Main definitions of leave in English

: leave1leave2leave3

leave1

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Go away from.

    ‘she left New York on June 6’
    [no object] ‘we were almost the last to leave’
    ‘the Bruins left for Toronto on Monday’
    • ‘We have new exit procedures for leaving the Elmsleigh car park, but it does not help vehicles to leave.’
    • ‘After the bus leaves at dawn, the analyst and his wife suddenly begin to smile and even laugh.’
    • ‘But there's a train leaving right now, and I've become quickly addicted to not hanging around.’
    • ‘The appellant was adamant that he had fled and left Burma on the same date, namely 5 August.’
    • ‘No-one issued a bill is allowed to leave Australia until every last cent has been paid off.’
    • ‘An engineering locomotive came off the tracks as it was leaving Chiswick Park Station just after midnight on Saturday morning.’
    • ‘It has only one thing going for it and a lot of people travel a long way to visit it - only to leave a little disappointed.’
    • ‘Then I remembered the bus is leaving early now at 3: 30.’
    • ‘Over the next five years we will implement a new electronic borders system that will track visitors entering or leaving the UK.’
    • ‘As they came to the end of their set they left the Academy to masses of cheers.’
    • ‘The driver and passengers then left immediately for a vacation with injuries.’
    • ‘A young college teacher leaves China for the United States in search of a better future.’
    • ‘Our train leaves early in the morning, and this is the only time we could do it.’
    • ‘Our train was leaving at midnight which meant we had some time for sightseeing.’
    • ‘It is expected it will be removed early next week, as soon as a break in the weather allows the barge to leave the UK.’
    • ‘Danny smiled at her for a minute then left to go get himself a drink and a snack.’
    • ‘The three-year-old's remains had just recently been allowed to leave Thailand.’
    • ‘People who leave early also miss record-breaking, once-in-a-lifetime achievements by their own children.’
    • ‘She says they saw three buses leave Orsainville but the exit was blocked so they couldn't follow the buses.’
    • ‘The buses leave just about every hour on the hour.’
    set off, head, make, begin one's journey, set sail
    depart from, go away from, go from, withdraw from, retire from, take oneself off from, exit from, take one's leave of, pull out of, quit, be gone from, decamp from, disappear from, abandon, vacate, absent oneself from, evacuate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Depart from permanently.
      ‘at the age of sixteen he left home’
    2. 1.2Cease attending (a school or college) or working for (an organization)
      ‘she is leaving NBC after 20 years’
      • ‘After leaving the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1987 he became an executive at GPA.’
      • ‘I've continued to study and avail of relevant training courses since leaving college.’
      • ‘Since leaving drama school he's only been out of work for a total of five months.’
      • ‘He was taught by Eckersberg from whom he continued to learn after leaving the Academy in 1832.’
      • ‘Up to 12 members of staff have left the college because they are unhappy with the new setup.’
      • ‘After leaving college, Pegg headed to Bristol University with notions of treading the boards.’
      • ‘He insisted, in 1869, on leaving the Catholic school which he was attending and studying instead at a lycée.’
      • ‘The event was for the Year 11 students, as many of them are leaving the school this year.’
      • ‘In the end I decided I had no choice but to leave the training school and offer my services as a spy to another group.’
      • ‘He leaves high school shy of graduation to work in his grandfather's bank.’
      • ‘Robin leaves the School in the autumn after sixteen years to retire in South West France, with his wife, Verna.’
      • ‘He left the University as a probationer, but he was not ordained at this stage.’
      • ‘Upon denial of her promotion, she leaves the University in a swarm of anger.’
      • ‘After leaving the Conservatoire he helped support his parents by teaching the piano and accompanying dances and dancing classes.’
      • ‘Yup, they are singing my praises now that I am leaving high school and going to college.’
      • ‘All parents of students leaving primary school in June are invited to attend along with their children.’
      • ‘After leaving primary school he went to Norwood College, a public school at Sedbergh not far from Kendal.’
      • ‘She said many students were leaving primary schools without learning how to read and do basic mathematics.’
      • ‘It was possibly the first time I had done anything like that since leaving high school.’
      • ‘Suddenly I realized that my life hadn't changed much in the last decade since leaving college.’
  • 2Allow to remain.

