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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!
leave one to one's own devicesand leave one to one's own resources
Fig. to make one rely on oneself.—I am sure that she will manage if we leave her to her own devices. I will leave her to her own resources and everything will turn out fine.
leave you to your own devices
to allow you to decide for yourself what you do Most of the time, the prisoners were left to their own devices by the guards. When the two sides were left to their own devices, they managed to agree on terms for a new contract.
leave somebody to their own devices
to let someone do what they want without helping them or trying to control them (usually passive) There are four hours of lessons each morning, and in the afternoon students are left to their own devices. Left to my own devices I wouldn't bother cooking in the evenings.
leave to someone's own devices
Allow someone to do as he or she wishes. For example, Left to his own devices, he would hire someone to do the yard work. This expression, uses device in the sense of "a plan or scheme." [Late 1800s]
leave to (one's) own devices
1. To allow (someone) to do as he or she pleases: left the child to her own devices for an hour.
2. To force (someone) to cope or manage without assistance: Most people would die in the desert if left to their own devices.