Definition of leash in English:



  • 1A dog's lead.

    • ‘In this experiment with dogs, each dog was led on a leash from a starting point along a straight path in a large field with no distinguishing landmarks and was shown a piece of food.’
    • ‘First, practice with your dog on the leash or teaching lead.’
    • ‘They were fastened in their kennels with leashes and couldn't get out.’
    • ‘Once the leash is attached, it is important to make the shih-tzu walk calmly toward the door.’
    • ‘His right hand held a leash attached to a small white Havanese dog.’
    • ‘Once he is used to wearing it, attach the leash to it and let him lead you throughout the area.’
    • ‘I got a hold of his blue collar, and my mom came and attached the blue leash.’
    • ‘The young man groans at the sight of the pampered pooch, whom she already has attached to his leash.’
    • ‘After the shih-tzu has come to you and obediently sat down, attach the leash and start the reward.’
    • ‘Simply attach the leash to the Shih Tzu's collar and allow him to walk around the house with it.’
    • ‘Slipping on her pair of sandshoes she opened the outside door and attached the leash to her dog's collar.’
    • ‘The hounds, powerfully muscled mixed breeds, loll at the ends of leashes made of rope, leather or strips of colorful fabric.’
    • ‘After placing the training collar on the dog and attaching him to your waist, let go of the leash with both hands.’
    • ‘All working dogs connected with Government departments were given an exemption, but the poor old farmer with a mob of sheep out on the road in Canterbury somewhere would have to put all his sheepdogs on leashes.’
    • ‘The last time I was in the Octagon in Dunedin, I saw a number of people with German shepherds on leashes.’
    • ‘Under the Dangerous Dog Act, dogs are required to be kept under control and on a leash at all times, unless in a specially designated area.’
    • ‘Dogs aren't allowed on the trail without a leash, both to prevent them from harassing other hikers and to keep the dogs themselves out of trouble.’
    • ‘But they must be on leashes in controlled areas and kept away from our main swimming beaches.’
    • ‘A leash also lets you control the pace so your dog doesn't sprint ahead at the beginning and wear out.’
    • ‘With the focus and attention towards off-leash walks and dog parks there seems to be a decline in the use and function of the leash.’
    lead, rein, tether, rope, cord, chain, line, strap
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    1. 1.1Falconry A thong or string attached to the jesses of a hawk, used for tying it to a perch or a creance.
      ‘If you time-travelled any one of Ghengis Khan's myriad falconers into a modern hawking set-up he'd be more than familiar with the leashes, jesses and other falconry ‘furniture’ still used.’
    2. 1.2A restraint.
      ‘her bristling temper was kept on a leash’
      ‘the state needs to let business off the leash’
      • ‘Noise still rears an ugly head but, instead of relentlessly bashing away, it is under a leash and controlled.’
      • ‘A supine Congress like the present one is rapidly eroding the American founding fathers' vision of a legislature keeping the executive branch on a tight leash.’
      • ‘A prohibition on taking deposits in local currency, strict capital requirements and a lid on opening branches are keeping foreign giants on a tight leash.’
      • ‘I hope the bureaucrats let it off the leash soon.’
      • ‘Had they taken the leash off, or rather the muzzle, two weeks ago, maybe the opinion polls might not consequently have been so cast-iron.’
      • ‘It could use the threat of revolutions to keep the countries that remain in its orbit on a leash, but that would not be effective, he said.’
      • ‘Perhaps he has matured or perhaps he's on a short leash.’
      • ‘The director doesn't give her much of a leash in this tightly wound story, but that suits the subject and the actress perfectly well.’
      • ‘It's little wonder that tourists are kept on a short leash.’
      • ‘And they were not disappointed as Woods shot a sparkling seven under par 65 without ever being off the leash.’
      • ‘The pestering problem of ‘protected teachers’ can be tackled only if the unaided sector is put on a leash.’
      • ‘They may be knee-deep in paisley but always keep the songs on a leash and never rely too much on nostalgic trappings.’
      • ‘You guys are so strait-laced, but you go crazy when you're let off your leashes.’
      • ‘But if he never lets his characters off the leash, he leaves them a vast space in which to roam, giving the film a dramatic structure that's radically open and formless.’
      • ‘I've trained so long, but yet I was kept on a leash.’
      • ‘The intelligence apparatus was let off the leash and told to get ‘results,’ which it has been doing with extraordinary relish.’
      • ‘All songs are on a midtempo leash as this pack of Swedes lead them into dark, uncharted places.’
      control, restraint, check, curb, rein, hold, discipline
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  • 2Hunting
    rare A group of three animals such as hounds, hawks, or foxes.

