LETCH, lech, _n._ strong desire: a crotchet.
LETHAL, l[=e]'thal, _adj._ death-dealing: deadly: mortal.--_n._ LETHE (_Shak._), death.--_adj._ LETHIF'EROUS, carrying death. [L.
_lethalis_--_lethum_, _letum_, death.]
LETHARGY, leth'ar-ji, _n._ heavy unnatural slumber: dullness.--_v.t._ (_Shak._) to make lethargic.--_adjs._ LETHAR'GIC, -AL, pertaining to lethargy: unnaturally sleepy: dull.--_adv._ LETHAR'GICALLY.--_n._ LETHAR'GICNESS, the state of being lethargic: morbid sleepiness.--_v.t._ LETH'ARGISE. [Fr.,--L.,--Gr. _l[=e]thargia_, drowsy forgetfulness--_l[=e]th[=e]_, forgetfulness.]
LETHE, l[=e]'th[=e], _n._ one of the rivers of hell causing forgetfulness of the past to all who drank of it: oblivion.--_adj._ LETH[=E]'AN, of Lethe: oblivious. [Gr.,--_l[=e]th[=o]_, old form of _lanthanein_, to forget.]
LETTER, let'[.e]r, _n._ a conventional mark to express a sound: a written or printed message: literal meaning: a printing-type: (_pl._) learning, literary culture.--_v.t._ to stamp letters upon.--_ns._ LETT'ER-BAL'ANCE, a balance for testing the weight of a letter for post; LETT'ER-BOARD (_print._), board on which matter in type is placed for keeping or convenience in handling; LETT'ER-BOOK, a book in which letters or copies of letters are kept; LETT'ER-BOX, a box in a post-office, at the door of a house, &c., for receiving letters; LETT'ER-CARR'IER, a postman; LETT'ER-CASE, a portable writing-desk.--_adj._ LETT'ERED, marked with letters: educated: versed in literature: belonging to learning (LETTERED PROOF and PROOF BEFORE LETTERS; see PROOF).--_ns._ LETT'ERER; LETT'ER-FOUND'ER, one who founds or casts letters or types; LETT'ERING, the act of impressing letters: the letters impressed.--_adj._ LETT'ERLESS, illiterate.--_ns._ LETT'ER-MISS'IVE, an official letter on matters of common interest, sent to members of a church: a letter from the sovereign addressed to a dean and chapter, naming the person they are to elect bishop--also _Royal letter_; LETT'ERN (same as LECTERN); LETT'ER-OF-CRED'IT, a letter authorising credit or cash to a certain sum to be paid to the bearer; LETT'ER-OF-MARQUE (mark), a commission given to a private ship by a government to make reprisals on the vessels of another state.--_adj._ LETT'ER-PER'FECT, kept in the memory exactly (of an actor's part, &c.).--_ns._ LETT'ERPRESS, letters impressed or matter printed from type, as distinguished from engraving: a copying-press; LETT'ERS-P[=A]'TENT, a writing conferring a patent or authorising a person to enjoy some privilege, so called because written on open sheets of parchment; LETT'ER-STAMP, a post-office implement for defacing a postage-stamp: a stamp for imprinting dates, &c., on letters or papers; LETT'ER-WOOD, the heart-wood of a tree found in British Guiana, dark brown, with darker spots somewhat resembling hieroglyphics; LETT'ER-WRIT'ER, one who writes letters, esp. for hire: a book containing forms for imitation in writing letters.--LETTER OF INDICATION (see CIRCULAR); LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION, a document issued by court appointing an administrator of an intestate estate; LETTERS REQUISITORY, or ROGATORY, an instrument by which a court of one country asks that of another to take certain evidence on its behalf; LETTRE DE CACHET (see CACHET). [Fr. _lettre_--L. _littera_.]
LETTIC, let'ik, _adj._ of or pertaining to the _Letts_ or Lithuanians, or to their language.--Also LETT'ISH.
LETTING, let'ing, _n._ the act of granting to a tenant: the act of giving to a contractor.
LETTUCE, let'is, _n._ a plant containing a milky juice, its leaves used as a salad. [O. Fr. _laictuce_ (Fr. _laitue_)--L. _lactuca_--_lac_, milk.]
LEUCaeMIA, l[=u]-s[=e]'mi-a, _n._ a disease in which the number of white corpuscles in the blood is greatly increased, with changes in the lymphatic tissues, enlargement of the spleen, &c.--Also LEUCOCYTHae'MIA. [Gr.
_leukos_, white, _haima_, blood.]
LEUCINE, l[=u]'sin, _n._ a product of the decomposition of albuminous materials occurring in many of the juices of the animal body. [Gr.
LEUCISCUS, l[=u]-sis'kus, _n._ a genus of fresh-water fishes of the Cyprinoid family, including the roach, dace, chub, minnow, &c. [Gr.