    ‘the parts he disliked he would alter, and the parts he didn't dislike he'd leave’
    • ‘Additionally, if you leave an empty non-stick pan on a hot burner too long, you can roast the surface.’
    • ‘More commonly some material is left behind and only when it is removed surgically will bleeding cease.’
    1. 2.1Remain to be used or dealt with.
      ‘we've even got one of the plum puddings left over from last year’
      [with infinitive] ‘a retired person with no mortgage left to pay’
      • ‘It works by securing the cord on the curtain tape that is left over after the curtains are gathered.’
      • ‘The four cards that are left over at the end of the deal are set aside until the end of the hand.’
      • ‘As he had finished the last bit he left her a note on some of the parchment that was left over.’
      • ‘Any sum that happens to be left over when a child reaches maturity is not liable to tax.’
      • ‘She was allowed to carry home some of the meat that was left over, and they lived on that.’
      • ‘The collection was so successful that they decided to buy a tree to plant in the grounds with the money that was left over.’
      • ‘When the tests are complete, what happens to any tissue that is left over?’
      • ‘Very little money will be left over for farmers who intend to apply for the schemes this year.’
      • ‘It actually contains a fucshia that is left over from the summer planting.’
      • ‘Planning means things are not left to chance and you will be more likely to be what you want to do rather than what is left over.’
      • ‘I actually found a disused military shelter left over from WWII near my house the other day.’
      • ‘This compromise gives more certainty that more money will be left over for residents in the two areas.’
      • ‘Whatever was left over as free time from my painting I used for my studies.’
      • ‘The stock which is left over is placed face down on the table and no one may see it.’
      • ‘When we finished, the father summoned his two sons out of their room to eat up what was left over on the table.’
      • ‘There is easily enough room for four, and a good deal more left over for their luggage.’
      • ‘The coach will hope just enough of Rudolph's magical dust is left behind to sprinkle on his team.’
      • ‘The mess is left behind when they go, and the local council has to deal with it.’
      • ‘Every time your machine crashes, a vast heap of temporary files full of information are left behind.’
      • ‘A lot of the paint comes in full tins, left over from industrial contracts.’
    2. 2.2Go away from a place without taking (someone or something)
      ‘we had not left any of our belongings behind’
      figurative ‘women had been left behind in the struggle for pay equality’
      • ‘My brother was left behind in England for three years at boarding school because of the point he was at in his education.’
      • ‘It is finally left behind when the family takes a motorboat across a vast lagoon.’
      • ‘He was apparently left behind when his owners went back to China, in the care of a friend.’
      • ‘You must go online or risk being left behind in the Internet Age, they are warned.’
      • ‘On one trip in Africa, a tardy photographer was left behind and had to catch us up in the next country.’
      • ‘One of these was his absolute insistence that no one under any circumstance be left behind.’
      • ‘I was very junior, but he made the effort to remember my name and made sure I wasn't left behind.’
      • ‘No one bothered to tell her friend where to go to for the next train, so she was left behind.’
      • ‘Her painted purple lips moved noiselessly in the dark as the city was left behind.’
      • ‘The lice hatch in about ten days, but the egg case is left behind to grow out with the hair.’
      • ‘The independent sector was not left behind in the celebration of new heights being reached yesterday.’
      • ‘Evidently that cheery bedside manner was left behind on a straw bale all those years ago.’
      • ‘Since she was young, it may be that both ovaries were left behind at the time of hysterectomy.’
      • ‘The realities of everyday life were left behind as soon as one entered the meeting.’
      • ‘The decision to leave was very hard: pupils, friends, and youth were left behind.’
      • ‘When an orange is juiced, fibre and other health-giving elements are left behind.’
      • ‘When Scotland flew to the Far East, at the end of last season, perspective was left behind.’
      • ‘Because the skeleton is left behind we all go to our heavens without one.’
      • ‘As long as there are children left behind and losing out, we have work to do.’
      • ‘My aim is nothing less than to make sure that no patient is left behind.’
    3. 2.3Abandon (a spouse or partner)
      ‘her boyfriend left her for another woman’
      • ‘Worse, eight out of ten find a PC failure more stressful than being left by their partner.’
      • ‘How often do older men leave their high school sweethearts and marry a younger woman?’
      • ‘One woman phoned us to say she would leave but her partner threatened to do to her what he did to his wife if she did.’
      • ‘There's a place where the wife is dealing with her husband leaving her.’
      • ‘Relationships come to an end through bereavement or because one or both partners want to leave.’
      • ‘It can also happen if one partner leaves due to the relationship having become unworkable.’
      • ‘Fathers prefer boys to such an extent that if they only had girls, they were more likely to leave their wife or partner.’
    4. 2.4Have as (a surviving relative) after one's death.
      ‘he leaves a wife and three children’
      • ‘Katie leaves behind her loving partner and their two young children.’
      • ‘As well as her parents and sister, she leaves a niece Kim and nephew Josh.’
      • ‘Bill was a partner in an asphalt contracting business and he leaves a wife Olga, sister Sheila and daughter Amanda.’
      • ‘If at the time of her death, a widow leaves no eligible minor child, the payment of her share of the pension will cease.’
      • ‘He died last month, leaving behind his partner Grace and two daughters Della and Elaine.’
      • ‘He leaves wife Norma, children Lee, Jesse and Caitlin, and grandkids Mathew, Jordon, Jamie and Emma.’
      • ‘He leaves wife Helen and children Henry 20-months and one week old Emily whom he never got to see.’
    5. 2.5Bequeath.
      ‘he left $500 to the Police Athletic League’
      ‘Harry had left her $5,000 a year for life’
  • 3Cause (someone or something) to be in a particular state or position.

