French leave
noun Etymology: from an 18th century French custom of leaving a reception without taking leave of the host or hostess Date: 1771 an informal, hasty, or secret departure

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • French leave — is Leave of absence without permission or without announcing one s departure , [ Brewer s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (Millennium Edition; London: Cassell, 1999)] including leaving a party without bidding farewell to the host. The intent… …   Wikipedia

  • French leave — Leave Leave, n. [OE. leve, leave, AS. le[ a]f; akin to le[ o]f pleasing, dear, E. lief, D. oorlof leave, G. arlaub, and erlauben to permit, Icel. leyfi. [root]124. See {Lief}.] 1. Liberty granted by which restraint or illegality is removed;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • French leave — French French (fr[e^]nch), prop. a. [AS. frencisc, LL. franciscus, from L. Francus a Frank: cf. OF. franceis, franchois, fran[,c]ois, F. fran[,c]ais. See {Frank}, a., and cf. {Frankish}.] Of or pertaining to France or its inhabitants. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • french leave — To take French leave is to leave a gathering without saying goodbye or without permission …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • French leave — French′ leave′ n. a departure without ceremony, permission, or notice: Taking French leave, he evaded his creditors[/ex] • Etymology: 1765–75 …   From formal English to slang

  • French leave — n. [< 18th c. custom, prevalent in France, of leaving receptions without taking leave of the host or hostess] an unauthorized, unnoticed, or unceremonious departure; act of leaving secretly or in haste …   English World dictionary

  • French leave — n. (obsol.) leaving without saying goodbye to take French leave * * * (obsol.) [ leaving without saying goodbye ] to take French leave (obsol.) [ leaving without saying goodbye ] to take French leave …   Combinatory dictionary

  • French leave —    If you leave an official or social event without notifying the person who invited you, you take French leave.     Is Bill coming back for the closing speech or has he taken French leave? …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • French leave —    unauthorized absence    Originally of a soldier, implying a propensity in French soldiers for desertion. Some civilian and figurative use:     We could still, if we wished, take French leave of Vietnam. (M. McCarthy, 1967) …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

  • French leave — {n.} The act of slipping away from a place secretly and without saying good bye to anyone. * / It s getting late, Rob whispered to Janet. Let s take French leave and get out of here. / …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • French leave — {n.} The act of slipping away from a place secretly and without saying good bye to anyone. * / It s getting late, Rob whispered to Janet. Let s take French leave and get out of here. / …   Dictionary of American idioms

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