LEUCITE, l[=u]'s[=i]t, _n._ a whitish mineral occurring only in volcanic rocks.--_adj._ LEUCIT'IC. [Gr. _leukos_, white.]
LEUCOCYTE, l[=u]'k[=o]-s[=i]t, _n._ a white corpuscle of the blood or lymph (see PHAGOCYTE).--_adj._ LEUCOCYT'IC.--_ns._ LEUCOCYTOG'ENESIS, the production of leucocytes; LEUCOCYT[=O]'SIS, the presence of an excessive number of white corpuscles in the blood.
LEUCOCYTHaeMIA. See LEUCaeMIA.
LEUCOL, l[=u]'kol, _n._ an organic base obtained by the distillation of coal-tar. [Gr. _leukos_, white.]
LEUCOMA, l[=u]-k[=o]'ma, _n._ a white opacity of the cornea, the result of acute inflammation. [Gr. _leukos_, white.]
LEUCOMAINE, l[=u]'k[=o]-m[=a]n, _n._ an alkaloid found in living animal tissue:--opp. to _Ptomaine_ (q.v.).
LEUCORRHOEA, l[=u]-k[=o]-r[=e]'a, _n._ an abnormal mucous or muco-purulent discharge from the vagina, the whites. [Gr. _leukos_, white, _hroia_--_hrein_, to flow.]
LEUCOSIS, l[=u]-k[=o]'sis, _n._ whiteness of skin, pallor.--_ns._ LEUCISM (l[=u]'sizm), whiteness resulting from lack of colour, albinism; LEUCOP'ATHY, albinism.--_adj._ LEU'COUS, white, albinotic. [Gr. _leukos_, white.]
LEVANT, le-vant', _n._ the point where the sun rises: the East: the coasts of the Mediterranean east of Italy.--_adj._ LEV'ANT, or L[=E]'VANT, eastern.--_n._ LEVANT'ER, a strong easterly wind in the Levant.--_adj._ LEVANT'INE, belonging to the Levant. [Fr. _levant_--L. _lev[=a]re_, to raise.]
LEVANT, le-vant', _v.i._ to decamp.--_n._ LEVANT'ER, one who runs away dishonourably, who dodges paying his bets, &c. [Sp. _levantar_, to move--L.
_lev[=a]re_, to raise.]
LEVATOR, le-v[=a]'tor, _n._ that which raises (of a muscle):--opp. to _Depressor_. [L. _lev[=a]re_, to raise.]
LEVEE, lev'[=a], lev'[=e], le-v[=e]', _n._ a morning assembly of visitors: an assembly received by a sovereign or other great personage.--_v.t._ to attend the levee of. [Fr. _lever_, to rise.]
LEVEE, le-v[=e]', _n._ an artificial bank, as that of the Lower Mississippi: a quay. [Fr.]
LEVEL, lev'el, _n._ a horizontal line or surface: a surface without inequalities: proper position: usual elevation: state of equality: the line of direction: an instrument for showing the horizontal.--_adj._ horizontal: even, smooth: even with anything else: uniform: well-balanced, sound of judgment: in the same line or plane: equal in position or dignity.--_v.t._ to make horizontal: to make flat or smooth: to make equal: to take aim:--_pr.p._ lev'elling; _pa.t._ and _pa.p._ lev'elled.--_ns._ LEV'EL-CROSS'ING, or GRADE'-CROSS'ING, a place at which a common road crosses a railway at the same level; LEV'ELLER, one who levels or makes equal, esp. one of an ultra-republican and revolutionary sect or party which grew up in the parliamentary army in 1647, crushed by Cromwell in 1649; LEV'ELLING, the act of making uneven surfaces level: the process of finding the differences in level between different points on the surface of the earth by means of a LEVELLING INSTRUMENT, consisting of a telescope carrying a parallel and sensitive spirit-level, adjustable by means of screws; LEV'ELLING-ROD, -STAFF, an instrument used in levelling, in conjunction with a levelling instrument, or with a spirit-level and a telescope.--_adv._ LEV'ELLY, evenly.--_n._ LEV'ELNESS, state of being level, even, or equal.--LEVEL DOWN or UP, to lower or raise to the same level or status; DO ONE'S LEVEL BEST (_coll._) to do one's utmost. [O. Fr.
_livel_, _liveau_ (Fr. _niveau_)--L. _libella_, a plummet, dim. of _libra_, a balance.]
LEVER, l[=e]'v[.e]r, _n._ a bar of metal or other substance turning on a support called the fulcrum or prop, for imparting pressure or motion from a source of power to a resistance--of three kinds, according to the relative positions of the power, weight, and fulcrum: (_fig._) anything which exerts influence: any one of various tools on the principle defined above--in surgery, dentistry, &c.: a removable rod or bar inserted in a machine, to be operated by hand leverage.--_ns._ L[=E]'VERAGE, the mechanical power gained by the use of the lever: advantage gained for any purpose; L[=E]'VER-WATCH, a watch having a vibrating lever in the mechanism of the escapement. [Fr. _levier_--_lever_--L. _lev[=a]re_, to raise.]
