be left to (one's) own devices

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be left to (one's) own devices

To be left unsupervised or uncontrolled; to be allowed to do as one pleases. My job is really great: I know what I need to work on and am just left to my own devices. If left to their own devices, children will get into all sorts of mischief!
See also: device, left, own

left to your own devices

COMMON If someone is left to their own devices, they are left to do what they want, or to look after themselves without any help. If left to my own devices, I would eat a chocolate dessert every night. After tea we were left to our own devices, so we decided to take a walk in the neighbouring village. The millions of Americans who do not have health insurance are often left to their own devices when they become ill. Note: An old meaning of `device' was desire or will.
See also: device, left, own
References in classic literature ?
The warrior whose gun I had struck up looked enquiringly at Tars Tarkas, but the latter signed that I be left to my own devices, and so we returned to the plaza with my great beast following close at heel, and Sola grasping me tightly by the arm.
Then silence fell, and I was left to my own devices for getting free.
Left to my own devices, I can be wordy, self-indulgent and even occasionally inappropriate.
Comments Dendy: "I once had a teacher who said that if I was left to my own devices I'd put the whole world on a stage, and that's what I did with Symmetries.
Left to my own devices, I sometimes fear that someday I could end up like a character in that 1940s New York advertising novel, Die Hucksters, sitting in a fancy bar and musing into my glass of Scotch, "Was an apartment on Park Avenue and a country home in Connecticut worth it?
If left to my own devices, I'd spend all my time pointing out that he's weaker than bus-station chili.