    ‘he'll leave you in no doubt about what he thinks’
    ‘I'll leave the door open’
    ‘the children were left with feelings of loss’
    • ‘Those fortunate enough to have encounters with these animals are left with a feeling of awe.’
    • ‘They are left with no option but to try to send fewer people to jail.’
    • ‘As a result, we were left with only 11 players, including the manager of the team.’
    • ‘The result is that most workers found they were left with hardly anything to live on and were unable to pay back the debt.’
    • ‘I was left with a curiosity about the book, but not entirely satisfied by the play.’
    • ‘With journalists gone, the chief composer of the paper was left with the task of reviving it.’
    • ‘All we are left with, then, is a belief in participation for its own sake, devoid of any content or realised goal.’
    • ‘The psychiatrist says there is nothing he can do and the carer is left with no avenue open to him but to keep on caring the best way he can.’
    • ‘She shut the front door without so much as a goodbye and I was left with a suitcase and a broken heart.’
    • ‘Campaigners were left with the prospect of returning the funding unless the council changed its mind.’
    • ‘He added that the couple wished to be left alone to allow the relationship to develop.’
    • ‘As a result of the attack the pensioner was left with a bruised head and cuts to her hands and was badly shaken up.’
    • ‘Without the word, we are left with far less satisfactory means of protest.’
    • ‘Once in place the dock will be emptied, leaving Courageous sitting on support blocks.’
    • ‘Posts are being left empty for six months at a time because of the manpower shortage.’
    • ‘He shouted at her attacker telling him to leave her alone and the man, who had remained silent throughout the incident, ran off.’
    • ‘She was left with terrible injuries.’
    • ‘Cinemas and pubs would be left empty while sports events would be cancelled.’
    • ‘If everything is an obstacle to be knocked down it is not clear what we are left with in the end.’
    • ‘I am not sure if the position we are left with here truly counts as being a religious one or not.’
    1. 3.1Let (someone) do or deal with something without offering help or assistance.
      ‘infected people are often rejected by family and friends, leaving them to face this chronic condition alone’
      • ‘She got over it with tickles and biscuits, then strolled out into the garden, leaving me to deal with a spider the size of a cricket ball on the carpet in the lounge.’
      • ‘How dare he leave me to deal with everything, including his death, while I have to stay stuck in this body?’
      • ‘Every month or so he would dump an angry dame on me, leaving me to deal with the mess.’
      • ‘I'm not leaving you to deal with this whole afterlife thing by yourself.’
      • ‘I only glared coldly at her and sidestepped, leaving her to deal with her zombie-like fans.’
      • ‘Steve was quickly engulfed by his friends, leaving me to search for my own.’
      • ‘Becca ran off without even looking at me, leaving me to deal with it on my own.’
      • ‘Her friend had left her to look at the pictures and Maria sat by herself at the edge of the gallery.’
      • ‘He left us to deal with the news of the secret with very little time to forgive him and to understand why he did what he did.’
      • ‘Why did he have to go leave me on my own, leave me to deal with everything on my own?’
      • ‘Then they said if he was a friend they would leave him to look after me.’
      • ‘His friends had long since vanished, leaving him to sort out the problem he was in by himself.’
      • ‘He disappeared, leaving me to deal with a sore eye that would soon turn into a black eye.’
      • ‘He'd run off to the hospital, leaving me to come home from school to deal with the shock.’
      • ‘You could have asked her yourself if you had not just left me to deal with her on my own.’
      • ‘Teen years leave you to deal with a whole new choice of decisions to be made.’
      • ‘Don't leave me to deal with him and the men and the press, and all of that all over again.’
    2. 3.2Cause to remain as a trace or record.
      ‘dark fruit that would leave purple stains on the table napkins’
      figurative ‘they leave the impression that they can be bullied’
      • ‘Coming so close to the end, they also tend to leave the biggest impression.’
      • ‘It's the guitar work that leaves the biggest impression, and fans of genuinely great rock albums ought to find plenty to admire here.’
      • ‘Learning through hands-on experiences leaves a more indelible impression.’
      • ‘The village creates a favourable impression and leaves a strong visual image in the minds of the travelling public.’
      • ‘Doing things leaves a more lasting impression when you write about them in a journal later.’
      • ‘However, it would leave such a nasty stain and I was so lucky this year to have such a clean locker.’
      • ‘Nothing seemed to happen, then the entire panel went blank, leaving a white, empty background.’
      • ‘Why, then, did it leave a big red stain on the white cushions in the escape capsule?’
      • ‘The Board also plans to produce a film on the industry with the aim of leaving a more lasting impression of the industry.’
      • ‘The dishes were refreshing, but failed to leave much of an impression on me.’
      • ‘It will certainly leave a more favourable impression with visiting tourists.’
      • ‘A slight pitting due to the background can be seen with a magnifying glass, where as a punch leaves a cleaner impression.’
      • ‘We concentrate on phosphorus as the nutrient that is biolimiting on geological time scales and potentially leaves a complete geological record.’
      • ‘The fourth walking appendage usually leaves the most lasting trace.’
      • ‘In the end it is not the insight into star architects that leaves the deepest impression, but the level of thoughtful reflection.’
      • ‘In particular, she leaves a fainter impression than a bluejay on freshly fallen snow.’
      • ‘You might get a greater understanding of Strindberg by visiting the exhibition than the play, even though the play leaves such a strong impression.’
      • ‘It chews its feet throughout the interview, leaving a damp doggy stain on the carpet.’
      • ‘For me, it is a sanctuary of deep quiet where man's passing has left not the faintest trace.’
      • ‘It leaves an ugly black stain which can rot fabric, leather and paper.’
    3. 3.3Deposit or entrust to be kept, collected, or attended to.
      ‘she left a note for me’
      • ‘Rising, he angrily tears the note she left into tiny pieces and hurls them across the sand.’
      • ‘Steve's tears were gone by the time he fell asleep, and Jude broke her calm for only a second to leave herself a mental note.’
      • ‘Just make sure you leave a will and something which allows the authorities to identify your body.’
      • ‘There was no way she could have reacted to the note he left in the box of the present like that.’
      • ‘He was further outraged when he found the bag, left by refuse collectors, had no air holes in it.’
      • ‘He added that people should be charged by the weight of what they left out for collection.’
      • ‘Right, I leave myself notes in the text bit of my phone if I've not got a notepad with me.’
    4. 3.4Entrust a decision, choice, or action to (someone else, especially someone considered better qualified)
      ‘the choice of which link to take is generally left up to the reader’
      • ‘With careful, thoughtful technique he leaves it to his reader to find the purpose of the essay.’
      • ‘It is is irrelevant to his day job as party leader and I think he could have left it to someone else.’
      • ‘The article leaves it to the imagination how exactly the leftover bees in the cavity are to be killed.’
      • ‘In the end, it is left to the students to stop their abuse of the B-wing stairwell, when it is reopened.’
      • ‘In other words, the quantity is dictated and it is left to the market to determine the price.’
      • ‘But there is nothing inconsistent about leaving it to the states and not overturning the decision.’
      • ‘Instead, it was left to his schools minister to tour the tables, introducing himself.’
      • ‘Only a few hundred of us are able to be here this week, so it is left to us to be the yeast in the loaf.’
      • ‘So it was left to the initiative of the Bar Harborites to respond to the needs of its visitors.’
      • ‘He does what he can to nurture it, but otherwise leaves it to nature to do what it does.’
      • ‘If he moves the jack or the boule, he loses the advantage of measuring and leaves it to the opponent to measure.’

