from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A request for permission: rudely helped herself to the dessert without a by-your-leave.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative spelling of by your leave.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I point out that they probably do, but that it makes no difference because Blaise Pascal's declaration that "Reason can determine nothing here" is practically the motto of English football, and now without so much as a by-your-leave the sofa-based cheerleading was directed elsewhere.

    Wayne Rooney can be England's top player – as long as he isn't picked | Harry Pearson

  • But the biggest problem most of them face is nothing to do with new regulation, but with their exposure to euro-zone government debt, a risk that the market is punishing without waiting for the regulators' by-your-leave.

    Banks' Counterattack Not Likely to Last Long

  • The man who invented the right to privacy, Louis Brandeis, was appalled that ordinary newsmen could snap his picture and print it in the paper without so much as a by-your-leave.

    How Much Should People Worry About the Loss of Online Privacy?

  • And about three doors up, a neighbour was upset to find her neighbours' garden designers had ripped down the adjoining fence between their gardens her fence as it turned out without so much as a by-your-leave.

    Everybody needs good neighbours … but few seem to have them

  • Hmmm … It's semi-interesting how someone who claims to personally hate no one, would without a single by-your-leave accuse others of hatred.

    14 Important Science Questions

  • Without a by-your-leave, he hauled me into a nearby alcove.

    Secrets of the Tudor Court

  • They will do so not merely because they wish to but because they can, once the EU Constitution is in place, without so much as by-your-leave or, indeed, any consideration of your views whatsoever.

    Plan 'H' For Democracy

  • Some skinny red-headed woman has just thrown some hapless fellow down here into my Oubliette without so much as a by-your-leave!

    Cheeseburger Gothic » Casualties.

  • People round here get rid of their whole kitchen in you driveway without so much as a by-your-leave.

    Fly tipping in Maida Vale « Squares of Wheat

  • I keep noting the number of cutting-edge researchers (on things like prions, MTs, etc. pertinent to the semi-public consciousness quest) who disappear behind the privatized funding without so much as a by-your-leave, often leaving the public end of things bereft of those who know the most about details.



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  • without so much as a…

    OED (oddly, unhyphenated): 'An expression of apology for not having asked permission; the asking of permission.'

    October 20, 2009