The Spanish League or Legua was originally set as a fixed unit of distance of 5000 varas, about 2.6 miles or 4.2 km. Officially the league was abolished by Philip II of Spain in 1568, but it is still in use unofficially in parts of Latin America, with exact meaning varying in different countries.
In Argentina a league is a distance of 5 km.
In Brazil the league has fallen into disuse, but it used to be described as equivalent to 6 km.
In Yucatan and other parts of rural Mexico the league is still commonly used in the original sense of the distance that can be covered on foot in an hour, so that a league along a good road on level ground is a greater distance than a league on a difficult path over rough terrain.
The French lieue exists in several variants, all in the neighborhood of 4 km. Its use overlapped the metric system for a while but is now long discontinued. The nautical league was worth 3 nautical miles.
Use in fiction
- Medieval weights and measures for various definitions of the league.
League is also a term used to denote a collective entity. A league can be:
- a group of individuals, such as the League of Women Voters or The Red-Headed League (story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
- a group of clubs, such as a sports league; see List of professional sports leagues for examples of this use
- a group of countries with a common purpose. Examples include: