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

  • transitive v. To go out of or away from: not allowed to leave the room.
  • transitive v. To go without taking or removing: left my book on the bus.
  • transitive v. To omit or exclude: left out the funniest part of the story.
  • transitive v. To have as a result, consequence, or remainder: The car left a trail of exhaust fumes. Two from eight leaves six.
  • transitive v. To cause or allow to be or remain in a specified state: left the lights on.
  • transitive v. To have remaining after death: left a young son.
  • transitive v. To bequeath: left her money to charity.
  • transitive v. To give over to another to control or act on: Leave all the details to us.
  • transitive v. To abandon or forsake: leave home; left her husband.
  • transitive v. To remove oneself from association with or participation in: left the navy for civilian life.
  • transitive v. To give or deposit, as for use or information, upon one's departure or in one's absence: He left a note for you. Leave your name and address.
  • transitive v. To cause or permit to be or remain: left myself plenty of time.
  • transitive v. Nonstandard To allow or permit; let.
  • intransitive v. To set out or depart; go: When can you leave?
  • To refrain from disturbing or interfering.
  • leave off To stop; cease.
  • leave off To stop doing or using.
  • idiom leave no stone unturned To make every possible effort.
  • n. Permission to do something. See Synonyms at permission.
  • n. Official permission to be absent from work or duty, as that granted to military or corporate personnel.
  • n. The period of time granted by such permission. Also called leave of absence.
  • n. An act of departing; a farewell: took leave of her with a heavy heart.
  • intransitive v. To put forth foliage; leaf.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To cause or allow (something) to remain as available; to refrain from taking (something) away; to stop short of consuming or otherwise depleting (something) entirely.
  • v. To transfer possession of after death.
  • v. To give (something) to someone; to deliver (something) to a repository; to deposit.
  • v. To transfer responsibility or attention of (something) (to someone); to stop being concerned with.
  • v. To depart from; to end one's connection or affiliation with.
  • v. To end one's membership in (a group); to terminate one's affiliation with (an organization); to stop participating in (a project).
  • v. To depart; to go away from a certain place or state.
  • v. To remain (behind); to stay.
  • v. To stop, desist from; to "leave off" (+ noun / gerund).
  • n. The action of the batsman not attempting to play at the ball.
  • n. The arrangement of balls in play that remains after a shot is made (which determines whether the next shooter — who may be either the same player, or an opponent — has good options, or only poor ones).
  • n. Permission to be absent; time away from one's work.
  • n. Permission.
  • n. Farewell, departure.
  • v. To give leave to; allow; permit; let; grant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Liberty granted by which restraint or illegality is removed; permission; allowance; license.
  • n. The act of leaving or departing; a formal parting; a leaving; farewell; adieu; -- used chiefly in the phrase, to take leave, i. e., literally, to take permission to go.
  • intransitive v. To send out leaves; to leaf; -- often with out.
  • intransitive v. To depart; to set out.
  • intransitive v. To cease; to desist; to leave off.
  • transitive v. To raise; to levy.
  • transitive v. To withdraw one's self from; to go away from; to depart from.
  • transitive v. To let remain unremoved or undone; to let stay or continue, in distinction from what is removed or changed.
  • transitive v. To cease from; to desist from; to abstain from.
  • transitive v. To desert; to abandon; to forsake; hence, to give up; to relinquish.
  • transitive v. To let be or do without interference
  • transitive v. To put; to place; to deposit; to deliver; to commit; to submit -- with a sense of withdrawing one's self from
  • transitive v. To have remaining at death; hence, to bequeath
  • transitive v. to cause to be; -- followed by an adjective or adverb describing a state or condition.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • 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.]
  • Same as leaf.
  • To raise; levy.
  • n. A leaving; something left or remaining.
  • n. Liberty granted to do something, or for some specific action or course of conduct; permission; allowance; license.
  • n. Specifically Liberty to depart; permission to be absent: as, to take leave. See below.
  • n. Originally, to receive formal permission, as from a superior, to depart; now, to part with some expression of farewell; bid farewell or adieu.
  • n. 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. leave behind unintentionally
  • n. the act of departing politely
  • v. act or be so as to become in a specified state
  • v. have left or have as a remainder
  • v. leave or give by will after one's death
  • v. leave unchanged or undisturbed or refrain from taking
  • v. go away from a place
  • v. transmit (knowledge or skills)
  • v. make a possibility or provide opportunity for; permit to be attainable or cause to remain
  • v. go and leave behind, either intentionally or by neglect or forgetfulness
  • v. have as a result or residue
  • v. put into the care or protection of someone
  • v. be survived by after one's death
  • n. permission to do something
  • n. the period of time during which you are absent from work or duty
  • v. move out of or depart from
  • v. remove oneself from an association with or participation in


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

Middle English leaven, from Old English lǣfan; see leip- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English leve, from Old English lēafe, dative and accusative of lēaf; see leubh- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English leaven, from leaf, leaf; see leaf.

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.


  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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'

  • 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

  • The exit rate on the page is 94%, so most people searching on this term leave the site rather than following any links.

    Simple Talk rss feed


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    July 19, 2009