English spellings/Catalogs/L

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This page lists pronunciations of English words that begin with L. To see a different letter navigate with the table above.

The apostrophe is treated as the last letter of the alphabet, after Z.[e]


L = él railway

lâbel rhymes with tâble

labŏrious

lâbour BrE; AmE -or, cf. Lâbor Pàrty Australia, etc. and Lâbour Pàrty Britain, etc.

lâbourer BrE; AmE -or-

lábyrinth *lábrinth

lackadâisical

lácklustre adjective one word

lácquer *lácker

láddies boys

lâdies women

làger beer hard g, cf. soft g in làrger bigger

lâid egg, table, trap *lâyed

lâin down = lâne traffic

lãir hideoutlâyer covering

lâissèz-fãire has a silent z: *lây-sây-fãir

lâíty rhymes with dèíty

lámb sheep = lám law, thrash

lambást or lambâste

lamént

lámentable or laméntable

Lampedûsa: Italian has a voiced s, but unvoiced is usual in English

Lámplugh *Lámplə

LÁN local area network

lándscape

lâne road = lâin lie = Lâne, Lâine persons

lánguorous -uorou-: -ərə-

Làos nation = lòuse bug

lápdog one word

lápse negative = láps lap

largésse BrE; AmE can be largéss *larzhéss or = làrge S

làrva insect BrE = làva volcano

laságna *ləzánya, laságnê *ləzányi

lâser -z-; rhymes with râzor

lasso *lassoô

lāst

Làs Vègas: BrE usually *Lós Vègas because in AmE Làs = Lós, and/or by analogy with Lós Ángeles; some British speakers say Lás, as if "láss Vègas"

lâter, cf. látter

Látin

Latìno

làttè

látter

låud praise = BrE lŏrd master

låudanum

lāughter rhymes with āfter

laundrétte

Låura

låureate BrE *lóriət

låurel BrE *lórrel

Låuren BrE Ló-

Låurence = Låwrence

Laurie = lórry, BrE ó, AmE å

làva volcano BrE = làrva insect

lávish, cf. slâvish

låw legal = BrE lŏre folk: *lŏ; many Francophones cannot distinguish this word, instead pronouncing it like lôw *ləù

Lawrence, or Laurence as given name, w more common, Ló-

låwyer *lŏyer

láx neglect = lácks lack

láxative

lây table, egg, snooker is a verb in its own right, past and past participle both lâid, but do not use lây instead of lîe down (past lây, past participle lâin)

lâybŷ

lâyer coveringlãir hideout

lâys = lâze lazy

lâze lazy = lâys table

lâzy

lêa grass = lêe shelter = Lêe = Lêigh persons

lêach percolate = leêch worm, sail = Lêach = Leêch persons

lêad first, guide, write, dog = lêde US journal (optional spelling to distinguish it from léad metal)

léad metal = léd took, past of lêad, cf. réad, past of rêad

Léad Bélly is pronounced with the stress on the first word, as if it were one word, *Léadbelly

lêader lead = lìêder songs

lêaf, singular of lêaves tree

lêak liquid = lêek vegetable

lêague *lêeg

Léamington Spà begins like lémming

lêan

léant lean = lént lend = Lént season

lêap

léapt

lëarn past: lëarned or lëarnt

lëarned as an attributive adjective gains a syllable: a *lëarníd mán

lêast less, cf. lést in case

lêaves leave, leaf—plural of lêaf tree and -s form of the verb lêave go

Lébanon -ənən; AmE -ón

léd guided (past of lêad) = léad metal (Léd Zéppelin is so spelt as to avoid mispronunciation)

lêde article introduction, AmE alternative spelling of lêad, to avoid even momentary confusion with léad metal

lée shelter = Lêe = Lêigh = Lêa persons = lêa grass

lêes dregs, cf. lêase contract, unvoiced s: minimal pair

leêch worm, sail = lêach percolate = Lêach = Leêch persons

Lêeds city = lêads lead

lêek vegetable = lêak liquid

lêer look = Lêar person

lé Fanu *Léfənu

léft hand, leave

léftie politics = léfty hand = Léfty = Léftie nicknames for lefty

légacy

lêgal

légend, cf. lédge

législâtive AmE; BrE législatíve

législâtor

législatûre

Léicester city = Léster person; each forms a minimal trio with Léinster and Léominster

