leave someone to his or her own devices

Definition of leave someone to his or her own devices

  1. :  to allow (someone) to do what he or she wants or is able to do without being controlled or helped by anyone else —often used as be left to one's own devices The students were left to their own devices when the teacher failed to appear on time. Left to its own devices, the school would accept only the most advanced students.

Word by Word Definitions

leaveplay
  1. :  bequeath, devise

    :  to have remaining after one's death

    :  to cause to remain as a trace or aftereffect

  1. :  permission to do something

    :  authorized especially extended absence from duty or employment

    :  an act of leaving :  departure

  1. :  leaf

someoneplay
  1. :  some person :  somebody

  1. :  of or relating to her or herself especially as possessor, agent, or object of an action — compare 1she

  1. : objective case ofshe

  1. : heraldry

  1. : used to express immediate or direct kinship

  1. :  to have or hold as property :  possess

    :  to have power or mastery over

    :  to acknowledge to be true, valid, or as claimed :  admit

deviceplay devices
  1. :  something devised or contrived : such as

    :  plan, procedure, technique

    :  a scheme to deceive :  stratagem, trick


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up leave someone to his or her own devices? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a dividing ridge between drainage areas

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!