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[bahy-yer-leev] /ˈbaɪ yərˈliv/
an apology for not having sought permission.
Origin of by-your-leave
First recorded in 1910-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for by-your-leave
Historical Examples
  • "I am obliged to you for that, kinsman," said his lordship in Gaelic, with a by-your-leave to the cleric.

    John Splendid Neil Munro
  • You knew, of course, that he'd gone without so much as a by-your-leave to me?

    Kildares of Storm

    Eleanor Mercein Kelly
  • Why, he had only seen her once, and he said he would marry her with never a by-your-leave!

    Bucky O'Connor William MacLeod Raine
  • He stuffed me into that suffocating basketball without a by-your-leave and they threw me overboard.

    Planet of the Damned Harry Harrison
  • And, even if they succeeded, the Imperial Government would take twenty per cent of the gross without so much as a by-your-leave.

    Despoilers of the Golden Empire Gordon Randall Garrett
  • Yet everywhere was hope and geniality and by-your-leave as if weddings were in the wind and not the overture to death.

  • I suspected him of being too anxious to rid himself of the ambiguous trust imposed upon him without so much as a by-your-leave.

  • Ulick naturally thought Paul a bit of a cad to invade his room and carry off his guest without a by-your-leave!

    Painted Veils James Huneker
  • The idea of going right into the pantry without a how-do-you-do 21 or a by-your-leave!

  • Two pompous, red-cheeked, red-necked individuals stepped forward, without so much as a "by-your-leave!"

    The Ghost Breaker Charles Goddard
British Dictionary definitions for by-your-leave


a request for permission (esp in the phrase without so much as a by-your-leave)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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