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shore leave

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noun Navy.
  1. permission to spend time ashore, usually 48 hours or more, granted a member of a ship's company.
  2. the time spent ashore during such leave.

Origin of shore leave

First recorded in 1905–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for shore leave

Historical Examples

  • But, to return, Mulholland answered my request for shore-leave with a soothing smile.

    The Deluge

    David Graham Phillips

  • We had, all of us, already over-stayed our shore-leave by many hours.

  • There is no accounting, ever, for the ways of shore-leave sailor-men.

    Told in the East

    Talbot Mundy

  • It was not all shore-leave, but there was skittles now and then for the deserving and good-conduct men.

    Pike & Cutlass

    George Gibbs


British Dictionary definitions for shore leave

shore leave

noun navy
  1. permission to go ashoreCompare liberty (def. 5)
  2. time spent ashore during 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