American English

Definition of leave noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1a 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