An unauthorized or unannounced departure; absence without permission.
- ‘he seems to have taken French leave’
- ‘I wouldn't get too worked up about this, you might have to take French leave to sort it out.’
- ‘I'm beginning to think you took a French leave from the Rangers.’
French leave/frenCH lēv/ /frɛntʃ liv/
Mid 18th century said to derive from the French custom of leaving a dinner or ball without saying goodbye to the host or hostess. The phrase was first recorded shortly after the Seven Years War; the equivalent French expression is filer à l'Anglaise, literally ‘to escape in the style of the English’.