    ‘I saw a leash of foxes killed without a run’
    • ‘We at one time had but a leash of hounds to carry on the scent.’
    • ‘I killed four brace of partridges, a wild duck, and a leash of hares.’
    • ‘The hounds moved on to Ashby pasture where they found a leash of foxes.’
    • ‘The king gave him dogs for the chase, and a leash of hawks.’
    • ‘He mounted on that grand horse, with a leash of hounds standing by.’


[with object]
  • 1Put a leash on (a dog)

    ‘he called Azor to heel so that he could leash him’
    • ‘Larger dogs may be taken on the T during off-peak hours and must be leashed and controlled at all times.’
    • ‘Pets are welcome throughout the remainder of the park including trails, but they must be leashed at all times.’
    • ‘The Fairfax County Park Authority has always welcomed leashed dogs in all of its parks.’
    • ‘The strongest reaction (milling, fleeing) occurred when the sheep saw a human with a leashed dog.’
    • ‘The Leashed Tracking Dog License authorizes qualified individuals to use certified leashed tracking dogs to track and find dead, wounded or injured big game.’
    • ‘This is in line with the practice adopted in countries such as Singapore and Ireland where leashing control is imposed on specified large dog breeds.’
    • ‘The plurality of such first exterior posts may be selectively used for leashing a dog at any one of a plurality of locations.’
    • ‘So what is the proper restraint for your pooch and what is the best way to go about leashing your dog, whether fido is an adult dog who has been on a leash for years or a rascally little puppy that is still chewing on the leash as you try to take him out for his morning walk.’
    put a leash on, put a lead on, fasten, hitch up, tether, tie up, secure, bind, fetter
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    1. 1.1Restrain.
      ‘his violence was barely leashed’
      • ‘The security moms are panting with barely leashed desire.’
      • ‘Angela Lansbury's 1962 villain was an ice queen but Meryl Streep turns her into a barely leashed neurotic who escalates hissy fits into diatribes.’
      • ‘His touch is that curious blend of tenderness and leashed violence that is the hallmark of a genuine man.’
      • ‘She shrank back in her seat, taken aback by the tightly leashed violence in his tone.’
      • ‘I wasn't sure I was comfortable being so close to him with something so powerful barely leashed inside me.’
      curb, control, keep under control, check, restrain, hold back, suppress
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    strain at the leash
    • Be eager to begin or do something.

      ‘by this time we were straining at the leash to get away’
      • ‘And perhaps the sight of their older married brothers straining at the leash is giving them pause.’
      • ‘You may think of soldiers as gung-ho types who strained at the leash last year to invade.’
      • ‘It was to get to that unheard of city I'd agitated and strained at the leash of Albany Park.’
      • ‘I have customers straining at the leash to include mobile content in their offerings to their customers.’
      • ‘I'm straining at the leash to find out the final release date so that I can test the new portal site.’
      • ‘They are straining at the leash though, and would give anything to be allowed to go up for a crack at them.’
      • ‘The creative energies and the entrepreneurial spirit of the Indian people was straining at the leash.’
      • ‘In the United States, when the corporate-owned media sense profits, they strain at the leash to sell the line better.’
      • ‘Openly I have been able to do this for the most part, but inwardly I have often strained at the leash.’
      • ‘Great Britain did not actively strain at the leash to build and rule and empire, but let the responsibilities and territories of the British Empire develop in a free market manner.’


Middle English from Old French lesse, laisse, from laissier in the specific sense ‘let run on a slack lead’ (see lease).