league

   a traditional unit of distance. Derived from an ancient Celtic unit and adopted by the Romans as the leuga, the league became a common unit of measurement throughout western Europe. It was intended to represent, roughly, the distance a person could walk in an hour. The Celtic unit seems to have been rather short (about 1.5 Roman miles, which is roughly 1.4 statute miles or 2275 meters), but the unit grew longer over time. In many cases it was equal to 3 miles, using whatever version of the mile was current. At sea, the league was most often equal to 3 nautical miles, which is 1/20 degree2, 3.45 statute miles, or exactly 5556 meters. In the U.S. and Britain, standard practice is to define the league to be 3 statute miles (about 4828.03 meters) on land or 3 nautical miles at sea. However, many occurrences of the "league" in English-language works are actually references to the Spanish league (the legua), the Portuguese league (legoa) or the French league (lieue). For these units, see below on this page. In the classic Jules Verne novel Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea (Vingt Mille Lieues sous les Mers) the unit in the title is the French metric lieue, equal to exactly 4000 meters.

Dictionary of units of measurement. 2015.

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  • League — may refer to: League (unit), obsolete unit of length of an hour s walk, usually equal to three miles Roman league, one of the ancient Roman units of measurement, approximately 1.5 miles Rugby league a full contact football code National Rugby… …   Wikipedia

  • league — W2 [li:g] n [Sense: 1 5; Date: 1400 1500; : French; Origin: ligue agreement to act together , from Old Italian liga, from ligare to tie ] [Sense: 6; Date: 1300 1400; : Late Latin; Origin: leuga] 1.) a group of sp …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • League — (l[=e]g), n. [F. ligue, LL. liga, fr. L. ligare to bind; cf. Sp. liga. Cf. {Ally} a confederate, {Ligature}.] 1. An alliance or combination of two or more nations, parties, organizations, or persons, for the accomplishment of a purpose which… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • league — Ⅰ. league [1] ► NOUN 1) a collection of people, countries, or groups that combine for mutual protection or cooperation. 2) a group of sports clubs which play each other over a period for a championship. 3) a class of quality or excellence: the… …   English terms dictionary

  • League — (l[=e]g), n. [Cf. OE. legue, lieue, a measure of length, F. lieue, Pr. lega, legua, It. & LL. lega, Sp. legua, Pg. legoa, legua; all fr. LL. leuca, of Celtic origin: cf. Arm. leo, lev (perh. from French), Ir. leige (perh. from English); also Ir.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • League — League, v. t. To join in a league; to cause to combine for a joint purpose; to combine; to unite; as, common interests will league heterogeneous elements. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • League — League, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Leagued}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Leaguing}.] [Cf. F. se liguer. See 2d {League}.] To unite in a league or confederacy; to combine for mutual support; to confederate. South. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • league — [n1] association, federation alliance, band, bunch, circle, circuit, club, coalition, combination, combine, compact, company, confederacy, confederation, conference, consortium, crew, gang, group, guild, loop, mob, order, organization, outfit,… …   New thesaurus

  • league — league1 [lēg] n. [ME ligg < OFr ligue < It liga < legare, to bind < L ligare: see LIGATURE] 1. a compact or covenant made by nations, groups, or individuals for promoting common interests, assuring mutual protection, etc. 2. an… …   English World dictionary

  • League — (spr. Libk), 3 englische Seemeilen (Sea Miles) = 0,75 deutsche Meile; also der 20. Theil eines Äquatorialgrades …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • League — (spr. līgh), engl. und nordamerikan. Wegemaß zu 3 Miles; dann auch soviel wie Liga, Bund …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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