1. Nautical The side away from the direction from which the wind blows.
2. An area sheltered from the wind: in the lee of the boulder.
3. Cover; shelter.
1. Nautical Of or relating to the side sheltered from the wind: the lee gunwale.
2. Located in or facing the path of an oncoming glacier. Used of a geologic formation.
[Middle English le, from Old English hlēo, shelter, protection; see kelə-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.