left1 / left/ • adj. 1. on, toward, or relating to the side of a human body or of a thing that is to the west when the person or thing is facing north: her left eye the left side of the road. ∎ denoting the side of something that is in an analogous position: the left edge of the text. ∎ on this side from the point of view of a spectator. 2. of or relating to a person or group favoring liberal, socialist, or radical views: Left politics. [ORIGIN: see left wing.] • adv. on or to the left side: turn left here keep left. • n. 1. (the left) the left-hand part, side, or direction: a turn to the left| (one's left) the general sat to his left. ∎ (in soccer or a similar sport) the left-hand half of the field when facing the opponents' goal: a free kick from the left. ∎ (left) Baseball short for left field: a sacrifice fly to left. ∎ the left wing of an army: a token attack on the Russian left. 2. (often the Left) [treated as sing. or pl.] a group or party favoring liberal, socialist, or radical views: the Left is preparing to fight presidential elections. ∎ the section of a party or group holding such views more strongly: he is on the left of the party. 3. a thing on the left-hand side or done with the left hand, in particular: ∎ a left turn: take a left here. ∎ a road, entrance, etc., on the left: my road's the first left. ∎ a person's left fist, esp. a boxer's: a dazzler with the left. ∎ a blow given with this: a left to the body. PHRASES: have two left feet be clumsy or awkward. left, right, and center (also left and right or right and left) on all sides: deals were being done left, right, and center.DERIVATIVES: left·ish adj. left2 • past and past participle of leave1 .
Left also means of or relating to a person or group favouring radical, reforming, or socialist views. The usage is first recorded in English in Carlyle's account (in The French Revolution, 1837), and originated in the French National Assembly of 1789, in which the nobles were seated on the President's right and the commons on his left; this ceremonial grouping soon came to reflect political views.
Left Bank a district of the city of Paris, situated on the left bank of the River Seine, to the south of the river, an area noted for its intellectual and artistic life.
left field in baseball, the part of the outfield to the left of the batter when facing the pitcher; in extended usage, it is a surprising or unconventional position or style (as in out of left field), or a position of ignorance, error, or confusion.
left-handed marriage a morganatic marriage (it was customary, in such marriages in Germany, for the bridegroom to give the bride his left hand instead of his right).
See also the right hand doesn't know what the left hand's doing.
See also 355. RIGHT .
- motion or a tendency to move to the left, as the motion of the eye.
- rotation toward the left; counterclockwise rotation, a characteristic of the plane of polarization of light. —levorotatory , adj.
- the state or process of turning to the left.
- the state or quality of being left-handed or oriented towards the left in other ways, as a shell with counterclockwise spirals. Also sinistration . —sinistral , adj.
- levorotation. Also called levogyration . —sinistrogyric , adj.