noun

  • (in pool, billiards, snooker, croquet, and other games) the position of the balls after a shot.

Phrases

  • be left at the post

    • Be beaten from the start of a race or competition.

      • ‘She was set to race against Joe Blair, who would get a weight break of 10 pounds, but the filly was left at the post.’
      • ‘In the Derby, she was left at the post, and her rider galloped her hard to get into good position.’
      • ‘This is one candidate that should be left at the post.’
      • ‘There were a dozen or more horses in that race, and when the barrier went up Mayflower was left at the post.’
      • ‘Was his engagement the wisest move possible at a time of major-conductor scarcity or a panicky action taken out of fear of being left at the post in the maestro sweepstakes?’
      • ‘Unless U.S. statesmen can wangle the rights to their use, the U.S. will be left at the post.’
      • ‘If he was a secret supporter of the Blues and the Blue chariot was left at the post, he'd keep the rope up.’
      • ‘The relegation issue delayed meaningful negotiations and we have been left at the post in the signings race.’
      • ‘That is breathtaking speed unheard of years ago, with the possible exception of Shannon's second to Blue Legend, after being left at the post, in the 1946 Epsom.’
      • ‘About 10 were left at the post and 10 started the wrong way.’
  • be left for dead

    • Be abandoned as being almost dead or certain to die.

      • ‘He collapsed after reaching the top of Everest and was left for dead above 8000 metres by Sherpas.’
      • ‘What was once a world icon is now stipulated to be left for dead in the wake of the devastating plague.’
      • ‘Our loss was one killed and three wounded - two of the latter were left for dead on the ground.’
      • ‘He had been left for dead by the security service but was still alive despite having his skull fractured.’
      • ‘He was left for dead in the middle of the deadliest storm in the history of modern sailing.’
      • ‘He's a bigger person than most people would be who were left for dead by their friends, their teammates.’
      • ‘Another nineteen had died, and a twentieth was left for dead on the day the ship sailed.’
      • ‘In three years it'll be left for dead at the dump, leaking its own noxious brew into the soil.’
      • ‘What might be a crucial story at any other time of the year may be left for dead during sweeps.’
      • ‘A month ago, they were left for dead, but now they're thriving at the North Shore Animal League.’
  • be left to oneself

    • 1Be allowed to do what one wants.

