1. plural of leaf.

noun, plural leaves [leevz] /livz/.

  1. one of the expanded, usually green organs borne by the stem of a plant.
  2. any similar or corresponding lateral outgrowth of a stem.
  3. a petal: a rose leaf.
  4. leaves collectively; foliage.
  5. Bibliography. a unit generally comprising two printed, blank, or illustrated pages of a book, one on each side.
  6. a thin sheet of metal: silver leaf.
  7. a lamina or layer.
  8. a sliding, hinged, or detachable flat part, as of a door or tabletop.
  9. a section of a drawbridge.
  10. a single strip of metal in a leaf spring.
  11. a tooth of a small gear wheel, as of a pinion.
  12. leaf fat.
  13. Textiles. shaft(def 14).

verb (used without object)

  1. to put forth leaves.
  2. to turn pages, especially quickly (usually followed by through): to leaf through a book.

verb (used with object)

  1. to thumb or turn, as the pages of a book or magazine, in a casual or cursory inspection of the contents.


  1. in leaf, covered with foliage; having leaves: the pale green tint of the woods newly in leaf.
  2. take a leaf out of/fromsomeone’s book, to follow someone’s example; imitate: Some countries that took a leaf out of American industry’s book are now doing very well for themselves.
  3. turn over a new leaf, to begin anew; make a fresh start: Every New Year’s we make resolutions to turn over a new leaf.

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

  1. to go out of or away from, as a place: to leave the house.
  2. to depart from permanently; quit: to leave a job.
  3. to let remain or have remaining behind after going, disappearing, ceasing, etc.: I left my wallet home. The wound left a scar.
  4. to allow to remain in the same place, condition, etc.: Is there any coffee left?
  5. to let stay or be as specified: to leave a door unlocked.
  6. to let (a person or animal) remain in a position to do something without interference: We left him to his work.
  7. to let (a thing) remain for action or decision: We left the details to the lawyer.
  8. to give in charge; deposit; entrust: Leave the package with the receptionist. I left my name and phone number.
  9. to stop; cease; give up: He left music to study law.
  10. to disregard; neglect: We will leave this for the moment and concentrate on the major problem.
  11. to give for use after one’s death or departure: to leave all one’s money to charity.
  12. to have remaining after death: He leaves a wife and three children.
  13. to have as a remainder after subtraction: 2 from 4 leaves 2.
  14. Nonstandard. let1(defs 1, 2, 6).

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

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

Verb Phrases

  1. leave alone. alone(def 7).
  2. leave off,
    1. to desist from; cease; stop; abandon.
    2. to stop using or wearing: It had stopped raining, so we left off our coats.
    3. to omit: to leave a name off a list.
  3. leave out, to omit; exclude: She left out an important detail in her account.


  1. permission to do something: to beg leave to go elsewhere.
  2. permission to be absent, as from work or military duty: The firm offers a maternity leave as part of its benefit program.
  3. the time this permission lasts: 30 days’ leave.
  4. a parting; departure; farewell: He took his leave before the formal ceremonies began. We took leave of them after dinner.
  5. Metallurgy. draft(def 23).
  6. Bowling. the pin or pins in upright position after the bowl of the first ball.

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

  1. to put forth leaves; leaf.


  1. the plural of leaf

verb leaves, leaving or left (mainly tr)

  1. (also intr) to go or depart (from a person or place)
  2. to cause to remain behind, often by mistake, in a placehe often leaves his keys in his coat
  3. to cause to be or remain in a specified statepaying the bill left him penniless
  4. to renounce or abandonto leave a political movement
  5. to refrain from consuming or doing somethingthe things we have left undone
  6. to result in; causechildhood problems often leave emotional scars
  7. to allow to be or remain subject to another person or thingleave the past to look after itself
  8. to entrust or commitleave the shopping to her
  9. to submit in place of one’s personal appearancewill you leave your name and address?
  10. to pass in a specified directionflying out of the country, we left the cliffs on our left
  11. to be survived by (members of one’s family)he leaves a wife and two children
  12. to bequeath or devisehe left his investments to his children
  13. (tr) to have as a remainder37 – 14 leaves 23
  14. not standard to permit; let
  15. leave be informal to leave undisturbed
  16. leave go or leave hold of not standard to stop holding
  17. leave it at that informal to take a matter no further
  18. leave much to be desired to be very unsatisfactory
  19. leave someone alone
    1. Also: let alone See let 1 (def. 7)
    2. to permit to stay or be alone
  20. leave someone to himself not to control or direct someone


  1. permission to do somethinghe was granted leave to speak
  2. by your leave or with your leave with your permission
  3. permission to be absent, as from a place of work or dutyleave of absence
  4. the duration of such absenceten days’ leave
  5. a farewell or departure (esp in the phrase take (one’s) leave)
  6. on leave officially excused from work or duty
  7. take leave to say farewell (to)
  8. take leave of one’s senses to go mad or become irrational

verb leaves, leaving or leaved

  1. (intr) to produce or grow leaves

noun plural leaves (liːvz)

  1. the main organ of photosynthesis and transpiration in higher plants, usually consisting of a flat green blade attached to the stem directly or by a stalkRelated adjectives: foliar, foliate
  2. foliage collectively
  3. in leaf (of shrubs, trees, etc) having a full complement of foliage leaves
  4. one of the sheets of paper in a book
  5. a hinged, sliding, or detachable part, such as an extension to a table
  6. metal in the form of a very thin flexible sheetgold leaf
  7. a foil or thin strip of metal in a composite material; lamina
  8. short for leaf spring
  9. the inner or outer wall of a cavity wall
  10. a crop that is harvested in the form of leaves
  11. a metal strip forming one of the laminations in a leaf spring
  12. a slang word for marijuana
  13. take a leaf out of someone’s book or take a leaf from someone’s book to imitate someone, esp in one particular course of action
  14. turn over a new leaf to begin a new and improved course of behaviour


  1. (when intr, usually foll by through) to turn (through pages, sheets, etc) cursorily
  2. (intr) (of plants) to produce leaves

v.“to turn over (the pages of a book),” 1660s, from leaf (n.). The notion of a book page also is in the phrase to turn over a (new) leaf (1570s). Related: Leafed; leaved; leafing. n.Old English leaf “leaf of a plant; page of a book,” from Proto-Germanic *laubaz (cf. Old Saxon lof, Old Norse lauf, Old Frisian laf, Dutch loof, Old High German loub, German Laub “foliage, leaves,” Gothic lauf), perhaps from PIE *leup- “to peel off, break off” (cf. Lithuanian luobas, Old Church Slavonic lubu “bark, rind”). Extended 15c. to very thin sheets of metal (especially gold). Meaning “hinged flap on the side of a table” is from 1550s. 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.

  1. An appendage growing from the stem of a plant. Leaves are extremely variable in form and function according to species. For example, the needles of pine trees, the spines of cacti, and the bright red parts of the poinsettia plant are all leaves modified for different purposes. However, most leaves are flat and green and adapted to capturing sunlight and carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. They consist of an outer tissue layer (the epidermis) through which water and gases are exchanged, a spongy inner layer of cells that contain chloroplasts, and veins that supply water and minerals and carry out food. Some leaves are simple, while others are compound, consisting of multiple leaflets. The flat part of the leaf, the blade, is often attached to the stem by a leafstalk.

In addition to the idiom beginning with leaf

  • leaf through
  • also see:

  • quake in one’s boots (like a leaf)
  • take a leaf out of someone’s book
  • turn over a new leaf
  • 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.

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