verb (used with object), left, leav·ing.
- 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).
verb (used without object), left, leav·ing.
- 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.
- (intr) to stop; cease
- (tr, adverb) to stop wearing or using
verb leaves, leaving or left (mainly tr)
- (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
- 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
verb leaves, leaving or leaved
- (intr) to produce or grow leaves
v.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”). n.“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. 1Stop, 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] 2leave something off. Omit, as in We found she had left off our names. In addition to the idioms beginning with leave
Also see underlet.