From Middle English lether, from Old English leþer (“leather”), from Proto-West Germanic *leþr, from Proto-Germanic *leþrą (“leather”), borrowing from Proto-Celtic *ɸlitro-, from Proto-Indo-European *pl̥tro-.
Cognate with West Frisian leare (“leather”), Low German Leder (“leather”), Dutch leder, leer (“leather”), German Leder (“leather”), Danish læder (“leather”), Swedish läder (“leather”), Icelandic leður (“leather”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈlɛðə/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈlɛðɚ/
- (dialectal, obsolete) IPA(key): /ˈlʌðəɹ/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɛðə(ɹ)
leather (countable and uncountable, plural leathers)
- A tough material produced from the skin of animals, by tanning or similar process, used e.g. for clothing.
- A piece of the above used for polishing.
- (colloquial) A cricket ball or football.
- 1918, M. M. Guy, Joe Doughty, page 157:
- The goalee made a frantic grab as the leather spun clean past him, but he was just a second too late, and Joe had scored for Redcliff.
- (plural: leathers) clothing made from the skin of animals, often worn by motorcycle riders.
- (baseball) A good defensive play
- Jones showed good leather to snare that liner.
- (boxing) A punch.
- (dated, humorous) The skin.
(types of leather): chagrin, cordovan, cordwain, galuchat, maroquin, morocco, morocco leather, shagreen, sharkskin, taw
- as ever trod shoe leather
- as ever trod shoe-leather
- chamois leather
- Dongola leather
- fair leather
- fruit leather
- hell for leather
- hell-bent for leather
- kid leather
- lace leather
- law leather
- leather carp
- leather cheerio
- leather knife
- leather leaf
- leather lunged
- leather poisoning
- leather queen
- leather working
- mountain leather
- nose leather
- oak leather
- ooze leather
- patent leather
- Russia leather
- shoe leather
- split leather
- spur leather
- vegetable leather
- wash leather
- whang leather
- white leather
leather (not comparable)
- Made of leather.
- Synonym: leathern
- 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter II, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
- Sunning himself on the board steps, I saw for the first time Mr. Farquhar Fenelon Cooke. […] A silver snaffle on a heavy leather watch guard which connected the pockets of his corduroy waistcoat, together with a huge gold stirrup in his Ascot tie, sufficiently proclaimed his tastes.
- Referring to one who wears leather clothing (motorcycle jacket, chaps over 501 jeans, boots), especially as a sign of sadomasochistic homosexuality.
leather (third-person singular simple present leathers, present participle leathering, simple past and past participle leathered)
- (transitive) To cover with leather.
- (transitive) To strike forcefully.
- He leathered the ball all the way down the street.
- (transitive) To spank or beat with a leather belt or strap.
- 1806, Andrew Kippis, The New Annual Register:
- My father was very angry with me— -he took and leathered ( beat) me, because I ran away from my school ; for I did run away from my school ; he took and tied me up on a Sunday morning, leathered me a Friday night, and Saturday night : I was stripped naked when he leathered me on Friday night, and Saturday; my father told me to strip myself, and he leathered me, it was with a whip; but I do not know where he got the whip; he tied me with my arms extended so -- (spreading out her arms to their extremity, as if they were to be nailed upon a cross) -- My legs were tied too -- I was at the bottom of the dresser.
- 2005, H. Salisbury, Betrayed, →ISBN, page 4:
- My father was furious with me and reached for the strap. He brutally leathered me with it before sending me to bed for the night.
- 2011, Agnes Owens, Agnes Owens: The Complete Novellas, →ISBN:
- Anyway, bums were always on view in our family, getting leathered with a heavy belt.
- Alternative form of luther
- Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, page 55