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Lease, subst. 1) a temporary letting of an estate for a certain rent: “they are out by l.” Gent. V, 2, 29 (let, farmed out; a jest not quite intelligible. Perhaps Proteus hints that Silvia would like to see Thurio occupied with the cultivation of his land, instead of molesting her with his courtship). “my lands and --s,” Shr. II, 126. “to let this land by l.” R2 II, 1, 110.
2) any tenure or temporary possession: “so should that beauty which you hold in l. find no determination,” Sonn. 13, 5.
3) duration, time allotted, lifetime: “summer's l. hath all too short a date,” Sonn. 18, 4. “the l. of my true love,” 107, 3. “it fears not policy, that heretic, which works on --s of short-numbered hours,” 124, 10. “why so large cost, having so short a l., dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?” 146, 5. “five year! a long l. for the clinking of pewter,” H4A II, 4, 50. “if I might have a l. of my life for a thousand years I could stay no longer,” H6B IV, 10, 6. “Macbeth shall live the l. of nature, pay his breath to time and mortal custom,” Mcb. IV, 1, 99.
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