Léinster Ireland

Leîpzig

léisure BrE *lézher; AmE lêisure *lêzher; BrE rhyming with méasure, pléasure and tréasure

leîtmotìf has the anglicised spelling pronunciation, while the alternative leîtmotìv resembles the original German

lêmur animal BrE = Lìma Peru

Lénnox

léns *lénze, plural lénses

lént lend = Lént season = léant lean

Lêô

Léominster *Lémstər, see Léicester

Lêón person = Lỳón France, cf. lîon animal

Léonard *Lénnərd = Lénnard

léopard animal = Léppard person *lépərd, cf. Léonard, jéopardy, also silent o, minimal pair with léper

lêotàrd *lêətàrd

léper *lépər, rhyming with pépper, minimal pair with léopard

léprechåun *léprekåun

Lërner and Lôewe sounds like lëarner and lôw

Lerŏy or Lêroy, with variant spellings (R, -oi...)

Lés AmE = léss, BrE *Léz

Lésley female = Léslie male

Lesotho *Lesûtû

léss more

léssen less = lésson school

lést in case, cf. lêast less

lêthal

léts let = lét’s let us

léttuce *léttis = Léttice

Levánt

lévee dam = lévy tax

lêver BrE (= lêaver leave); AmE léver

lêverage BrE; AmE léverage, cf. béverage in both

Lêvi

Lévis, cf. Lêavis

lévy tax = lévee dam

Leŵ rare = Loû normal (shortenings of Leŵis)

leŵd, cf. feûd

Leŵis person, Scotland *Loôwis = Leŵes England

léxicon rhymes with Méxican

Lhàsa

lîable, three syllables, cf. lîbel, two

liâisón *lì-âizón

lîar false = lŷre music

Líb Dém

lîbel

lîbelous; BrE can be lîbellous

líberal

libertãrian

líberty

libìdo

Lìbra

lîbrary - first r and a may be silent

librãrian

Líbya

lîcence BrE only

lîcense AmE; can be verb in BrE

lîcensêe *lîcencee

lîcensure

licéntiate -shət

licéntious -shəss

lîchen plant = lîken compare

lícker lick = líquor drink

lícoríce AmE, líquoríce BrE *líckerish

líd = Lýdd

lîdo

lîe untrue (past and past participle: lîed), down (past lây, past participle lâin), cf. lŷing, present participle and gerund of both; and lây table, egg, snooker as a verb in its own right, past and past participle both lâid: the usual mistake is lây instead of lîe

Líechtensteîn or Lísh- country, cf. Líchtensteîn Lík- Roy

lîed untruth

lìêd song

lìêder songs = lêader lead

lìen *lêən, or = lêan

lieû in = loô toilet = Loû person

lieuténant AmE loôt-, BrE léft- or loôt-

lîfelong one word

lîfestyle one word

lîfetime one word

lígament

Lígeti: hard g, schwa

lîght = lîte, humorous or commercial spelling thereof

lîghtning flash *lîtning ≈ lîghtening lighten

lîkable or lîkeable

lîkelihood

lîkely

lîke-mînded

Likùd

lîlac

Lilóngwè

líly = Lýly

líly-lívered

límb *lím, cf. clîmb up = clîme climate

lîme, cf. Lŷme Rêgis

límô *límmo

limousìne *limmazêen

límp

línchpín, cf. lýnch

Líncoln *Língkən, *Linkən

Líndsay *Línzy = Líndsey Lincolnshire

lîne = Leŷne

línêage *línêíj, *línny-ij, cf. lîne

línêar

lîner

lîneúp can be hyphenated or two words

lingerie BrE *lánzhery, AmE *lànjə-rèy

línk, cf. lýnx, Líncs

Línux

lîon animal = Lŷon person, cf. Lỳón France

líp-rêad

líquefy, cf. líquid, líquidate

liqueûr chocolate *licûre

líquor whisky = lícker lick

líquoríce BrE, lícoríce AmE *líckerish

*lírrick (cf. límerick) lýric

Lísbon Portugal *Lízbən = BrE Lísburn Ireland, rhymes with Brísbane

Liskeârd

líst column, sway = Líszt Franz

lísten *líssen

lístless *lístlíss

lîte: humorous or commercial spelling of lîght, unsuitable in other contexts

líterary

líttoral shore = líteral words - or can be littorāl; or be spelt with only one t, lítoral