LEVER, l[=e]'v[.e]r, _adv._ an obsolete comp. of _lief_.
LEVERET, lev'[.e]r-et, _n._ a hare in its first year. [O. Fr. _levret_ (Fr.
_lievre_)--L. _lepus_, _lep[)o]ris_, a hare.]
LEVIABLE, lev'i-a-bl, _adj._ able to be levied or assessed.
LEVIATHAN, le-v[=i]'a-than, _n._ (_B._) a huge aquatic animal in Job xli., here a crocodile; in Isa. xxvii. 1, apparently the great python of Egyptian monuments: anything of huge size: any huge sea-monster, as in Ps. civ. 26.
[Heb. _livy[=a]th[=a]n_--_l[=a]v[=a]h_, to cleave.]
LEVIGATE, lev'i-g[=a]t, _v.t._ to make smooth: to grind to a fine, impalpable powder.--_adj._ made smooth, polished.--_adj._ LEV'IGABLE, capable of being ground down to fine powder.--_n._ LEVIG[=A]'TION. [L.
_l[=e]vig[=a]re_, _-[=a]tum_--_l[=e]vis_, smooth; Gr. _leios_, akin to _level_.]
LEVIGATE, lev'i-g[=a]t, _v.t._ to lighten, belittle. [L. _l[)e]vig[=a]re_, _-[=a]tum_--_l[)e]vis_, light.]
LEVIN, lev'n, _n._ (_Spens._) lightning.--Also LEV'EN.
LEVIRATE, lev'i-r[=a]t, _n._ marriage between a man and a childless brother's widow--an obligation amongst the ancient Hebrews.--_adj._ LEVIRAT'ICAL.--_n._ LEVIR[=A]'TION. [L. _levir_, a brother-in-law.]
LEVITATION, lev-i-t[=a]'shun, _n._ act of rendering light: the floating in the air of heavy bodies believed in by spiritualists.--_v.t._ LEV'ITATE, to cause to float.
LEVITE, l[=e]'v[=i]t, _n._ a descendant of _Levi_: an inferior priest of the ancient Jewish Church.--_adjs._ LEVIT'IC, -AL.--_adv._ LEVIT'ICALLY.--_n._ LEVIT'ICUS, the third book of the Old Testament.--LEVITICAL DEGREES, the degrees of kindred within which marriage was forbidden in Lev. xviii. 6-18.
LEVITY, lev'it-i, _n._ lightness of weight: lightness of temper or conduct: thoughtlessness: disposition to trifle: vanity. [L.
LEVOGYRATE (LaeV-), l[=e]-v[=o]-j[=i]'r[=a]t, _adj._ causing to turn toward the left hand.--_n._ LEVOGYR[=A]'TION.--_adj._ LEVOGY'ROUS.
LEVULOSE, lev'[=u]-l[=o]s, _n._ a sugar isomeric with dextrose, but turning the plane of polarisation to the left. [L. _laevus_, left.]
LEVY, lev'i, _v.t._ to raise: to collect by authority, as an army or a tax:--_pr.p._ lev'ying; _pa.t._ and _pa.p._ lev'ied.--_n._ the act of collecting by authority: the troops so collected. [L. _lev[=a]re_, to raise.]
LEW, l[=u], _adj._ tepid, lukewarm. [Cf. Ger. _lau_.]
LEWD, l[=u]d, or l[=oo]d, _adj._ lustful: unchaste: debauched: ignorant, vicious, or bad, so in _B._--_adv._ LEWD'LY.--_ns._ LEWD'NESS; LEWD'STER, one addicted to lewdness. [A.S. _l['ae]wede_, ignorant, belonging to the laity, the pa.p. of the verb _l['ae]wan_, to weaken.]
LEWIS, l[=u]'is, _n._ a contrivance for securing a hold on a block of stone to allow of its being raised by a derrick.--Also LEW'ISSON. [Ety. dub.]
LEXICON, leks'i-kon, _n._ a word-book or dictionary.--_adj._ LEX'ICAL, belonging to a lexicon.--_adv._ LEX'ICALLY.--_n._ LEXICOG'RAPHER, one skilled in lexicography.--_adjs._ LEXICOGRAPH'IC, -AL.--_ns._ LEXICOG'RAPHIST, LEXICOL'OGIST, one skilled in lexicology; LEXICOG'RAPHY, the art of compiling a dictionary; LEXICOL'OGY, that branch of philology which treats of the proper signification and use of words.--_adjs._ LEXIGRAPH'IC, -AL, pertaining to lexigraphy.--_n._ LEXIG'RAPHY, the art of defining words. [Gr.,--_lexis_, a word, _legein_, to speak.]