leave leave [liːv] noun [uncountable] HUMAN RESOURCES
time that you are allowed to be absent from your work:

• The company offers attractive benefits, including five weeks' leave per year.

• The Los Gatos School District has hired 21 new teachers to replace those who are on leave.

ˌannual ˈleave HUMAN RESOURCES
time with pay that you are allowed to be absent from your work each year:

• The manager provides staff with the opportunity to make requests for annual leave.

comˌpassionate ˈleave HUMAN RESOURCES
time with pay that you are allowed to be absent from your work because of a personal problem, such as the death of a relative:

• When a close relative dies, anyone in a full-time job is usually entitled to a few days compassionate leave.

ˈgardening ˌleave
informal HUMAN RESOURCES a period of time off with pay, given to someone in an important position in a company when they resign, usually lasting until the end of their contract. Companies do this in order to prevent the person's new employer obtaining important or sensitive business information
maˈternity ˌleave HUMAN RESOURCES
time with pay that a woman is allowed to be absent from work just before and after having a baby:

• a woman who is made redundant while on maternity leave

paˈternity ˌleave also paˈrental ˌleave HUMAN RESOURCES
time that a father of a new baby is allowed to be absent from work:

• The company provides up to eight weeks of paid paternity leave.

sabˈbatical ˌleave HUMAN RESOURCES
a period of time when someone, especially someone in a university job, stops doing their usual work in order to study or travel
time with pay that you are allowed to be absent from work because you are ill:

• Werner never used a day of sick leave during his first 10 years as a firefighter.

ˌspecial ˈleave HUMAN RESOURCES
time that you are allowed to be absent from work, usually because of a personal problem. Special leave is sometimes but not always without pay:

• Line managers have discretion to give people time off as special leave.

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leave UK US /liːv/ noun [U]
WORKPLACE, HR a period of time that someone is allowed away from work for holiday, illness, or another special reason: take leave from sth »

I'm taking 5 days' unpaid leave from work to go to the wedding.

be/go on leave from sth »

Benefits will need to be adjusted when an employee is on leave from their job.


The appointee will be entitled to 38 days of annual leave.


Higher maternity pay and a longer leave entitlement are likely outcomes of the review.


adoption/bereavement/child-care leave


educational/medical leave


paid/unpaid leave

FORMAL agreement or permission to do something: be given/granted leave to do sth »

She has been granted leave to remain in the country.


No application should be issued without my leave.

be placed/put on leave — Cf. be put on leave
leave to appeal — Cf. leave to appeal
See also ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE(Cf. ↑administrative leave), COMPASSIONATE LEAVE(Cf. ↑compassionate leave), FAMILY LEAVE(Cf. ↑family leave), GARDENING LEAVE(Cf. ↑gardening leave), MATERNITY LEAVE(Cf. ↑maternity leave), PARENTAL LEAVE(Cf. ↑parental leave), PATERNITY LEAVE(Cf. ↑paternity leave), SABBATICAL(Cf. ↑sabbatical), SICK LEAVE(Cf. ↑sick leave), SPECIAL LEAVE(Cf. ↑special leave)
leave UK US /liːv/ verb (past tense and past participle left /left/)
[I, T] to go away from a place or a situation: »

I'm leaving work early this afternoon.


What time does the bus leave?


They left for Paris last night.

[I, T] to go away from a place permanently: »

She left her home country many years ago.

[I, T] to stop working for an organization or company, or stop attending a school, university, etc. : »

She left to go to a rival company.


Ben Harris? He left about a month ago.


How old were you when you left school?

Compare RETIRE(Cf. ↑retire)
[T] to not use all of something: »

Is there any money left in last year's budget?.

[T] to do something later that you could do immediately: »

He always leaves writing is reports till the very last moment.


You should try to decide which tasks need to be done urgently and which ones can be left.

[T] to arrange for someone to receive something after you die: »

His aunt left him a lot of money.


He left the house to this three children.

leave sb alone — Cf. leave sb alone

Financial and business terms. 2012.