líturgy

Liû Xiaobǒ *Lyû Shòu-båw, as it is pronounced by some broadcasters, though in English - is what comes naturally

líve verb

lîve adjective, cf. lîfe noun

Líverpool, cf. lîver bïrd

Liverpúdlian

lîvelihood

lîvely

lívery

líves verb

lîves life plural of lîfe

Líz

Ljubljàna´ *Lyùblyàna

llàma animal = làma Buddhism

Llanélli: Welsh names featuring, very often initially, the voiceless alveolar fricative, IPA [ɬ], written Ll-, ll-, are pronounced by many non-Welsh speakers with the substitute 'thl-', so: *Thlanéthly—though this does not apply to the very common Llŏyd *Lŏyd (nor to Llèyton, a variant of Lèyton)

lôan lend = lône alone

lôath unwilling has unvoiced th; its variant spelling lôth is perhaps preferable, to avoid confusion with lôathe, which is often used incorrectly in its place

lôathe hate has voiced th, *lôadh

lôathsome voiced th, no middle 'e'

lóch Scottish ch, like Arabic 'kh', phonetic symbol χ; Irish ones are lóugh, same pronunciation; cf. lóck

lóckjaw one word

lódge

Lodz *Wùdj

lôgo

Lôís

lolicon: stressless in Japanese; no standard English pronunciation

lóllipop

lólly

Lòndon

lône only = lôan money

lónger long, hard g sounded separately

longëur bore, g not sounded separately

longévity -njé-

Lóngfellow

loô toilet = Loû person = lieû in = Loôe Cornwall

loòkalike noun one word

loôm noun, verb

loôphole one word, no hyphen

loôse insecure *lûce, cf. lose lost = loôs loo *lûze: writing loôse for lose is perhaps the second most common mistake in English after ít’s for íts

loôsely

loôser more loose *lûcer, cf. loser lose *lûzer

loôt spoils = lûte music

lôpe

loquâcious

lŏre folk BrE = låw rule

lorry transport = Laurie person, AmE å, BrE ó

Lós Ángeles, cf. Làs Vègas

lose lost *lûze = loôs toilets, cf. loôse insecure *lûce

loser lose *lûzer, cf. loôser more loose

loses lû-, cf. lósses

losing lose *loôzing

lóss

lôth disinclined: variant spelling of lôath (unvoiced th), and arguably preferable, as it is further from lôathe hate (voiced th)

Loû person = loô toilet = lieû in; Loû is the normal shortening of Leŵis, Leŵ Hôad being an exception

loûche -sh

lóugh = lóch

Loûìs silent s = Loûìê, or (particularly in St. Loûís) = Leŵís

Louìse *Loô-wêez

Louisiána *Loû-êasy-Ánna, one n

Loûrdes France = lûred lure

lòve, cf. lôathe

lôw high = (archaic) look, cf. låw

lûcre *lûker

Lúddite

lúggage

lúllabŷ

lúmbar back = lúmber wood

lúscious *lúshous

lúsh

lûte music = loôt spoils

Lútyens can sound like *Lútchins

lúvvie, a satirical British word for an actor, cf. lòve, lòvey-dòvey

Lúxemboürg

Luxemboürgian nationality

Lúxemboürgish language

Lúxŏr

Lvív *Ləvív

lychêe is a more common spelling than -, lît- and litchì

lŷing from lîe

lýmph

lýnch = Lýnch person, cf. línchpin

lýnx animal = línks link = Líncs Lincolnshire

Lỳón France = Lêón person, cf. lîon animal

Lŷra constellation, cf. lìra currency

lŷre harp = lîar cheat

lýric

Lýttelton, cf. líttle