      ‘women, left to themselves, would make the world a beautiful place to live in’
      • ‘Sexuality, if it is left to itself, as in the case of other species, is a simple biological need.’
      • ‘While I prefer to be left to myself, this was one time I wouldn't have minded a little interference.’
      • ‘Otherwise we were left to ourselves in the simple guest house which is used for retreats.’
      • ‘First, it implies that a capitalist market economy cannot be left to itself, but is a social system in need of design and support.’
      • ‘These people have their own ways and would rather be left to themselves.’
      • ‘It probably won't happen, however, if Bush's Washington is left to itself.’
      • ‘Further, whatsoever is left to itself cannot be subject to the providence of a governor.’
      • ‘This creates a stronger, healthy fox population, which is far more of a pest than if nature had been left to itself.’
      • ‘Many of us in high school or college read William Goldman's novel, Lord of the Flies, which depicts the triumph of evil when man is left to himself.’
      • ‘There is another haste that does often and will mislead the mind, if it be left to itself and its own conduct.’
      1. 1.1Be in the position of being alone or solitary.
        ‘left to himself, he removed his shirt and tie’
        • ‘We knew we were lucky when Aaron was so happy to be left to himself, not only as a baby, but also as a toddler.’
        • ‘But if any would polish it, it is made dim, and truly if it be left to itself its clearness is withholden.’
        • ‘Eventually my wife would join them and I'd be left to myself for as far as the tank of gas would take me.’
        • ‘In the eastern forest region, if the grass be left to itself, small trees soon spring up in its midst.’
        • ‘All the conditions of line 6 are unfavourable, and its subject is left to himself without any helpers.’
        • ‘If a quarrelsome person is left to himself he will soon have nobody with which to quarrel.’
        • ‘In my mind, this person is worthless, does not deserve a single penny, and should be left to himself to die.’
        • ‘If that balance is somehow compromised, and the bike is left to itself, it will fall every time!’
        • ‘The blessedness of this doctrine is that he shall not be left to himself nor suffered to perish.’
        • ‘For this young person to be left to herself in a country so far away could only expose her to danger.’
  • leave someone/something alone

    • 1Abandon or desert someone or something.

      • ‘She wished that she hadn't left them alone in the house.’
      • ‘There is a small part of me that is telling me not to leave them alone, but the majority of my head wishes to go to bed.’
      • ‘A tram sped away from a stop leaving a five-year-old girl alone on the platform before her mum had time to get off.’
      • ‘Audrey and Sid always do this - they invite the both of us along, but then go off and leave us alone…together.’
      • ‘But suddenly, their laughter was stopped by a sudden thunder, and they ran, leaving the boy alone.’
      • ‘They both darted down the hallway, and with that, Stevey and I were left alone together.’
      • ‘After the truck was declared safe to leave alone, a tow truck arrived to pull the wreckage away.’
      • ‘Avoid falls - never leave your baby alone on any elevated surface such as a changing table or sofa.’
      • ‘The construction of the hotel was mysteriously abandoned, and the grand building was left alone.’
      • ‘After all this activity, she is left alone for a solo that looked rather pointless, as if it had been tagged on for her benefit.’
      fail to look after, fail to care for, fail to provide for, leave alone, abandon
      View synonyms
    • 2Stop disturbing or interfering with someone or something.

      • ‘Did you think that some ancient wizard just creates the portal in some abandoned area and just leaves it alone forever?’
      • ‘So when an adult would ask me, I'd tell them one or the other and they'd smile and leave me alone.’
      • ‘Kathy smiled and left Leah alone because she saw she had touched a chord with this conversation.’
      • ‘Zach included me for a while, but Liz started to give me the impression I was interfering, so I left them alone.’
      • ‘The only way to truly cherish an ancient monument or other historic feature is to leave it alone, avoid it, plan around it.’
      • ‘Yep, leave them alone… if they are bothered they are liable to abandon the nest.’
      • ‘I knew that the only way for Leslie to leave me alone about the whole thing would be to make her feel guilty.’
      • ‘We ask the council to stop this proposal and leave the bus stop alone.’
      • ‘She wished she could go back and tell herself to leave that whole treasure chest alone.’
      • ‘We've had to stop him from coming in now because he just won't leave our customers alone.’
  • leave someone be

    • Refrain from disturbing or interfering with someone.

      • ‘She does not manipulate the needles, just taps them in and leaves me be for 20 minutes or so.’
      • ‘The facilities were good and clean, the staff were helpful and left us be when we wanted to be left.’
      • ‘We just left him be for the night and gave him a place to sleep until we could get him the medical attention he needed.’
      • ‘He would have gotten more respect out of me if he just left me be when I asked him to.’
      • ‘Tell us when to show up, tell us what to do, tell us when we are supposed to go home, and leave us be.’
      • ‘My insomnia, although ever present, takes a backseat to my life's list of troubles, and leaves me be that I may live my life in relative restfulness.’
      • ‘Impressed as ever by her verve, we left her be, the sound of thousands of tiny sobs fading as we went.’
      • ‘Creatures and races that long left us be have awoken and thrown their might at us.’
      • ‘Those who want our business approach us with friendly calls, and leave us be when we decline their offers.’
      • ‘In fact, she seems to prefer it that way, so I've left her be, but I know that at least I've made an effort.’
  • leave someone cold

    • Fail to interest someone.

      ‘the Romantic poets left him cold’
      • ‘I don't understand a lot of things others take for granted, and I am left cold by fads such as postmodernism, etc.’
      • ‘If the last one left you cold, then only consider it if competitive multiplayer is your thing.’
      • ‘He tends to leave me cold and I can't say I've enjoyed any of his films for over a decade.’
      • ‘The proposals, for that reason, leave us cold.’
      • ‘My parents tried introducing me to Indian art, dance, cooking, and dress, but these things left me cold.’
      • ‘At her home in Florida, she got a phone call from the firm that left her cold.’
      • ‘Talk about having problems with billing - our experience with them has left us cold about their services.’
      • ‘Still some have left us cold and unfulfilled as one party of the match didn't quite live up to their end of the deal.’
      • ‘Some of the episodes leave me cold and others really tickle my fancy.’
      • ‘Endless flights to test the effects of weightlessness on fruit flies left us cold and indifferent with few exceptions.’
  • leave hold of

    • Cease holding.

