Definition of French leave in English:

French leave

Translate French leave into Spanish


informal, dated
  • 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

/ˌfren(t)SH ˈlēv/ /ˌfrɛn(t)ʃ ˈliv/


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’.