The DICT Development Group

Search for:
Search type:

Database copyright information
Server information
Wiki: Resources, links, and other information

2 definitions found
 for On one''s last legs
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Last \Last\ (l[.a]st), a. [OE. last, latst, contr. of latest,
     superl. of late; akin to OS. lezt, lazt, last, D. laatst, G.
     letzt. See Late, and cf. Latest.]
     1. Being after all the others, similarly classed or
        considered, in time, place, or order of succession;
        following all the rest; final; hindmost; farthest; as, the
        last year of a century; the last man in a line of
        soldiers; the last page in a book; his last chance.
        [1913 Webster]
              Also day by day, from the first day unto the last
              day, he read in the book of the law of God. --Neh.
                                                    viii. 18.
        [1913 Webster]
              Fairest of stars, last in the train of night.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. Next before the present; as, I saw him last week.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. Supreme; highest in degree; utmost.
        [1913 Webster]
              Contending for principles of the last importance.
                                                    --R. Hall.
        [1913 Webster]
     4. Lowest in rank or degree; as, the a last place finish.
        [1913 Webster]
     5. Farthest of all from a given quality, character, or
        condition; most unlikely; having least fitness; as, he is
        the last person to be accused of theft.
        [1913 Webster]
     At last, at the end of a certain period; after delay. "The
        duke of Savoy felt that the time had at last arrived."
     At the last. [Prob. fr. AS. on l[=a]ste behind, following
        behind, fr. l[=a]st race, track, footstep. See Last mold
        of the foot.] At the end; in the conclusion. [Obs.] "Gad,
        a troop shall overcome him; but he shall overcome at the
        last." --Gen. xlix. 19.
     Last heir, the person to whom lands escheat for lack of an
        heir. [Eng.] --Abbott.
     On one's last legs, at, or near, the end of one's
        resources; hence, on the verge of failure or ruin,
        especially in a financial sense. [Colloq.]
     To breathe one's last, to die.
     To the last, to the end; till the conclusion.
        [1913 Webster]
              And blunder on in business to the last. --Pope.
     Syn: At Last, At Length.
     Usage: These phrases both denote that some delayed end or
            result has been reached. At length implies that a long
            period was spent in so doing; as, after a voyage of
            more than three months, we at Length arrived safe. At
            last commonly implies that something has occurred (as
            interruptions, disappointments, etc.) which leads us
            to emphasize the idea of having reached the end; as,
            in spite of every obstacle, we have at last arrived.
            [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Leg \Leg\ (l[e^]g), n. [Icel. leggr; akin to Dan. l[ae]g calf of
     the leg, Sw. l[aum]gg.]
     1. A limb or member of an animal used for supporting the
        body, and in running, climbing, and swimming; esp., that
        part of the limb between the knee and foot.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. That which resembles a leg in form or use; especially, any
        long and slender support on which any object rests; as,
        the leg of a table; the leg of a pair of compasses or
        [1913 Webster]
     3. The part of any article of clothing which covers the leg;
        as, the leg of a stocking or of a pair of trousers.
        [1913 Webster]
     4. A bow, esp. in the phrase to make a leg; probably from
        drawing the leg backward in bowing. [Obs.]
        [1913 Webster]
              He that will give a cap and make a leg in thanks for
              a favor he never received.            --Fuller.
        [1913 Webster]
     5. A disreputable sporting character; a blackleg. [Slang,
        [1913 Webster]
     6. (Naut.) The course and distance made by a vessel on one
        tack or between tacks.
        [1913 Webster]
     7. (Steam Boiler) An extension of the boiler downward, in the
        form of a narrow space between vertical plates, sometimes
        nearly surrounding the furnace and ash pit, and serving to
        support the boiler; -- called also water leg.
        [1913 Webster]
     8. (Grain Elevator) The case containing the lower part of the
        belt which carries the buckets.
        [1913 Webster]
     9. (Cricket) A fielder whose position is on the outside, a
        little in rear of the batter.
        [1913 Webster]
     10. (Math.) Either side of a triangle distinguished from the
         base or, in a right triangle, from the hypotenuse; also,
         an indefinitely extending branch of a curve, as of a
         [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
     11. (Telephony) A branch or lateral circuit connecting an
         instrument with the main line.
         [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
     12. (Elec.) A branch circuit; one phase of a polyphase
         [Webster 1913 Suppl.]
     A good leg (Naut.), a course sailed on a tack which is near
        the desired course.
     Leg bail, escape from custody by flight. [Slang]
     Legs of an hyperbola (or other curve) (Geom.), the branches
        of the curve which extend outward indefinitely.
     Legs of a triangle, the sides of a triangle; -- a name
        seldom used unless one of the sides is first distinguished
        by some appropriate term; as, the hypothenuse and two legs
        of a right-angled triangle.
     On one's legs, standing to speak.
     On one's last legs. See under Last.
     To have legs (Naut.), to have speed.
     To stand on one's own legs, to support one's self; to be
        [1913 Webster]

Questions or comments about this site? Contact webmaster@dict.org