      • ‘Elizabeth constantly sat bravely at Frank's side, never leaving hold of his hand, night and day for the last three weeks of his very severe illness.’
      • ‘When the push button is left hold of, the ball 47 is free to move with the air and is pressed tightly against its seat interrupting the flow.’
      • ‘But as his later life shows, perhaps this early ability to leave hold of himself is one of the reasons why we, as readers, never quite manage to get a crystal clear picture of him as a man.’
      • ‘If an opportunity should occur, he assured her he would not leave hold of her hand.’
      • ‘While he was speaking thus to himself a great wave struck the raft, and made him leave hold of the rudder, and tossed him far away into the sea.’
      • ‘I only let you leave hold of my hand for a minute to go and buy some sweets and now the sky is falling.’
      • ‘Then the youth left hold of the cord for the first time in ten years, and a great joy descended upon him.’
      • ‘If so he would hardly have been prepared to leave hold of a piece of art of such a high quality.’
      • ‘Vasiliev, with whom I was walking hand in hand, suddenly left hold of my arm and sank upon the snow.’
      • ‘Thereupon the dragon suddenly left hold of him, and went off into the lake.’
  • leave it at that

    • Abstain from further comment or action.

      ‘if you are not sure of the answers, say so, and leave it at that’
      • ‘Pick the string, but instead of just leaving it at that, a split second later hit the string with your thumb.’
      • ‘The movie hints that there is more to him than first appears but frustratingly leaves it at that.’
      • ‘Saying that the advanced user isn't their target audience and then leaving it at that does not seem to be the way business should be done.’
      • ‘‘I know,’ she replies, and leaves it at that, knowing she has to keep it together.’
      • ‘You're obviously going to leave it at that as you fail to find any more solid arguments to my replies.’
      • ‘For this reason, its much better to call it constant and leave it at that than call it not constant and leave it at that.’
      • ‘Most of the time, the script simply brings the issue up and leaves it at that with the rest of the work and questioning to come from a healthy family discussion afterwards.’
      • ‘The explorers suggested that the towers had to do with the movement of the moon, and left it at that.’
      • ‘Confronting the colleague is better than doing nothing, but leaving it at that doesn't go far enough.’
      • ‘We left it at that as I arrived home and walked into my house still jittery from the adrenaline.’
  • leave much (or a lot) to be desired

    • Be highly unsatisfactory.

      • ‘Although the liquid diet leaves a lot to be desired, it hasn't been terribly difficult for me to adhere to.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, the play is as elementary as its title, leaving much to be desired in plot and characterization.’
      • ‘The architect they chose left a lot to be desired and the building gradually became vacant.’
      • ‘But their business practices leave much to be desired, and their fly-by-night bakery quickly ends up in the red.’
      • ‘It started awhile back when I noticed some of your signs leaving a lot to be desired in the grammar department.’
      • ‘In 1842, he performed an experiment that left much to be desired in the control of experimental variables.’
      • ‘The last release left much to be desired, to be diplomatic, and we do not want those mistakes to be repeated.’
      • ‘Granted the puppetry leaves a lot to be desired, but it was made a long time ago so it can be forgiven for that.’
      • ‘Many had come from standard, hierarchical organizations which left a lot to be desired on an individual level.’
      • ‘In its infancy, pin and ball were made of hardwood, leaving much to be desired with regard to uniformity.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • leave off

    • 1Discontinue (an activity)

      ‘the dog left off chasing the sheep’
      • ‘In the second half the game continued in the same vein, where it left off at the break.’
      • ‘He must start every day where he had to leave off the previous evening.’
      • ‘Some foolish part of me thought I could walk straight back into the studio and pick right up where I left off, but this is really not the case.’
      • ‘Many angrily told him to leave off shouting; but he only cried out all the louder.’
      • ‘He continued where he left off after the break and nearly gave his side the lead after 52 minutes.’
      • ‘He jokes with him on the phone, finishes the call and continues at the point that he left off.’
      • ‘I swear it leaves off then, to resume work somewhere in my abdomen, causing the most uncomfortable swelling and, eventually, making it harder and harder to breath.’
      • ‘Picking up his book where he had left off he tried to focus on the words but the images they painted in his mind didn't match anything that had come before.’
      • ‘That's where the DVD version scores because when you sit down to pick it up again it goes back to the beginning of the scene where you left off.’
      • ‘And here I drank wine upon necessity, being ill for want of it, and I find reason to fear that by my too sudden leaving off wine, I do contract many evils upon myself.’
      stop, cease, finish, desist from, keep from, break off, lay off, give up, discontinue, refrain from, restrain oneself from, hold back from, swear off, resist the temptation to, stop oneself from, withhold from, eschew
      conclude, terminate, suspend, bring to an end, renounce, forswear, forbear, relinquish
      quit
      give over, knock off, jack something in
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Come to an end.
        ‘he resumed the other story at the point where the previous author had left off’
        • ‘She takes up where she left off before her brief battle with temptation.’
        • ‘I wish, though, to return to the scene of the crime, in a manner of speaking, where I left off last week.’
        • ‘They rode right into a squadron of our own cavalry, who dealt with them and finished where we'd left off.’
        • ‘Since we last left off, there have been major problems that have arisen with regard to our building project.’
        • ‘The Tories continued where the previous Labour government left off in trying to tame militant trade unionism.’
        • ‘I wouldn't try, or want to try, to carry on from where he left off.’
        • ‘Some even carry on a story from where tracks on previous albums left off.’
        • ‘They began the second half where they left off from the first.’
        • ‘It definitely should have left off with the apocalyptic ending.’
  • leave something off

