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L US English

The twelfth letter of the alphabet

L1 US English

The twelfth letter of the alphabet

L2 US English

(In tables of sports results) games lost

l US English

(Giving position or direction) left

fifty US English

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

l in L1 US English

The twelfth letter of the alphabet

L in L1 US English

A shape like that of a capital L

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 L2 US English

Lake, Loch, or Lough (chiefly on maps)

l. in l US English

(In textual references) line

S & L US English

Savings and loan

L/R US English

Left/right

L/C US English

Letter of credit

P & L US English

Profit and loss account

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-dopa US English

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

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'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

L's in L1 US English

The twelfth letter of the alphabet

profit and loss account US English

An account in the books of an organization to which incomes and gains are credited and expenses and losses debited, so as to show the net profit or loss over a given period

P & L in profit and loss account US English

An account in the books of an organization to which incomes and gains are credited and expenses and losses debited, so as to show the net profit or loss over a given period

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)

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

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

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)

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

tour en l'air US English

A movement in which a dancer jumps straight upward and completes at least one full revolution in the air before landing

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

L JJ in LJ US English

(In the UK) Lord Justice

Toussaint L'Ouverture US English

(Circa 1743–1803), Haitian revolutionary leader; full name François Dominique Toussaint. One of the leaders of a rebellion that emancipated the island’s slaves in 1791, he was appointed governor general in 1797 by the revolutionary government of France. In 1802, Napoleon, wishing to restore slavery, took over the island and Toussaint died in prison in France

esprit de l'escalier US English

Used to refer to the fact that a witty remark or retort often comes to mind after the opportunity to make it has passed

L'Enfant, Pierre Charles US English

(1754–1825), US architect and soldier; born in France. In 1791, he submitted plans (which were eventually adopted in 1889) for the design of the city of Washington, DC

DIL2 US English

A person’s daughter-in-law

BIL US English

A person’s brother-in-law

FIL US English

A person’s father-in-law

MIL US English

A person’s mother-in-law

stunsail US English

another term for studdingsail.

stuns'l in stunsail US English

another term for studdingsail.

SIL US English

A person’s sister-in-law

L. lynx in lynx US English

A wild cat with yellowish-brown fur (sometimes spotted), a short tail, and tufted ears, found chiefly in the northern latitudes of North America and Eurasia

L. album in dead-nettle US English

An Old World plant of the mint family, with leaves that resemble those of a nettle but lack stinging hairs


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