- ( UK, US ) IPA: /liːv/, X-SAMPA: /li:v/
- Rhymes: -iːv
- ( transitive ) 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 .
- ( transitive ) To transfer possession of after death .
- ( transitive ) To give ( something ) to someone; to deliver ( something ) to a repository; to deposit .
- ( transitive ) To transfer responsibility or attention of ( something ) ( to someone ); to stop being concerned with .
- ( transitive ) To depart from; to end one's connection or affiliation with .
- ( transitive ) To end one's membership in ( a group ); to terminate one's affiliation with ( an organization ); to stop participating in ( a project ) .
- ( intransitive ) To depart; to go away from a certain place or state .
- ( intransitive, obsolete ) To remain ( behind ); to stay.
- ( transitive, archaic ) To stop, desist from; to "leave off" ( + noun / gerund ).
- ( cricket ) The action of the batsman not attempting to play at the ball .
- ( billiards ) 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 ).
- 1890 February 27, "Slosson's Close Shave", in The New York Times:
- Permission to be absent; time away from one's work .
- ( dated or law ) Permission .
- ( dated ) Farewell, departure .
- ( intransitive, rare ) To produce leaves or foliage.
- ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed .
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” ) ( > Danish levne ). More at lave, belive .
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 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” ) .
Explanation of leave by Wordnet Dictionary
- leave the room
- Leave v. i. [imp. & p. p. Leaved ; p. pr. & vb. n. Leaving] To send out leaves; to leaf; -- often with out. G. Fletcher.
- Leave, v. t. [See Levy.] To raise; to levy. [Obs.]
An army strong she leaved. Spenser.
- Leave, n. [OE. leve, leave, AS. leáf; akin to leóf pleasing, dear, E. lief, D. oorlof leave, G. arlaub, and erlauben to permit, Icel. leyfi. √124. See Lief.]
1. Liberty granted by which restraint or illegality is removed; permission; allowance; license.
David earnestly asked leave of me. 1 Sam. xx. 6.
No friend has leave to bear away the dead. Dryden.
2. 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.
A double blessing is a'double grace;
Occasion smiles upon a second leave. Shak.
And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren. Acts xviii. 18.
French leave. See under French.
Syn. -- See Liberty.
- Leave, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Left ( lĕft ); p. pr. & vb. n. Leaving.] [OE. leven, AS. lfan, fr. lāf remnant, heritage; akin to lifian, libban, to live, orig., to remain; cf. belīfan to remain, G. bleiben, Goth. bileiban. √119. See Live, v.]
1. To withdraw one's self from; to go away from; to depart from; as, “to leave the house”.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife. Gen. ii. 24.
2. To let remain unremoved or undone; to let stay or continue, in distinction from what is removed or changed.
If grape gatherers come to thee, would they not leave some gleaning grapes ? Jer. xlix. 9.
These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Matt. xxiii. 23.
Besides it leaveth a suspicion, as if more might be said than is expressed. Bacon.
3. To cease from; to desist from; to abstain from.
Now leave complaining and begin your tea. Pope.
4. To desert; to abandon; to forsake; hence, to give up; to relinquish.
Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. Mark x. 28.
The heresies that men do leave. Shak.
5. To let be or do without interference; as, “I left him to his reflections; I leave my hearers to judge.”
I will leave you now to your gossiplike humor. Shak.
6. To put; to place; to deposit; to deliver; to commit; to submit -- with a sense of withdrawing one's self from; as, “leave your hat in the hall; we left our cards; to leave the matter to arbitrators.”
Leave there thy gift before the altar and go thy way. Matt. v. 24.
That leaves the print of blood where'er it walks. Shak.
7. To have remaining at death; hence, to bequeath; as, “he left a large estate; he left a good name; he left a legacy to his niece.”
8. to cause to be; -- followed by an adjective or adverb describing a state or condition; as, “the losses due to fire leave me penniless; The cost of defending himself left Bill Clinton with a mountain of lawyers' bills”.
To leave alone. To leave in solitude. To desist or refrain from having to do with; as, “to leave dangerous chemicals alone”. -- To leave off. To desist from; to forbear; to stop; as, “to leave off work at six o'clock”. To cease wearing or using; to omit to put in the usual position; as, “to leave off a garment; to leave off the tablecloth”. To forsake; as, “to leave off a bad habit”. -- To leave out, to omit; as, “to leave out a word or name in writing”. -- To leave to one's self, to let ( one ) be alone; to cease caring for ( one ).
Syn>- To quit; depart from; forsake; abandon; relinquish; deliver; bequeath; give up; forego; resign; surrender; forbear. See Quit.
- Leave v. i.
1. To depart; to set out. [Colloq.]
By the time I left for Scotland. Carlyle.
2. To cease; to desist; to leave off. “He . . . began at the eldest, and left at the youngest.” Gen. xliv. 12.
To leave off, to cease; to desist; to stop.
Leave off, and for another summons wait. Roscommon.
Definition of leave by GCIDE Dictionary