    • Omit to put on.

      ‘a bolt may have been left off the plane's forward door during production’
      • ‘Didn't you notice when you left my name off Katie's registration?’
      • ‘I would have left her name off the list but that would have been rude.’
      • ‘At his suggestion, they left his name off the credits so it wouldn't hurt their sales.’
      • ‘I considered buying it anyway, and leaving the wheels off - it would match what I have now.’
      • ‘Apparently, some people think I left certain characters off the poll because of prejudices.’
      • ‘About two months ago the dealer left a clamp off my radiator hose after servicing my car.’
      • ‘She left her gloves off, and the covers for her forearms and calves, and turned her attention back to her wet hair.’
      • ‘The other method was to leave his name off a work completely or to send in a proxy.’
      • ‘It was getting darker all time and because I'd left my gloves off, my hands were also freezing cold.’
      • ‘So, while I will sometimes turn comments on, I'll probably leave them off most of the time.’
  • leave someone/something out

    • Fail to include.

      ‘it seemed unkind to leave Daisy out; so she was invited, too’
      ‘Janet was feeling rather left out’
      • ‘First of all, don't assume that the guys deliberately left you out or tried to make you look bad.’
      • ‘Also, the wonderkid thing is exaggerated - Argentina left him out of their squad for the recent World Youth Cup.’
      • ‘Couldn't we have left him out until the next episode and had Dale say - oh I'm engaged.’
      • ‘There is no reason to leave us out of your tour dates, unless you simply don't want to come.’
      • ‘In all honesty, they probably leave it out for the power reason and to save a few cents on build complexity.’
      • ‘When I reviewed the first draft of the book, I found that the authors had completely left us out of the story.’
      • ‘If the flowers are to be smelled along the way, that is a feminine prerogative, and leave us out of it.’
      • ‘Her neutrality in the First World War left her out of the negotiations concerning the restructuring of Europe.’
      • ‘I felt somehow for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton just left me out by mistake.’
      • ‘She tried to join them once, but I think they intentionally left her out, so she came back to sit by me again.’
      miss out, omit, omit by accident, fail to include, overlook, pass over, neglect to notice, leave unnoticed, forget
      exclude, omit, except, eliminate, drop, count out, disregard, ignore, reject, pass over, neglect, cut out, do away with, bar, debar, keep out
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English lǣfan bequeath, also allow to remain, leave in place, of Germanic origin; related to German bleiben remain.

Pronunciation:

leave

/lēv/

Main definitions of leave in English

: leave1leave2leave3

leave2

noun

  • 1Time when one has permission to be absent from work or from duty in the armed forces.

    ‘Joe was home on leave’
    ‘he took a leave of absence last year’
    • ‘Many have been told by their doctors to take leave to protect their health and would step down from the job if they could keep their allowances and pension entitlements.’
    • ‘International students on medical leaves of absence may remain in the United States legally while getting treatment.’
    • ‘You are not allowed to enroll full-time in another university while on a leave of absence from Duke.’
    • ‘All leaves of absence should be applied for at least 30 days in advance if possible.’
    • ‘Supervisor's Note: Detailed information regarding all leaves of absence is available in the Employee Benefits Handbook.’
    • ‘Cycling to college, Singh taught agriculture economics and macro economics but he soon took leave to go to Cambridge on scholarship.’
    • ‘Full-time officers of research may take leaves of absence according to the policies described below.’
    • ‘The term ‘leave of absence’ applies, in most cases, to leaves of absence without pay.’
    • ‘While on leave of absence without pay, the employee is not eligible to utilize tuition benefits.’
    • ‘This has serious repercussions for a largely immigrant workforce who may have to take leave to visit family abroad.’
    • ‘Staff do not accrue university service credit during discretionary leaves of absence such as education leaves, political leave of absence, and other leaves of absence.’
    • ‘If you are on a leave of absence with pay, your and the University's normal contributions will continue.’
    • ‘You may continue group coverage for up to 36 months of leave of absence by prepaying the monthly premiums.’
    • ‘We support his decision to take leave to do that and we anticipate him returning as leader in early February in time for the next sitting period.’
    • ‘A lot of soldiers from Fort Gordon took leave to man the scoreboards.’
    • ‘Requests for consecutive years of leave of absence shall be for the reasons provided in this policy.’
    • ‘Further, some may argue that annual leave provides a sufficient number of days for fathers to take leave to care for their children.’
    • ‘Apparently she's still feeling unwell after it and is taking leave to convalesce.’
    • ‘Every officer and employee shall be entitled to such leaves of absence on days when elections are held within the city as are authorized by Section 14350 of the Elections Code.’
    • ‘What is the reason for the leave of absence deadline on the Academic and Administrative Calendar?’
    holiday, break, time off, furlough, sabbatical, leave of absence, a day off, a month off, a week off, leisure time, respite, breathing space
    View synonyms
  • 2[often with infinitive] Permission.

