1

leave

verb \ ˈlēv \
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

Definition of leave

left play \ˈleft\; leaving
transitive verb
1 a (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
2 a : 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
3 a : 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

leaver

noun
leave alone
: to refrain from bothering, disturbing, or using
  • Leave him alone while he's doing his homework.

leave vs. let

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.


Recent Examples of leave from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of leave

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


2

leave

noun

Definition of leave

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

Examples of leave in a Sentence

  1. He took an unpaid leave from work.

  2. The soldiers were given a two-month leave for the holidays.

  3. He took a few months' leave to care for his sick mother.

  4. Our professor is on leave this semester.

  5. She is on leave from her law firm.

  6. a soldier on military leave

  7. I beg leave to differ with you, sir.

  8. He was found guilty but was granted leave to appeal against the verdict.

Recent Examples of leave from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of leave

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


3

leave

verb

Definition of leave

leaved; leaving
intransitive verb
: leaf

Recent Examples of leave from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of leave

Middle English leven, from leef leaf


LEAVE Defined for English Language Learners

leave

noun

Definition of leave for English Language Learners

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

  • : permission to do something


LEAVE Defined for Kids

1

leave

verb \ ˈlēv \

Definition of leave for Students

left \ˈleft\; leaving
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 1
  • She left the package on the way home.

Headscratcher for leave

If people have left a room they are gone, but anything that is left in the room remains there.


2

leave

noun

Definition of leave for Students

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.

Law Dictionary

leave

transitive verb

legal Definition of leave

left; leaving


Seen and Heard

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