Definition of leave verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//liːv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//liːv//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they leave
    BrE BrE//liːv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//liːv//
    he / she / it leaves
    BrE BrE//liːvz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//liːvz//
    past simple left
    BrE BrE//left//
    ; NAmE NAmE//left//
    past participle left
    BrE BrE//left//
    ; NAmE NAmE//left//
    -ing form leaving
    BrE BrE//ˈliːvɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈliːvɪŋ//
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  1. 1  [intransitive, transitive] to go away from a person or a place Come on, it's time we left. leave for… The plane leaves for Dallas at 12.35. leave something I hate leaving home. The plane leaves Heathrow at 12.35.
  2. home/job/school
  3. 2  [intransitive, transitive] to stop living at a place, belonging to a group, working for an employer, etc. My secretary has threatened to leave. leave something (British English) Some children leave school at 16.
  4. wife/husband
  5. 3  [transitive] leave somebody (for somebody) to leave your wife, husband or partner permanently She's leaving him for another man. See related entries: Separation
  6. something to do later
  7. 4  [transitive] to not do something or deal with something immediately leave something Leave the dishes—I'll do them later. leave something until… Why do you always leave everything until the last moment?
  8. somebody/something in condition/place
  9. 5  [transitive] to make or allow somebody/something to remain in a particular condition, place, etc. leave somebody/something (+ adj.) Leave the door open, please. The bomb blast left 25 people dead. leave somebody/something doing something Don't leave her waiting outside in the rain. leave somebody/something to do something Leave the rice to cook for 20 minutes.
  10. 6  [transitive] to make something happen or remain as a result leave something Red wine leaves a stain. leave somebody with something She left me with the impression that she was unhappy with her job. leave somebody something I'm afraid you leave me no choice.
  11. 7  be left [transitive] to remain to be used, sold, etc. Is there any coffee left? How many tickets do you have left? be left of something (figurative) They are fighting to save what is left of their business. be left to somebody The only course of action left to me was to notify her employer.
  12. 8  [transitive] to go away from a place without taking something/somebody with you leave something/somebody (+ adv./prep.) I've left my bag on the bus. leave something/somebody behind Don't leave any of your belongings behind. He wasn't well, so we had to leave him behind.
  13. mathematics
  14. 9[transitive] leave something to have a particular amount remaining Seven from ten leaves three.
  15. after death
  16. 10[transitive] leave somebody to have family remaining after your death He leaves a wife and two children.
  17. 11  [transitive] to give something to somebody when you die synonym bequeath leave something (to somebody) She left £1 million to her daughter. leave somebody something She left her daughter £1 million.
  18. responsibility to somebody
  19. 12  [transitive] to allow somebody to take care of something leave somebody/something + adv./prep. You can leave the cooking to me. She left her assistant in charge. Leave it with me—I'm sure I can sort it out. ‘Where shall we eat?’ ‘I’ll leave it entirely (up) to you (= you can decide).’ They left me with all the clearing up. leave somebody/something to do something I was left to cope on my own.
  20. deliver
  21. 13  [transitive] to deliver something and then go away leave something (for somebody) Someone left this note for you. leave somebody something Someone left you this note. More Like This Verbs with two objects bet, bring, build, buy, cost, get, give, leave, lend, make, offer, owe, pass, pay, play, post, promise, read, refuse, sell, send, show, sing, take, teach, tell, throw, wish, writeSee worksheet.
  22. Word Originverb Old English lǣfan ‘bequeath’, also ‘allow to remain, leave in place’ of Germanic origin; related to German bleiben ‘remain’.Extra examples Did you want something? I was just about to leave. I wanted to leave but they wouldn’t let me. They left for Scotland this morning. They were being extremely rowdy and the manager had to ask them to leave. They were caught trying to leave the country. We were all packed and ready to leave. Are you ready to leave yet? Come on—it’s time we left. Don’t leave any of your belongings behind. He had left the organization some years before. He wasn’t well, so we had to leave him behind. Hundreds of villagers have already left to seek work in the towns. I leave it to you to decide what order to do things in. I left my bag on the bus. I worked in Hong Kong after I left university. I’ve left my phone somewhere but I can’t remember where. If we leave now, we should make it in time. John says he left the restaurant at around midnight. Leave it with me —I’m sure I can sort it out. My assistant is threatening to leave. She claims she was forced to leave her job after she became pregnant. She left school at 14 with no qualifications. She refused to leave until she had talked to an officer. She’s leaving him for another man. The family had left in a hurry, leaving all their belongings behind. They got into an argument and were asked to leave. Too many teachers are leaving the profession for higher-paid jobs.Idioms Most idioms containing leave are at the entries for the nouns and adjectives in the idioms, for example leave somebody in the lurch is at lurch. 
      somebody can take it or leave it
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    1. 1used to say that you do not care if somebody accepts or rejects your offer
    2. 2used to say that somebody does not have a strong opinion about something Dancing? I can take it or leave it.
    leave go (of something)
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    (British English, informal) to stop holding on to something synonym let go Leave go of my arm—you're hurting me!
    (informal) to say or do nothing more about something We'll never agree, so let's just leave it at that. (British English, informal) used to tell somebody to stop doing something
    Phrasal Verbsbe left over (from something)leave somethingasideleave somebody behindleave offleave off somebodyleave somebody out
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: leave