left

1
[ left ]
/ lɛft /

adjective

noun

adverb

toward the left: She moved left on entering the room.

Origin of left

1
1125–75; 1935–40 for def 6; Middle English left, lift, luft, Old English left idle, weak, useless, Kentish form of lyft- (in lyftādl palsy); cognate with Dutch, Low German lucht; akin to Middle English libbe (modern dial. lib) to castrate, cognate with Dutch, Low German lubben

Definition for left (2 of 4)

left2
[ left ]
/ lɛft /

verb

simple past tense and past participle of leave1.

Definition for left (3 of 4)

leave1
[ leev ]
/ liv /

verb (used with object), left, leav·ing.

verb (used without object), left, leav·ing.

to go away, depart, or set out: We leave for Europe tomorrow.

Verb Phrases

Origin of leave

1
before 900; Middle English leven, Old English lǣfan (causative formation from base of lāf remainder; see lave2); cognate with Old High German leiban (compare German bleiben to remain), Old Norse leifa, Gothic -laibjan

OTHER WORDS FROM leave

leav·er, noun

usage note for leave

Leave is interchangeable with let when followed by alone with the sense “to refrain from annoying or interfering with”: Leave (or Let ) her alone and she will solve the problem easily. When he was left (or let ) alone without interruptions, the boy quickly assembled the apparatus. The use of leave alone for let alone in the sense “not to mention” is nonstandard: There wasn't any standing room, let (not leave ) alone a seat, so I missed the performance.
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.

Definition for left (4 of 4)

leave3
[ leev ]
/ liv /

verb (used without object), leaved, leav·ing.

to put forth leaves; leaf.

Origin of leave

3
1250–1300; Middle English leven, derivative of lef leaf
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for left

British Dictionary definitions for left (1 of 5)

left1
/ (lɛft) /

adjective

adverb

on or in the direction of the left

noun

Word Origin for left

Old English left idle, weak, variant of lyft- (in lyftādl palsy, literally: left-disease); related to Middle Dutch lucht left

British Dictionary definitions for left (2 of 5)

left2
/ (lɛft) /

verb

the past tense and past participle of leave 1

British Dictionary definitions for left (3 of 5)

leave1
/ (liːv) /

verb leaves, leaving or left (mainly tr)

Derived forms of leave

leaver, noun

Word Origin for leave

Old English lǣfan; related to belīfan to be left as a remainder

British Dictionary definitions for left (4 of 5)

leave2
/ (liːv) /

noun

Word Origin for leave

Old English lēaf; related to alӯfan to permit, Middle High German loube permission

British Dictionary definitions for left (5 of 5)

leave3
/ (liːv) /

verb leaves, leaving or leaved

(intr) to produce or grow leaves
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

Idioms and Phrases with left (1 of 2)

left

In addition to the idioms beginning with left

  • left field
  • left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, the
  • left wing

also see:

  • hang a left
  • out in left field
  • right and left
  • take up where one left off
  • two left feet

Idioms and Phrases with left (2 of 2)

leave

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

also see:

  • 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.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.