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leave Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the period of time during which you are absent from work or duty
    leave of absence.
    • a ten day's leave to visit his mother
  2. noun permission to do something
    • she was granted leave to speak
  3. noun the act of departing politely
    farewell; parting; leave-taking.
    • he disliked long farewells
    • he took his leave
    • parting is such sweet sorrow
  4. verb go away from a place
    go away; go forth.
    • At what time does your train leave?
    • She didn't leave until midnight
    • The ship leaves at midnight
  5. verb go and leave behind, either intentionally or by neglect or forgetfulness
    • She left a mess when she moved out
    • His good luck finally left him
    • her husband left her after 20 years of marriage
    • she wept thinking she had been left behind
  6. verb act or be so as to become in a specified state
    • The inflation left them penniless
    • The president's remarks left us speechless
  7. verb leave unchanged or undisturbed or refrain from taking
    leave behind; leave alone.
    • leave it as is
    • leave the young fawn alone
    • leave the flowers that you see in the park behind
  8. verb move out of or depart from
    go out; exit; get out.
    • leave the room
    • the fugitive has left the country
  9. verb make a possibility or provide opportunity for; permit to be attainable or cause to remain
    provide; allow for; allow.
    • This leaves no room for improvement
    • The evidence allows only one conclusion
    • allow for mistakes
    • leave lots of time for the trip
    • This procedure provides for lots of leeway
  10. verb have as a result or residue
    result; lead.
    • The water left a mark on the silk dress
    • Her blood left a stain on the napkin
  11. verb remove oneself from an association with or participation in
    pull up stakes; depart.
    • She wants to leave
    • The teenager left home
    • She left her position with the Red Cross
    • He left the Senate after two terms
    • after 20 years with the same company, she pulled up stakes
  12. verb put into the care or protection of someone
    • He left the decision to his deputy
    • leave your child the nurse's care
  13. verb leave or give by will after one's death
    will; bequeath.
    • My aunt bequeathed me all her jewelry
    • My grandfather left me his entire estate
  14. verb have left or have as a remainder
    • That left the four of us
    • 19 minus 8 leaves 11
  15. verb be survived by after one's death
    leave behind.
    • He left six children
    • At her death, she left behind her husband and 11 cats
  16. verb transmit (knowledge or skills)
    give; pass on; impart.
    • give a secret to the Russians
    • leave your name and address here
    • impart a new skill to the students
  17. verb leave behind unintentionally
    • I forgot my umbrella in the restaurant
    • I left my keys inside the car and locked the doors

Leave intransitive verb
imperfect & past participle Leaved ; present participle & verbal noun Leaving
  1. To send out leaves; to leaf; -- often with out. G. Fletcher.
Leave transitive verb
See Levy.
  1. To raise; to levy. Obs.
    An army strong she leaved. Spenser.
Leave noun
OE. leve, leave, AS. leáf; akin to leóf pleasing, dear, E. lief, D. oorlof leave, G. arlaub, and erlauben to permit, Icel. leyfi. See Lief.
  1. Liberty granted by which restraint or illegality is removed; permission; allowance; license.
    David earnestly asked leave of me. 1 Sam. xx. 6.
    No friend has leave to bear away the dead. Dryden.
  2. The act of leaving or departing; a formal parting; a leaving; farewell; adieu; -- used chiefly in the phrase, to take leave, i. e., literally, to take permission to go.
    A double blessing is a'double grace; Occasion smiles upon a second leave. Shak.
    And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren. Acts xviii. 18.
    Syn. -- See Liberty.
Leave transitive verb
OE. leven, AS. lfan, fr. laf remnant, heritage; akin to lifian, libban, to live, orig., to remain; cf. belifan to remain, G. bleiben, Goth. bileiban. . See Live, v.
imperfect & past participle Left ; present participle & verbal noun Leaving
  1. To withdraw one's self from; to go away from; to depart from; as, to leave the house.
    Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife. Gen. ii. 24.
  2. To let remain unremoved or undone; to let stay or continue, in distinction from what is removed or changed.
    If grape gatherers come to thee, would they not leave some gleaning grapes ? Jer. xlix. 9.
    These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Matt. xxiii. 23.
    Besides it leaveth a suspicion, as if more might be said than is expressed. Bacon.
  3. To cease from; to desist from; to abstain from.
    Now leave complaining and begin your tea. Pope.
  4. To desert; to abandon; to forsake; hence, to give up; to relinquish.
    Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. Mark x. 28.
    The heresies that men do leave. Shak.
  5. To let be or do without interference; as, I left him to his reflections; I leave my hearers to judge.
    I will leave you now to your gossiplike humor. Shak.
  6. To put; to place; to deposit; to deliver; to commit; to submit -- with a sense of withdrawing one's self from; as, leave your hat in the hall; we left our cards; to leave the matter to arbitrators.
    Leave there thy gift before the altar and go thy way. Matt. v. 24.
    The foot That leaves the print of blood where'er it walks. Shak.
  7. To have remaining at death; hence, to bequeath; as, he left a large estate; he left a good name; he left a legacy to his niece. Syn>- To quit; depart from; forsake; abandon; relinquish; deliver; bequeath; give up; forego; resign; surrender; forbear. See Quit.
Leave intransitive verb
  1. To depart; to set out. Colloq.
    By the time I left for Scotland. Carlyle.
  2. To cease; to desist; to leave off. "He . . . began at the eldest, and left at the youngest." Gen. xliv. 12.
    Leave off, and for another summons wait. Roscommon.

Webster 1913