    ‘he is seeking leave to appeal the injunction’
    • ‘Under the Children Act 1989, any person may apply to the court for leave to seek an order relating to the child.’
    • ‘I wondered why the member had to seek leave to do that in this particular instance, when the vote has not yet been put.’
    • ‘She now appeals against conviction by leave of the single judge.’
    • ‘That being the case, I seek leave to ask the Minister whether he will provide us with that legal opinion.’
    • ‘The appellant now appeals against sentence by leave of the single judge.’
    • ‘You will have a right to appeal against my decision by leave of the Court to a Full Court.’
    • ‘I seek leave to present the report of the High Court on the Tauranga electoral petition.’
    • ‘I seek leave to table two media reports identifying people who confirm the nature of that police advice.’
    • ‘Though she was refused leave to appeal, she is likely to seek leave to do so from the Appeal Court itself.’
    • ‘So it is with a heavy heart that we seek your leave to return to the subject.’
    • ‘I also seek leave to file in Court and read an affidavit sworn today.’
    • ‘I seek leave to take a call on behalf of the leader of the National Party.’
    • ‘I also seek leave to table the transcript in which the Prime Minister said there were no positive tests.’
    • ‘It is against that dismissal that the applicant seeks leave to appeal to this Court.’
    • ‘It is a very narrow debate, unless members seek leave to widen the debate.’
    • ‘The applicant seeks leave to appeal from a decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court.’
    • ‘I heard Mr Burton seek leave to table the minutes of that particular meeting.’
    • ‘I seek leave to table the list of 101 projects funded by the Sustainable Farming Fund.’
    • ‘Instead, able-bodied men in their thousands had leave to seek a livelihood abroad.’
    • ‘He sought leave to make an application to discharge the court order made last April.’
    permission, consent, authorization, sanction, warrant, dispensation, concession, indulgence, approval, clearance, blessing, agreement, backing, assent, acceptance, confirmation, ratification, mandate, licence, acquiescence, concurrence, liberty, freedom
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • by (or with) your leave

    • With your permission.

      ‘with your leave, I will send him your address’
      • ‘Even by your leave Robin, it is not fitting for my order to strike a yeoman for fear an injury he may receive.’
      • ‘Member for Lewes (Mr. Baker), and with your leave, Mr. O'Brien, he will speak to amendment No.27 in a moment.’
      • ‘But with your leave, friend, I shall take a cut through the woods until we have left this Christian woman behind.’
      • ‘And finally, with your leave, I'll sit down and satisfy my cravings of to-day, and leave to-morrow to shift for itself - who knows but what I may secure both this and that?’
  • take one's leave

    • formal Say goodbye.

      ‘he went to take his leave of his hostess’
      • ‘Saturday morning we sadly took our leave of our friends in Clonmel with the promise of meeting again soon.’
      • ‘With directions from Morris on how to get to Big Hill Lake we took our leave with much regret.’
      • ‘It is time to leave for home, and we take our leave of these gracious and courteous researchers.’
      • ‘Our guests smile - The Artist's smile is rather perfunctory - and we take our leave of each other.’
      • ‘Finally, he took his leave under a general amnesty, and finally made his way back to Texas in August 1835.’
      • ‘She took her leave of them, but when she finally arrived home, she was shocked at the state of her dough.’
      • ‘Then she took her leave of Master Robert, and prayed him for his blessing, and so forth of other friends.’
      • ‘The libation complete, we took our leave, promising to return with copies of the photos we took.’
      • ‘With this brief notice of St. Cross we take our leave of the old capital of England and its neighbourhood.’
      • ‘With that, she took her leave of him and went into the house, and spent the night with the rest of the family.’
      departure, leaving, leave-taking, parting, withdrawal, exit, farewell, goodbye, adieu, valediction
      View synonyms
  • take leave of one's senses

    • (in hyperbolic use) go insane.

      • ‘She truly does take leave of her senses where her Earl is concerned.’
      • ‘So, from now until Christmas Day, this column will address the delicate subject of how to cook and entertain your way through the festive season without taking leave of your senses.’
      • ‘Or was it the telecom bosses and their financiers who took leave of their senses?’
      • ‘But five months ago, the Washington Post editors completely took leave of their senses.’
      • ‘He is old and senile, and sometimes takes leave of his senses.’
      become insane, lose one's reason, lose one's mind, take leave of one's senses, go off one's head, go crazy
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English lēaf permission; related to lief and love.

Pronunciation:

leave

/lēv/

Main definitions of leave in English

: leave1leave2leave3

leave3

verb

  • Put forth leaves.

Pronunciation:

leave

/lēv/