leave (one) to stew

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leave (one) to stew

To allow someone to feel fearful, anxious, guilty, etc., without offering them comfort or closure on the matter. After the kids broke the window, I left them to stew in their bedroom for a while before laying into them about it. I can tell that the boss is upset with how my report turned out, but I think he's just leaving me to stew about it before he brings it up.
See also: leave, stew
References in periodicals archive ?
IT is a universally acknowledged law that if you put a handful of the London Welsh in a room together, add a liberal dash of alcohol and leave to stew for a few hours you will produce at least half a dozen plans for the rebirth of the nation.
Allow the paper to dry completely, then to add some more colour, brew up a half cup of warm water with four tea bags and leave to stew for about five minutes.