leave

verb (1)
\ ˈlēv \
left\ ˈleft \; leaving

Definition of leave 

(Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a(1) : bequeath, devise left a fortune to his son
(2) : to have remaining after one's death leaves a widow and two children
b : to cause to remain as a trace or aftereffect oil leaves a stain the wound left an ugly scar
2a : to cause or allow to be or remain in a specified condition leave the door open his manner left me cold
b : to fail to include or take along left the notes at home the movie leaves a lot out
c : to have as a remainder 4 from 7 leaves 3
d : to permit to be or remain subject to another's action or control just leave everything to me
e : let
f : to cause or allow to be or remain available leave room for expansion left myself an out
3a : to go away from : depart leave the room
b : desert, abandon left his wife
c : to terminate association with : withdraw from left school before graduation
4 : to put, deposit, or deliver before or in the process of departing I left a package for you leave a message

intransitive verb

: set out, depart left for the office at eight sharp
leave alone
: to refrain from bothering, disturbing, or using Leave him alone while he's doing his homework.

leave

noun

Definition of leave (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : permission to do something
b : authorized especially extended absence from duty or employment
2 : an act of leaving : departure

leave

verb (2)
leaved; leaving

Definition of leave (Entry 3 of 3)

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Other Words from leave

Verb (1)

leaver noun

Synonyms for leave

Synonyms: Noun

break, holiday [chiefly British], hols [British], recess, vacation

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Leave vs. Let: Usage Guide

Verb (1)

Leave (sense 2e) with the infinitive but without to leave it be is a mostly spoken idiom used in writing especially for humorous effect. It is not often criticized in British English, but American commentators, adhering to an opinion first expressed in 1881, still dislike it.

Examples of leave in a Sentence

Noun

He took an unpaid leave from work. The soldiers were given a two-month leave for the holidays. He took a few months' leave to care for his sick mother. Our professor is on leave this semester. She is on leave from her law firm. a soldier on military leave I beg leave to differ with you, sir. He was found guilty but was granted leave to appeal against the verdict.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

If an influencer is using something that sounds scientific to prove their diet is solid, dig a little bit into their claims to make sure that any important details aren’t being left aside. Abby Langer, SELF, "Most Diets Don't Work, But If a Diet Promises These 4 Things, Run Away," 5 Jan. 2019 Write the name or greeting big, leave space between the letters. Lauren Sanchez, Vogue, "8 Tips from Calligraphists to Improve Your Penmanship Before Thank-You Card Time," 25 Dec. 2018 Many were concerned that Eric was leaving NCIS: LA to focus on producing the aforementioned two new series. Megan Stein, Country Living, "‘NCIS: LA’ Star Eric Christian Olsen Responds to Online Criticism," 23 Dec. 2018 Now, Milwaukee is adding geofencing so that you'll be alerted if a tool leaves a particular area. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "Milwaukee Adds Geofencing To Track Your Tools," 20 Dec. 2018 There are only five days left to get packages underneath the tree by Christmas, but thankfully there's also two-day shipping, and that math works out in every procrastinator's favor. Leah Prinzivalli, SELF, "7 Last-Minute Fitness Gifts You Can Order From Target to Still Arrive by Christmas," 20 Dec. 2018 The duchesses did arrive in separate cars, but that only makes sense: Kate and William are now a family of five, so there's not a lot of room left for Harry or Meghan to squeeze in, plus royal nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo accompanied them . Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "The Royal Family Fab Four Have Arrived for the Queen's Christmas Lunch, Gifts In Tow," 19 Dec. 2018 Cold launching ensures that silos can be reloaded within a matter of days—if there’s anyone left to reload them. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "New Video Shows Russia's Mobile ICBMs Tackling the Snow," 17 Dec. 2018 He's only made two major public appearances: leaving the hospital on the day of his birth and at his christening in July. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis Steal the Show in the Royal Family Christmas Card," 14 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Talakoub recommends Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream, $52, and Hu likes Dr. Brandt Skincare Hydro Biotic Recovery Sleeping Mask, $52, which is an overnight leave-on gel moisturizer. Talia Abbas, SELF, "11 Tips for How to Treat Eczema During the Winter," 7 Jan. 2019 My husband was on paternity leave for two months, and fear and doubt clouded both of our minds. Minhae Shim Roth, Glamour, "My Reward for Having a Baby? A $1,000 Gucci Bag," 7 Jan. 2019 Since returning from maternity leave, Kate has been incredibly busy. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Wears the Perfect Pre-Winter Outfit for Her Visit to Yorkshire," 14 Nov. 2018 Maternity leave offered a unique opportunity to get away for a few weeks and share a similar experience with my baby. Jordi Lippe-mcgraw, Condé Nast Traveler, "Maternity Moons Are Now a Thing," 28 Nov. 2018 Vortex Air said the 6:20 a.m. flight had been the first on the pilot’s first day back at work after taking leave. Rod Mcguirk, The Seattle Times, "Sleeping pilot overflies Australian island destination," 28 Nov. 2018 The mother of three, who welcomed her and William's youngest in April, just officially returned from maternity leave a month ago, so her appearances, let alone those for formal events, have been less frequent this year. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Wears a Teal Jenny Packham Gown to the Tusk Conservation Awards in London," 8 Nov. 2018 Fact: Finding the right leave-in conditioner can make all the difference for women with natural hair. Tanisha Pina, Glamour, "The Best Leave-In Conditioners, According to Natural Hair Bloggers," 11 Oct. 2018 The baby was born via a surrogate, which is one of the reasons why Wade felt taking a brief paternity leave was necessary. Tim Reynolds, The Seattle Times, "Dwyane Wade returns to Miami Heat after birth of child," 20 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'leave.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of leave

Verb (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a(1)

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for leave

Verb (1)

Middle English leven, from Old English lǣfan; akin to Old High German verleiben to leave, Old English belīfan to be left over, and perhaps to Lithuanian lipti to adhere, Greek lipos grease, fat

Noun

Middle English leve, from Old English lēaf; akin to Middle High German loube permission, Old English alȳfan to allow — more at believe

Verb (2)

Middle English leven, from leef leaf

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Statistics for leave

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for leave

The first known use of leave was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for leave

leave

noun

English Language Learners Definition of leave

: a period of time when someone has special permission to be away from a job or from military service

: permission to do something

leave

verb
\ ˈlēv \
left\ ˈleft \; leaving

Kids Definition of leave

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to go away from Please leave the room.
2 : to cause to remain behind on purpose or without meaning to Oh, no, I left my mittens at school. Leave your money at home.
3 : to cause or allow to be or remain in a certain condition Leave the door open.
4 : to cause to remain as a trace, mark, or sign The cut left a scar.
5 : to have as a remainder Taking 7 from 10 leaves 3.
6 : to allow to be under another's control Leave everything to me.
7 : to cause to be available Leave room for dessert.
8 : to give by will She left property to the children.
9 : to give up He left school before graduating.
10 : deliver sense 1 She left the package on the way home.

leave

noun

Kids Definition of leave (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : permitted absence from duty or work The soldiers were off on leave.
2 : the act of going away and saying good-bye I had to take leave of a friend.
3 : permission I asked leave to speak.
left; leaving

Legal Definition of leave 

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More from Merriam-Webster on leave

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with leave

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for leave

Spanish Central: Translation of leave

Nglish: Translation of leave for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of leave for Arabic Speakers

Comments on leave

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