an apology for not having sought permission.

Origin of by-your-leave

First recorded in 1910–15 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for by-your-leave

Historical Examples of by-your-leave

  • "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

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