leave

1 /li:v/ verb past tense and past participle left LEAVE A PLACE, VEHICLE
1 LEAVE (I, T) to go away from a place or a person: What time did you leave the office? | They were so noisy that the manager asked them to leave.
(+ for): They're leaving for Rome in the morning. | leave to do sth: Franca left early to meet her mother. | leave sb doing sth: Ann left Keith dozing in the chair.
2 TRAIN/SHIP ETC (T) to get off a train, ship etc: Make sure to check the overhead luggage compartments before you leave the plane.
3 leave sb to sth to go away and let someone continue what they are doing: I'll leave you to your work.
4 leave him to himself/leave her to herself etc to go away from someone so that they are alone
LEAVE YOUR JOB, HOME, WIFE ETC
5 HOME/SCHOOL ETC (I, T) to stop living at your parents' home, stop going to school etc: Zoe wants to be a hairdresser when she leaves school. | Tom wants to leave home.
6 HUSBAND/WIFE ETC (I, T) to stop living with someone you had a close relationship with: leave sb for sb (=leave in order to live with someone else): Jan's husband's left her for another woman.
7 COUNTRY/PLACE (I, T) to stop living in a country, town etc and go somewhere else: They're leaving Minneapolis to live in Santa Fe.
8 JOB/COMPANY (I, T) to stop working for a particular organization or being a member of a group: Bill's leaving the company after 25 years' service. | We are concerned about the number of young people leaving the church. | a leaving present (=for someone who is leaving)
9 leave sb alone to stop annoying or upsetting someone: Why can't you just leave her alone?
10 leave sth alone to stop touching something: Will you leave that piano alone? | leave it/this alone: Leave it alone or you'll break it!
11 leave go of/leave hold of BrE to stop holding something: Leave go of me!
12 leave it at that used to say that you have said or done enough about something: Let's leave it at that for today.
LEAVE STH SOMEWHERE
13 LET STH REMAIN (transitive always + adv/prep) to let something or someone stay where they are when you go away: leave sth in/on etc: Someone's left their car in the middle of the driveway. | If you leave that on the floor, it'll get trodden on and broken. | I've left the kids with Sandra.
14 FORGET STH (transitive always + adv/prep) to forget to take something with you when you leave a place: leave sth behind/in/on etc: Oh no! I've left the paperwork in my office.
15 FOR SB TO FIND (T) to put something in a place where someone else can find it: Miriam always leaves a spare key under the plant. | I'll leave you some milk in the fridge.
16 LETTER/MESSAGE (T) to leave a letter, package, message etc somewhere for someone: If you'd care to leave your name and number, he'll call you right back. | leave sth for sb/leave sb sth: Lucy left a note for you. | Who left me this message? | leave word with sb (=leave a message with someone): Could you leave word with my secretary if you can't make it?
REMAIN
17 BE LEFT (T) to remain after everything else has been taken away or used: I'll have another brandy if there's any left. | By 5 o'clock there was hardly anyone left in the office. | have sth left: How much time do we have left to finish this? | be left over (=remain after you have used or spent all the rest): If there's any money left over, you can keep it for yourself.
NOT DO STH
18 DELAY (T) to not do something until later: Let's leave the dishes for tomorrow. | Leave it another week, then tell him he'll have to decide. | Leave the batter to stand for 15 minutes. | leave sth for now: Leave the filing for now. You can do it later.
19 NOT DO STH (T) to not do something that you ought to do: I couldn't face the ironing so I just left it.
20 NOT EAT/DRINK (T) if you leave food or drink, you do not eat it because you do not like it or you have had enough: If you don't like the stew, just leave it.
21 leave sb/sth be to not disturb or annoy someone, or not touch or move something: Just leave Jenny be and she'll sort things out for herself.
22 leave well (enough) alone to not try to change a situation in case you make it worse than it was before: If I were you I would leave well alone.
23 leave sb to their own devices to not tell someone what to do or offer them help, but let them do what they decide to do
STATE/POSITION
24 (T)
a) to make something stay, or let something stay in a particular state or position: How did you leave things after the meeting? | Leave the batter to stand for 15 minutes. | leave sth open/empty/untidy etc: I wish you'd stop leaving the door open. | The trial left a lot of questions unanswered. | leave sth on/off/out etc: Leave the television on, will you? | leave sth doing sth: I'll just leave the engine running while I pop in.
b) if something leaves you in a particular condition, you are in that condition as a result of it: Paying for the repairs left Jim without a cent. | Frankly, their rudeness left me speechless. | leave sb doing sth: Carla's narrow escape left her shaking with terror.
DECIDE/CHOOSE
