AskDefine | Define lair

Dictionary Definition

lair n : the habitation of wild animals [syn: den]

User Contributed Dictionary



Old English leġer ‘couch, bed’.


IPA: /lɛ:/


  1. A place inhabited by a wild animal, often a cave or a hole in the ground.
  2. A place inhabited by a criminal or criminals, or a superhero.


  • (of an animal): burrow (of some smaller mammals), den (of a lion or tiger)
  • (of a criminal): den, hide-out


of an animal
of a criminal

Extensive Definition

A lair is a place that animals use to hide themselves, while at sleep, hibernation or when they take part in reproduction. Some lair-using animals build their lairs, others use hollows which occur naturally, like caves.
In Scots, lair is also used for a burial-plot in a graveyard.
In mythology, heroes have often hunted dragons and similar mythic beasts to their lairs. Consequently, fantasy role-playing games often feature monster lairs as a common place for participants to find a treasure trove.
A lair is also referred to as a hideout for a criminal or a superhero/supervillain.
lair in German: Tierbau
lair in Spanish: Madriguera
lair in Norwegian: Hi
lair in Polish: Barłóg
lair in Russian: Берлога
lair in Serbian: Јазбина
lair in Ukrainian: Барліг

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abri, adytum, antre, ashram, asylum, bolt-hole, bordello, brothel, bunker, burrow, cache, cathouse, cave, cavern, cell, clip joint, cloister, concealment, corner, couch, cove, cover, covert, coverture, cranny, cubby, cubbyhole, dark corner, den, den of thieves, dive, dugout, dump, earth, fleshpots, form, foxhole, funk hole, grot, grotto, gyp joint, hermitage, hideaway, hideout, hidey hole, hiding, hiding place, hole, hollow, holy of holies, ivory tower, joint, lodge, mew, nest, niche, nook, privacy, recess, refuge, retreat, run, sanctuary, sanctum, sanctum sanctorum, secret place, sewer, sporting house, stash, stews, subterrane, subway, tunnel, undercovert, warren, whorehouse
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