First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Lest

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Lest mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Lest

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
verb Lest
To listen.
noun Lest
Lust; desire; pleasure.

Etymology: See List to choose

adjective Lest
Last; least.
conjunction Lest
  1. For fear that; that . . . not; in order that . . . not."Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty." [Prov. xx. 13.]"Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." [1 Cor. x. 12.]
  2. That (without the negative particle); -- after certain expressions denoting fear or apprehension."I feared Lest I might anger thee." [Shak.]

Etymology: OE. leste, fr. AS. ðȳ lǣs ðē the less that, where ðȳ is the instrumental case of the definite article, and ðē is an indeclinable relative particle, that who which. See The Less (a.)


c.1200, contracted from Middle English phrase les te "less that," from Old English phrase þy læs þe "whereby less that," from þy (instrumental case of demonstrative article þæt “that”) + læs (“less”) + þe (“the”). The þy was dropped and the remaining two words contracted into leste.

lest was also found in the following language(s): Czech, Dutch, French, German, Icelandic, and Norwegian Bokmål

Where is the name Lest popular?

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Popularity of Lest as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Lest as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Colorado, Ohio, or Illinois.

Fun Facts about the name Lest

  • When was the first name Lest first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the name Lest is Monday, June 1st, 1891.
  • How unique is the name Lest? From 1880 to 2017 less than 5 people per year have been born with the first name Lest. Hoorah! You are a unique individual.
  • Weird things about the name Lest: Your name in reverse order is Tsel. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Slte. How do you pronounce that?

What Lests Have Visited This Page?

Past life for Lest born May 18, 2015

I do not know how you feel about it, but you were a male in your last earthly incarnation. You were born somewhere around the territory of USA South-East approximately on 1575. Your profession was teacher, mathematician, and geologist.

You were always involved with all new things. You have always loved changes, especially in art, music, cooking. There is the invisible connection between material and spiritual world. Your lesson - to search, to find and to use this bridge.

Name poster for Lest

Name poster for Lest(click to save the high quality version)

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.