Definition of leash in English:


Pronunciation /lēSH/ /liʃ/

See synonyms for leash

Translate leash into Spanish


  • 1A strap or cord for restraining and guiding a dog or other animal.

    ‘If he hadn't been tangled in the animal's leash, he would never have inadvertently brought the girl here in the first place.’
    • ‘To a kid - or to sheltered adults who never stopped to look or smell or touch - any animal not on a leash counts.’
    • ‘In fact many of the regulars at the store were surprised or rather taken aback when customers walked in with their animals on a leash.’
    • ‘For slow-drying paints, keep pets on a leash and string up some caution ribbons or hang wet-paint signs to warn people.’
    • ‘With all my equipment safely attached to leashes, nothing was lost.’
    • ‘His collar was spiked all around, with the exception of a ring in the very front, to which a leash was attached.’
    • ‘Those cotter pins can be tough to keep track of when you're cold and tired; they should be attached with a wire leash.’
    • ‘She was being led on a leash attached to a leather collar around her neck.’
    • ‘He finally yielded to her demands and followed her like a whipped puppy, the leash firmly attached to his collar.’
    • ‘Daniel came back, holding two leashes with harnesses attached.’
    • ‘He tugged and found himself to also be tied to a short leash attached to the wall.’
    • ‘Since the leash is going to take the full stress of the impact, it's wise to have a new one with no nicks or weak spots.’
    • ‘The beast was anxious, tugging at the leash and belting a horrendous whine into the air.’
    • ‘When I got in the backyard I untied Shadow from his leash and put the leash in the shed.’
    • ‘The love of her life was Rajah, a Bengal tiger acquired as a tiny cub and reared by hand, walking on a leash and living an almost human existence.’
    • ‘The cat wears a leash and seems oddly at home with this arrangement.’
    • ‘Worse still was the sight of Malaysian bears being led around by a leash which was passed through a ring through their lips.’
    • ‘All in place and connected, I unclipped my camera from its leash and descended the line.’
    • ‘He was leading by the leash a stalwart black pig.’
    • ‘Watching the eager young tiger straining at its leash - a frayed piece of twine that threatens to snap at any moment - seems an apt metaphor for its owner.’
    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
      View synonyms

transitive verb

[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
      View synonyms


    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).