Leave

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English

Verb

Leave (third-person singular simple present leaves, present participle leaving, simple past and past participle left)

  1. (transitive) To cause or allow (something) to remain as available; to refrain from taking (something) away; to stop short of consuming or otherwise depleting (something) entirely.
    I left my car at home and took a bus to work.
    The ants did not leave so much as a crumb of bread.
    There's not much food left, we'd better go to the shops.
  2. (transitive) To transfer possession of after death.
    When my father died, he left me the house.
  3. (transitive) To give (something) to someone; to deliver (something) to a repository; to deposit.
    I'll leave the car in the station so you can pick it up there.
  4. (transitive) To transfer responsibility or attention of (something) (to someone); to stop being concerned with.
    Can't we just leave this to the experts?
  5. (transitive) To depart from; to end one's connection or affiliation with.
    I left the country and I left my wife.
  6. (transitive) To end one's membership in (a group); to terminate one's affiliation with (an organization); to stop participating in (a project).
    I left the band.
  7. (intransitive) To depart; to go away from a certain place or state.
    I think you'd better leave.
  8. (intransitive, obsolete) To remain (behind); to stay.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book VII:
      And by myssefortune Sir Bors smote Sir Launcelot thorow the shylde into the syde, and the speare brake and the hede leffte stylle in the syde.
  9. (transitive, archaic) To stop, desist from; to "leave off" (+ noun / gerund).
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Luke V:
      When he had leeft speakynge, he sayde vnto Simon: Cary vs into the depe, and lett slippe thy nette to make a draught.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Noun

Leave (plural Leaves)
  1. (cricket) the action of the batsman not attempting to play at the ball.

Noun

Leave (uncountable)
  1. Permission to be absent; time away from one's work.
    I've been given three weeks' leave by my boss.
  2. (dated or law) Permission.
    Might I beg leave to accompany you?
    The applicant now seeks leave to appeal and, if leave be granted, to appeal against these sentences.
  3. (dated) Farewell, departure.
    I took my leave of the gentleman without a backward glance.

Derived terms

Verb

Leave (third-person singular simple present leaves, present participle leaving, simple past and past participle left)

  1. (intransitive, rare) To produce leaves or foliage.[1]
    • 1868, Edward Fitzgerald, The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, 2nd edition:
      Each Morn a thousand Roses brings, you say:
      Yes, but where leaves the Rose of Yesterday?

Synonyms

Adjectives for Leave

tedious; gracious; affectionate; ceremonious; sick; instant.

Adverbs for Leave

unceremoniously; inadvertently; incautiously; judiciously; unwittingly; politely; diplomatically; reluctantly; prudently; voluntarily; affectionately; ultimately; irrevocably.

Thesaurus

AWOL, French leave, Godspeed, OK, abandon, abdicate, abrupt, abscondence, absence, absence without leave, absentation, absenteeism, absenting, abstain from, accord, add a codicil, adieu, admission, admit, alienate, allow, allowance, aloha, assign, authorization, back out, bar, be getting along, be gone, be off, be pensioned, be superannuated, beat it, beg off, bequeath, bereave, bud, burgeon, burst forth, buzz off, cast off, cast out, cease, cede, charter, check out, come away, commit, conge, consent, consign, count out, cry off, cut, cut adrift, cut off, cut out, day off, decamp, default, delete, demise, demit, depart, depart from, departure, desert, desist, deviate from, devise, disappear, disappearance, disarticulate, discard, disconnect, discontinue, disengage, disjoin, disjoint, dispensation, dispense, disregard, dissociate, disunite, divide, divorce, doch-an-dorrach, drop out, eject, eliminate, entail, entrust, escape, estrange, evacuate, except, exclude, excused absence, execute a will, exit, expel, farewell, fleeing, flit, flourish, fly, forbear, forget, forsake, freedom, furlough, gang along, gemmate, germinate, get along, get away, get off, get on, get under way, give, give leave, give over, give permission, give the go-ahead, give the word, give up, go, go along, go away, go back on, go off, go on, goldbrick, good-bye, goof off, grant, grow, grow rank, hand down, hand on, holiday, hooky, ignore, isolate, jettison, jilt, jump, leaf, leaf out, leave behind, leave flat, leave loose ends, leave of absence, leave off, leave out, leave over, leave undone, leave-taking, leaving, let, let alone, let be, let dangle, let go, liberty, license, lose, luxuriate, make, make a bequest, make a will, make an exit, make possible, malinger, march off, maroon, mislay, miss, mosey, move away, move off, move out, neglect, nonappearance, nonattendance, okay, omit, orphan, overgrow, overrun, paid holiday, paid vacation, part, parting, parting words, pass on, pass over, pass up, patent, pension off, permission, permission to enter, permit, pretermit, procrastinate, pull away, pull back, pull out, pull up stakes, pullulate, push off, put forth, put forth leaves, put out buds, quit, quit cold, recess, refrain from, reject, release, relinquish, render, renege, renounce, renounce the throne, resign, retire, retire from office, retreat, riot, root, run, run off, running away, sabbatical, sabbatical leave, sabbatical year, sanction, sashay, sashay off, say goodbye to, say the word, scram, segregate, send-off, separate, sequester, set apart, set aside, set off, shirk, shoot, shoot up, shore leave, shove off, shut off, sick leave, skedaddle, skip, slack, special permission, split, sprout, sprout up, stagger along, stand aloof, stand apart, stand aside, stand down, step aside, stirrup cup, stop, strike root, subtract, superannuate, take flight, take leave of, take off, take root, take wing, throw off, throw out, throw over, ticket, ticket of admission, time off, toddle along, transfer, transmit, trifle, truancy, truantism, uncouple, unexcused absence, unyoke, up and go, up-anchor, upspear, upsprout, vacate, vacation, valediction, valedictorian, valedictory, valedictory address, vamoose, vegetate, viaticum, vouchsafe, vouchsafement, waiver, weekend, widow, will, will and bequeath, will to, wing it, withdraw, withdraw from, yield

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From Middle English leven, from Old English lǣfan (to leave), from Proto-Germanic *laibijanan (to let stay, leave), causitive of Proto-Germanic *lībanan (to stay, remain). Cognate with Old Frisian lēva (to leave), Old High German leiban (to leave), Old Norse leifa (leave over), lifna (to be left) (> Danish levne). More at lave, belive.

Etymology 2

From Middle English leve, from Old English lēaf (permission, privilege), from Proto-Germanic *laubō (permission, privilege, favour, worth), from Proto-Indo-European *leubh- (to love). Cognate with obsolete German Laube (permission), Swedish lov (permission), Icelandic leyfi (permission). Related to Dutch verlof, German Erlaubnis. See also love.

Translations

Verb

The translations below need to be checked.

Noun

References

  1. Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed.

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