25 LET SB DECIDE/TAKE RESPONSIBILITY (T) to let someone decide something or take responsibility for something: leave sth with sb: Leave it with me and I'll fix it for you. | leave sth to sb (=let someone choose or decide): I've always left financial decisions to my wife. | leave doing sth to sb: I'll leave buying the tickets to you. | leave sb to do sth BrE: I'll leave you to choose which film we see. | leave it to me (=I'll take responsibility for it): Leave it to me. I'll make sure it gets posted. | leave it (up) to sb to do sth: We left it to Dad to get the packing done. | I'll leave it up to you to decide. | leave sth to chance (=take no action and just wait and see what happens)
26 leave sb with no choice/option to force someone to do something because there is nothing else they can do: You leave me with no option but to resign.
DEATH
27 WHEN YOU DIE (T)
a) to give something to someone after you die: The old lady left $5 million. | leave sth to sb/sth: He had left all his money to charity. | leave sb sth: Hugo left me his mother's ring.
b) to have members of your family still alive when you die: Collins leaves a wife and three children.
OTHER MEANINGS
28 leave a space/gap etc to deliberately make a space etc when you are doing something: Leave a 10 centimetre gap between the young plants. | leave room: Drivers should always leave plenty of room for cyclists.
29 leave a mark/stain/scar etc to make a mark etc that remains afterwards: The cut was deep and left a terrible scar. | William had left a trail of muddy footprints across the floor.
30 leave sb cold to not interest or excite someone at all: Modern Jazz leaves me cold, I'm afraid.
31 leave sb/sth standing informal to be much better, quicker etc than someone or something else: Anna leaves all her classmates standing.
32 leave a lot to be desired to be very unsatisfactory: Your conduct this term has left a lot to be desired.
33 leave a bad taste in your mouth if an experience leaves a bad taste in your mouth, remembering it upsets you or makes you feel uncomfortable: The things she said really left a nasty taste in my mouth.
34 leave no stone unturned to do everything that you can in order to find something or solve a problem: Jarvis left no stone unturned in his search for the manuscript.
35 leave sth aside/leave sth to one side to not think about or consider something for a time, so that you can think about something else: leaving aside (=used to say that you do not want to consider something for a time): Leaving aside the question of expense, what's your opinion?
-see also: take it or leave it take 1 (18a) leave sb/sth behind phrasal verb (T)
1 to forget to take something with you when you leave a place: I think I left my credit card behind at the restaurant.
2 to move far ahead of someone who cannot run, walk, or drive as fast as you can: leave sb far behind BrE
/leave sb way behind especially AmE: I was soon left far behind.
3 to let something or someone stay in a place when you go away, especially permanently: Sooner or later we have to leave our parents behind.
4 be/get left behind to not work as well or as quickly as someone else, so that you make less progress than they do: You'll have to put in some extra work at night if you don't want to get left behind.
leave off phrasal verb (I, T) informal to stop doing something: I wish the rain would leave off for five minutes. | Let's start again from where we left off. | leave off (doing) sth BrE: Leave off shouting! I can't hear myself think in here. leave sb/sth out phrasal verb (T)
1 to not include someone or something in a group, list, activity etc: You've left out a zero in this phone number. | leave sb/sth out of sth: Kidd has been left out of the team.
2 be/feel left out to feel as if you are not accepted or welcome in a social group: All the others seemed to know each other and I began to feel left out.
3 leave it out! BrE spoken used to tell someone to stop lying, pretending, or being annoying
2 noun
1 HOLIDAY (U) time that you are allowed to spend away from your work, especially in the armed forces: I've applied for three days' leave. | be on leave: I'm in command while Farringdon is on leave.
2 sick/maternity/compassionate leave time that you are allowed to spend away from work because you are ill, because you have had a baby, or because of a personal problem such as the death of a relative
3 leave of absence a period of time that you are allowed to spend away from work for a particular purpose: She's been given leave of absence to attend a computer course.
4 take leave of your senses to become crazy and behave in a strange way: You want to marry him? Have you taken leave of your senses?
5 PERMISSION (U) formal permission to do something, especially something you would not normally be allowed to do: All this was done entirely without my leave. | leave to do sth: Julia had special leave to do her exams at home. | ask leave: He asked leave to speak to her in private.
6 without so much as a by your leave old-fashioned without asking permission, in a way that seems very rude: How dare you come marching into my office without so much as a by your leave?
7 take leave of sb/take your leave formal to say goodbye to someone
8 by your leave old use used when asking permission to do something
-see also: take French leave French 2 (3)

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

Synonyms:

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