Dictionary: LEAVE – LEC'TION-A-RY

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LEAVE, n. [Sax. leaf, lefe, from leafan, lefan, lyfan, to permit, to grant, to trust, to believe; G. erlaub, D. oorlof, verlof, leave, furlow; Sax. leofan, to live, and to leave.]

  1. Permission; allowance; license; liberty granted by which restraint or illegality is removed. No friend has leave to bear away the dead. – Dryden. David earnestly asked leave of me. – 1 Sam. xx.
  2. Farewell; adieu; ceremony of departure; a formal parting of friends; used chiefly in the phrase to take leave. – Acts xviii.

LEAVE, v.i.

To cease; to desist. He began at the eldest and left at the youngest. – Gen. xliv. To leave off, to cease; to desist; to stop. But when you find that vigorous heat abate / Leave off, and for another summons wait. – Roscommon.

LEAVE, v.i. [Fr. lever.]

To raise. [Not used.] – Spenser.

LEAVE, v.t. [pret. and pp. left. Sax. læfan, to leave; to lefan, to permit, to believe; lefe, leave; lefian, to live; leofan, to leave, to live; leofa, leave, permission, license; lyfan, to permit, also to live. But live is also written liban, libban, with b, which leave is not. Belifan, to remain or be left; alyfan, to permit; ge-læfan, to leave, to permit, to believe; ge-leaf, leave, license, assent, consent, faith or belief; ge-lefan, to believe, to think or suppose, to permit, to live; ge-leofan, id.; ge-lyfan, to believe, to trust; ge-lyfed, permitted or allowed, believed, lawful, also alive, having life; leof, loved; lufa, love, also belief; leoflic, faithful; luflic, willingly, lubenter; luflic, lovely. The German has leave in urlaub, a furlow, and belief in glaube; live in leben; and love in liebe, lieben, the Latin libet, lubet. Gr. λειπω. Dan. lever, Sw. lefva, to live. These are a small part of the affinities of this word. The Germans and Dutch express the sense of leave by lassen, laaten, which is our let, Fr. laisser; and let in English has the sense both of permit and of hinder. The most prominent significations of leave, are to stop or forbear, and to withdraw.]

  1. To withdraw or depart from; to quit for a longer or shorter time indefinitely, or for perpetuity. We left Cowes on our return to the United States, May 10, 1825. We leave home for a day or a year. The fever leaves the patient daily at a certain hour. The secretary has left the business of his office with his first clerk. A man shalt leave his father and his mother, and cleave to his wife. – Gen. ii.
  2. To forsake; to desert; to abandon; to relinquish. We have left all and followed thee. – Mark x.
  3. To suffer to remain; not to take or remove. Let no man leave of it till the morning. – Ex. xvi.
  4. To have remaining at death; as, to leave a good name.
  5. To commit or trust to, as a deposit; or to suffer to remain I left the papers in the care of the consul.
  6. To bequeath; to give by will. The deceased has left hi lands to his sons, but he has left a legacy to his only daughter.
  7. To permit without interposition. Of this, he leaves the reader to judge.
  8. To cease to do; to desist from; to forbear. Let us return, lest my father leave caring for the asses an take thought for us. – 1 Sam. ix.
  9. To refer; to commit for decision. To be left to one's self, to be deserted or forsaken; to be permitted to follow one's own opinions or desires. To leave off, to desist from; to forbear; as, to leave off work at six o'clock. To leave off, to cease wearing; as, to leave off a garment. #2. To forsake; as, to leave off an old acquaintance. – Arbuthnot. To leave out, to omit; as, to leave out a word or name in writing.

LEAV'ED, a. [from leaf; but leafed would be preferable.]

  1. Furnished with foliage or leaves.
  2. Having a leaf, or made with leaves or folds; as, a two-leaved gate.


Destitute of leaves.

LEAV'EN, n. [lev'n; Fr. levain, from lever, to raise, L. levo, Eng. to lift.]

  1. A mass of sour dough, which, mixed with a larger quantity of dough or paste, produces fermentation in it and renders it light. During the seven days of the passover, leaven was permitted to be in the houses of the Jews. Ex. xii.
  2. Any thing which makes a general change in the mass generally means something which corrupts or depraves that with which it is mixed. Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. – Matth. xvi.

LEAV'EN, v.t. [lev'n.]

  1. To excite fermentation in; to raise and make light, as dough or paste. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 1 Cor. v.
  2. To taint; to imbue. – Prior.

LEAV-EN-ED, pp. [lev'ened.]

Raised and made light by fermentation.

LEAV-EN-ING, n. [lev'ening.]

That which leavens or makes light. – Bacon.

LEAV-EN-ING, ppr. [lev'ening.]

Making light by fermentation.

LEAV-EN-OUS, a. [lev'enous.]

Containing leaven; tainted. – Milton.

LEAV'ER, n. [from leave.]

One who leaves or relinquishes; one who forsakes.

LEAVES, n. [plur. of Leaf.]

– Shak.

LEAV'-ING, ppr.

Quitting; withdrawing from; relinquishing; suffering to remain; ceasing; desisting from.

LEAV'INGS, n. [plur.]

  1. Things left; remnant; relics. The leavings of Pharsalia. – Addison.
  2. Refuse; offal. – Swift.

LEAV'Y, a. [from leaf.]

Full of leaves; covered with leaves. – Sidney. Shak. [An improper word; it ought to be leafy.]

LECH, v. [for lick; Obs. See LICK.]

LECH'ER, n. [It. lecco, gluttony, lechery; leccare, to lick; leccardo, greedy; G. lecken; D. likker. See lick, leak and lickerish. But in Saxon leger-scipe is lewdness, from leger, a layer, or a lying down; lecgan, to lay; ligan, to lie. See Lubricity.]

A man given to lewdness; one addicted, in an exorbitant degree, to the indulgence of the animal appetite, and an illicit commerce with females.

LECH'ER, v.i.

To practice lewdness; to indulge lust. – B. Johnson.


  1. Addicted to lewdness; prone to indulge lust; lustful; lewd. – Derham.
  2. Provoking lust. Chaucer.


lustfully; lewdly.


Lust, or strong propensity to indulge the sexual appetite.

LEC'TION, n. [L. lectio, from lego, to read. Ir. leighim, leagham, Gr. λεγω, Fr. lire.]

  1. A reading.
  2. A difference or variety in copies of a manuscript or book. – Watts.
  3. A lesson or portion of Scripture read in divine service.


The Romish service-book, containing portions of Scripture.