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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Leod \Le"od\ (l[=e]"[o^]d), n. [AS. le['o]d people, nation, man, chief; akin to OS. liud, OHG. liut, pl. liuti, G. leute, pl., fr. AS. le['o]dan to grow, akin to Goth. liudan, OS. liodan, OHG. liotan to grow; cf. Skr. ruh. [root]123.] People; a nation; a man. [Obs.]
--Piers Plowman. Bp. Gibson.


n. 1 (form of Alternative or obsolete form lede English). 2 (context collectively obsolete English) people. 3 (context obsolete English) A people, nation, people group. 4 (context obsolete English) A man, person.


Leod ( Scottish Gaelic: Leòd; Old Norse: Ljótr) ( 1200 – 1280) is considered the eponymous ancestor and founder of Clan MacLeod and Clan MacLeod of Lewis. Almost nothing is known about him and he does not appear in any contemporary records. Tradition dating to the late 18th century made him a son of Olaf the Black who was King of Man (r. 1225–1237). Heraldic evidence, dating to the late 17th century, is considered to be the earliest evidence of descent from Olaf the Black. However, in recent years, this traditional lineage has been challenged and is no longer considered fact by historians.

According to Clan MacLeod tradition, Leod inherited some of his lands from a foster father, who was a sheriff of the Hebridean island of Skye; other lands he inherited from his father-in-law, who was also a lord on Skye. MacLeod tradition also states that Leod was the father of four sons and two daughters. Two of these sons founded the two main branches of MacLeods; branches which exist to this day— Tormod (from whom the MacLeods of Harris and Dunvegan descend) and Torquil (from whom the MacLeods of Lewis descend). The traditional belief that Torquil was a son has also been challenged; the current understanding is that he was a great-grandson of Leod. In recent years, the DNA evidence of men bearing surnames equating to MacLeod has revealed that a certain proportion share a common ancestor—an ancestor considered to have been the clan's founder.

Leod (disambiguation)

Leod may refer to:

  • Leod, a character in the traditions of Clan MacLeod, considered to be the founder of the clan, thought to have lived in the 13th century
  • Leod Macgilleandrais, a character in 17th-century clan tradition, thought to have lived in the 14th century
  • Léod, a character in The Lord of the Rings
  • Léot of Brechin, a 12th-century Scottish cleric