Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To put forth foliage; leaf.
  • noun Permission to do something. synonym: permission.
  • noun An act of departing; a farewell.
  • intransitive verb To go out of or away from.
  • intransitive verb To go without taking or removing.
  • intransitive verb To omit or exclude.
  • intransitive verb To have as a result, consequence, or remainder.
  • intransitive verb To cause or allow to be or remain in a specified state.
  • intransitive verb To have remaining after death.
  • intransitive verb To bequeath.
  • intransitive verb To give over to another to control or act on.
  • intransitive verb To abandon or forsake.
  • intransitive verb To remove oneself from association with or participation in.
  • intransitive verb To give or deposit, as for use or information, upon one's departure or in one's absence.
  • intransitive verb To cause or permit to be or remain.
  • intransitive verb Nonstandard To allow or permit; let.
  • intransitive verb To set out or depart; go.
  • idiom (leave/let) To refrain from disturbing or interfering.
  • idiom (leave no stone unturned) To make every possible effort.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A leaving; something left or remaining.
  • noun Liberty granted to do something, or for some specific action or course of conduct; permission; allowance; license.
  • noun Specifically Liberty to depart; permission to be absent: as, to take leave. See below.
  • noun Originally, to receive formal permission, as from a superior, to depart; now, to part with some expression of farewell; bid farewell or adieu.
  • noun Synonyms Leave, Liberty, License. These words imply that the permission granted may be used or not. Leave is the lightest, is generally personal, and is used on familiar occasions. Liberty is more often connected with more important matters; it indicates full freedom, and perhaps that obstacles are completely cleared from the path. License, primarily the state of being permitted by law, may retain this meaning (as, license to sell iutoxicating drinks), or it may go so far as to mean that unlawful or undue advantage is taken of legal permission or social for bearance: as, liberty easily degenerates into license.
  • Same as leaf.
  • To give leave to; permit; allow; let; grant.
  • [The Middle English form leve (that is, as usually written, leue) is often confounded in manuscripts and early printed editions with lene, to grant, lend.
  • [The verb leave, permit, allow, is generally confused with leave, permit to remain, quit, etc., from which, however, it differs in construction. Leave is now generally followed by an indirect object of the person, and an infinitive with to: as, I leave you to decide. In vulgar speech leave is often used for let without to: as, leave me be; leave me go.]
  • To raise; levy.
  • To let remain; fail or neglect to take away, remove, or destroy; allow to stay or exist: as, he left his baggage behind him; 5 from 12 leaves 7; only a few were left alive.
  • To place or deliver with intent to let remain; part from by giving or yielding up: as, to leave papers at the houses of subscribers; to leave money on deposit.
  • To let remain for a purpose; confide, commit, or refer: as, to leave the decision of a question to an umpire; I leave that to your judgment.
  • To let remain or have remaining at death; hence, to transmit, bequeath, or give by will: as, he leaves a wife and children, and has left his property in trust for their use.
  • To go away or depart from; quit, whether temporarily or permanently.
  • To separate or withdraw from; part company or relinquish connection with; forsake; abandon; desert: as, to leave a church or society; to leave one occupation for another; he has left the path of rectitude.
  • To quit, as the doing of anything; cease or desist from; give over; leave off: followed, to express the verbal action, by a verbal noun in -ing, or formerly by an infinitive with to.
  • To suffer or permit to continue; fail to change the state, condition, or course of; let remain as existing: as, to leave one free to act; leave him in peace; leave it as it is.
  • To cease wearing or using; lay aside; give up: as, to leave off a garment; to leave off tobacco.
  • (c ) To give up or cease to associate with.
  • To remain; be left.
  • To go away; depart: as, he left by the last steamer; I am to leave to-morrow; the next train leaves at 10.
  • To give over; cease; leave off.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To raise; to levy.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English leaven, from leaf, leaf; see leaf.]

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

[Middle English leve, from Old English lēafe, dative and accusative of lēaf; see leubh- in Indo-European roots.]

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

[Middle English leaven, from Old English lǣfan; see leip- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English leven, from Old English lǣfan ("to leave"), from Proto-Germanic *laibijanan (“to let stay, leave”), causative of Proto-Germanic *lībanan (“to stay, remain”). Cognate with Old Frisian lēva ("to leave"), Old High German leiban ("to leave"), Old Norse leifa ("leave over"), lifna ("to be left") (whence Danish levne). More at lave, belive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English leve, from Old English lēaf ("permission, privilege"), from Proto-Germanic *laubō, *lauban (“permission, privilege, favour, worth”), from Proto-Indo-European *leubʰ- (“to love, hold dear”). Cognate with obsolete German Laube ("permission"), Swedish lov ("permission"), Icelandic leyfi ("permission"). Related to Dutch verlof, German Erlaubnis. See also love.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English leven, from Old English līefan ("to allow, grant, concede; believe, trust, confide in"), from Proto-Germanic *laubijanan (“to allow, praise”), from Proto-Indo-European *leubʰ- (“to love, hold dear”). Cognate with German lauben ("to allow, believe"), Icelandic leyfa ("to allow").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English leven, from lef ("leaf"). More at leaf.

Examples

  • But what that if, or if not, has to do with "leave me," we cannot conjecture; but this we do venture to conjecture, that to expect our graduate ever to _leave_ Mr Turner is one of the most hopeless of all Mr Turner's "Fallacies of Hope."

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXVI. October, 1843. Vol. LIV.

  • If you leave out his name leave out mine too—or as you like.

    A Life in Letters

  • If you leave out his name leave out mine too—or as you like.

    A Life in Letters

  • Your Reverence should know that I consider it very easy to have a house here for the accommodation of religious men; and I believe it would not be difficult (even without its being a monastery) to obtain leave to have mass said there, just as leave is often given to a private gentleman who has an oratory in his house.

    The Letters of St. Teresa

  • [7 Hôtel des Quatre Nations.] of health, and obtain leave from the Quarantine for the passengers landing.

    A Lady's Glimpse of the Late War in Bohemia

  • Audience members formed L-shapes with their hands - as in "leave" - and shooed her off the stage.

    Searching for tomorrow's hip-hop stars at Howard University's Yardfest

  • Across town, an even larger number of people converged on a square in front of Sanaa University chanting slogans calling for his ouster and waving red cards emblazoned with the word "leave" despite fears of more violence a week after government security forces shot dead more than 40 demonstrators in the capital.

    Leader offers to go if Yemen's in 'safe hands'

  • Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press SHOW OF DISRESPECT: An antigovernment protester displayed his shoe soles with the word "leave" written in Arabic during a protest against President Ali Abdullah Saleh in San'a, Yemen, Monday.

    Photos of the Day: March 28

  • My real advice about preparing to leave is to eat tons of good food, speak a lot of English really fast and know that your friends actually understand it, and enjoy your time with friends and family.

    Prepping for TESL « Peace Corps: China

  • There's other stuff I saw that I've forgotten to write about, so if you have specific questions about a title leave me a comment.

    Archive 2006-09-01

Comments

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  • Must never be used in the same sentence with 'Wordie'.

    July 19, 2009