- to go out of or away from, as a place: to leave the house.
- to depart from permanently; quit: to leave a job.
- to let remain or have remaining behind after going, disappearing, ceasing, etc.: I left my wallet home. The wound left a scar.
- to allow to remain in the same place, condition, etc.: Is there any coffee left?
- to let stay or be as specified: to leave a door unlocked.
- to let (a person or animal) remain in a position to do something without interference: We left him to his work.
- to let (a thing) remain for action or decision: We left the details to the lawyer.
- to give in charge; deposit; entrust: Leave the package with the receptionist. I left my name and phone number.
- to stop; cease; give up: He left music to study law.
- to disregard; neglect: We will leave this for the moment and concentrate on the major problem.
- to give for use after one's death or departure: to leave all one's money to charity.
- to have remaining after death: He leaves a wife and three children.
- to have as a remainder after subtraction: 2 from 4 leaves 2.
- Nonstandard. let1(defs 1, 2, 6).
- to go away, depart, or set out: We leave for Europe tomorrow.
- leave alone. alone(def 7).
- leave off,
- to desist from; cease; stop; abandon.
- to stop using or wearing: It had stopped raining, so we left off our coats.
- to omit: to leave a name off a list.
- leave out, to omit; exclude: She left out an important detail in her account.
Origin of leave1
Synonyms for leaveSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Antonyms for leave
Other substitutions of leave for let are generally regarded as nonstandard: Let (not Leave ) us sit down and talk this over. Let (not Leave ) her do it her own way. The police wouldn't let (not leave ) us cross the barriers. See also let1.
- (intr) to stop; cease
- (tr, adverb) to stop wearing or using
- (also intr) to go or depart (from a person or place)
- to cause to remain behind, often by mistake, in a placehe often leaves his keys in his coat
- to cause to be or remain in a specified statepaying the bill left him penniless
- to renounce or abandonto leave a political movement
- to refrain from consuming or doing somethingthe things we have left undone
- to result in; causechildhood problems often leave emotional scars
- to allow to be or remain subject to another person or thingleave the past to look after itself
- to entrust or commitleave the shopping to her
- to submit in place of one's personal appearancewill you leave your name and address?
- to pass in a specified directionflying out of the country, we left the cliffs on our left
- to be survived by (members of one's family)he leaves a wife and two children
- to bequeath or devisehe left his investments to his children
- (tr) to have as a remainder37 – 14 leaves 23
- not standard to permit; let
- leave be informal to leave undisturbed
- leave go or leave hold of not standard to stop holding
- leave it at that informal to take a matter no further
- leave much to be desired to be very unsatisfactory
- leave someone alone
- Also: let alone See let 1 (def. 7)
- to permit to stay or be alone
- leave someone to himself not to control or direct someone
Word Origin for leave
- permission to do somethinghe was granted leave to speak
- by your leave or with your leave with your permission
- permission to be absent, as from a place of work or dutyleave of absence
- the duration of such absenceten days' leave
- a farewell or departure (esp in the phrase take (one's) leave)
- on leave officially excused from work or duty
- take leave to say farewell (to)
- take leave of one's senses to go mad or become irrational
Word Origin for leave
- (intr) to produce or grow leaves
Old English læfan "to let remain; remain; have left; bequeath," from Proto-Germanic *laibijan (cf. Old Frisian leva "to leave," Old Saxon farlebid "left over"), causative of *liban "remain," (cf. Old English belifan, German bleiben, Gothic bileiban "to remain"), from root *laf- "remnant, what remains," from PIE *leip- "to stick, adhere;" also "fat."
The Germanic root has only the sense "remain, continue," which also is in Greek lipares "persevering, importunate." But this usually is regarded as a development from the primary PIE sense of "adhere, be sticky" (cf. Lithuanian lipti, Old Church Slavonic lipet "to adhere," Greek lipos "grease," Sanskrit rip-/lip- "to smear, adhere to." Seemingly contradictory meaning of "depart" (early 13c.) comes from notion of "to leave behind" (as in to leave the earth "to die;" to leave the field "retreat").
"permission," Old English leafe "leave, permission, license," dative and accusative of leaf "permission," from West Germanic *lauba (cf. Old Norse leyfi "permission," Old Saxon orlof, Old Frisian orlof, German Urlaub "leave of absence"), from PIE *leubh- "to care, desire, love, approve" (see love (n.)). Cognate with Old English lief "dear," the original idea being "approval resulting from pleasure." Cf. love, believe. In military sense, it is attested from 1771.
Stop, cease; also, stop doing or using. For example, Mother told the children to leave off running around the house, or Please use a bookmark to show where you left off reading. [c. 1400]
leave something off. Omit, as in We found she had left off our names.
In addition to the idioms beginning with leave
- leave a bad taste in one's mouth
- leave alone
- leave a lot to be desired
- leave flat
- leave hanging
- leave holding the bag
- leave in the lurch
- leave no stone unturned
- leave off
- leave one cold
- leave open
- leave out
- leave out in the cold
- leave out of account
- leave someone alone
- leave someone in peace
- leave someone in the lurch
- leave someone to his or her resources
- leave the door open
- leave to someone's own devices
- leave to someone's tender mercies
- leave well enough alone
- leave without a leg to stand on
- leave word
- absent without leave
- (leave) high and dry
- (leave) out in the cold
- take it or leave it
- take leave of
- take one's leave
Also see underlet.