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(1)   The act of departing politely
"He disliked long farewells"
"He took his leave"
"Parting is such sweet sorrow"
(2)   Permission to do something
"She was granted leave to speak"
(3)   The period of time during which you are absent from work or duty
"A ten day's leave to visit his mother"


(4)   Leave unchanged or undisturbed or refrain from taking
"Leave it as is"
"Leave the young fawn alone"
"Leave the flowers that you see in the park behind"
(5)   Be survived by after one's death
"He left six children"
"At her death, she left behind her husband and 11 cats"
(6)   Leave behind unintentionally
"I forgot my umbrella in the restaurant"
"I left my keys inside the car and locked the doors"
(7)   Go and leave behind, either intentionally or by neglect or forgetfulness
"She left a mess when she moved out"
"His good luck finally left him"
"Her husband left her after 20 years of marriage"
"She wept thinking she had been left behind"
(8)   Go away from a place
"At what time does your train leave?"
"She didn't leave until midnight"
"The ship leaves at midnight"
(9)   Move out of or depart from
"Leave the room"
"The fugitive has left the country"
(10)   Leave or give by will after one's death
"My aunt bequeathed me all her jewelry"
"My grandfather left me his entire estate"
(11)   Tell or deposit (information) knowledge
"Give a secret to the Russians"
"Leave your name and address here"
(12)   Put into the care or protection of someone
"He left the decision to his deputy"
"Leave your child the nurse's care"
(13)   Remove oneself from an association with or participation in
"She wants to leave"
"The teenager left home"
"She left her position with the Red Cross"
"He left the Senate after two terms"
"After 20 years with the same company, she pulled up stakes"
(14)   Have as a result or residue
"The water left a mark on the silk dress"
"Her blood left a stain on the napkin"
(15)   Make a possibility or provide opportunity for; permit to be attainable or cause to remain
"This leaves no room for improvement"
"The evidence allows only one conclusion"
"Allow for mistakes"
"Leave lots of time for the trip"
"This procedure provides for lots of leeway"
(16)   Act or be so as to become in a specified state
"The inflation left them penniless"
"The president's remarks left us speechless"
(17)   Have left or have as a remainder
"That left the four of us"
"19 minus 8 leaves 11"

Etymology 1

lĒ£fan, from Proto-Germanic. Cognate to Old Norse (whence Danish and Old Norse > Danish ), German bleiben.


  1. 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.
    I left my car at home and took a bus to work.
    The ants did not leave so much as a crumb of bread.
    There's not much food left, we'd better go to the shops.
  2. To transfer possession of after death.
    When my father died, he left me the house.
  3. To give (something) to someone; to deliver (something) to a repository; to deposit.
    I'll leave the car in the station so you can pick it up there.
  4. To transfer responsibility or attention of (something) (to someone); to stop being concerned with.
    Can't we just leave this to the experts?
  5. To depart from; to end one's connection or affiliation with.
    I left the country and I left my wife.
  6. To end one's membership in (a group); to terminate one's affiliation with (an organization); to stop participating in (a project).
    I left the band.
  7. To depart; to go away from a certain place or state.
    I think you'd better leave.
  8. To remain (behind); to stay.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book VII:
      And by myssefortune Sir Bors smote Sir Launcelot thorow the shylde into the syde, and the speare brake and the hede leffte stylle in the syde.


  1. Permission to be absent; time away from one's work.
    I've been given three weeks' leave by my boss.
  2. Permission.
    Might I beg leave to accompany you?
    The applicant now seeks leave to appeal and, if leave be granted, to appeal against these sentences.
  3. Farewell, departure.
    I took my leave of the gentleman without a backward glance.