From Middle English list, liste, from Old English līste ("hem, edge, strip"), or Old French liste, listre, or Medieval Latin lista, all from Proto-Germanic *līstǭ ("band, strip; hem, selvage; border, edge"), possibly from Proto-Indo-European *leys- ("to trace, track"). The word is cognate with Dutch lijst ("list"), Finnish lista ("(informal) list; batten"), Galician lista ("band, strip; list"), German Leiste ("ledge; (heraldry) bar"), Icelandic lista, listi, Italian lista ("list; strip"), Portuguese lista ("list"), Spanish lista ("list, roll; stripe"), Swedish lista ("list").
From Middle English list, liste, from Old English list ("art, craft; cleverness, cunning, experience, skill"), from Proto-West Germanic *listi, from Proto-Germanic *listiz ("art, craft"), from Proto-Indo-European *leys-, *leyǝs-. The word is cognate with Dutch list ("artifice, guile, sleight; ruse, strategem"), German List ("cunning, guile; ploy, ruse, trick"), Low German list ("artifice, cunning; prudence, wisdom"), Icelandic list ("art"), Saterland Frisian list ("cunning, knowledge"), Scots list ("art, craft, skill; cunning"), Swedish list ("art; cunning, guile, wile; ruse, trick; stealth"), and possibly Spanish listo ("clever"). It is also related to learn, lore.
From Middle English listen, list, liste, leste, lesten, from Old English lystan, from Proto-Germanic *lustijaną, from Proto-Germanic *lustuz. The word is cognate with Danish lyste ("to desire, feel like, want"), Dutch lusten ("to appreciate, like; to lust"), Faroese lysta ("to desire"), Old Norse lyste ("to desire; to lust"), Old High German lusten (modern German gelüsten and lüsten).
The noun sense is from the verb, or from Middle English list, liste, lest, leste, which is derived from Middle English listen, list.
Origin uncertain; possibly from tilting on lists in jousts, or from Etymology 4 in the sense of inclining towards what one desires.
Modern English dictionary
Explore and search massive catalog of over 900,000 word meanings.
Word of the Day
Get a curated memorable word every day.
Level up your vocabulary by setting personal goals.