Sullivan. Fighting with his bare knuckles, he was proclaimed the world heavyweight champion in 1882. In 1892, when boxing rules changed and padded gloves were used, he fought James J. Corbett for the heavyweight championship and lost, being knocked out in the 21st round


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