American English

Definition of leave noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1 a period of time when you are allowed to be away from work for a vacation or for a special reason to take a month's paid/unpaid leave soldiers home on leave to be on maternity leave How much annual leave do you get? see also compassionate leave, sick leave
  2. 2 (formal) official permission to do something to be absent without leave leave to do something The court granted him leave to appeal against the sentence. She asked for a leave of absence (= permission to be away from work) to attend a funeral.
  3. Idioms
    beg leave to do something (formal)
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    to ask someone for permission to do something I beg leave to add a few comments of my own.
    by/with your leave (formal)
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    with your permission
    take (your) leave (of somebody) (formal)
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    to say goodbye With a nod and a smile, she took leave of her friends.
    take leave of your senses (old-fashioned)
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    to start behaving as if you are crazy
    without a by your leave; without so much as a by your leave (old-fashioned)
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    without asking permission; rudely He walked straight in, without so much as a by your leave.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: leave