Also found in: Legal.
take liberties (with somebody)
to be friendly with another person for your own benefit The head of our department believed that everyone there would take liberties with her if she let them.
1. to change something, especially a piece of writing, in a way that people disagree with (usually + with ) Whoever wrote the screenplay for the film took great liberties with the original text of the novel.
2. (old-fashioned) to be too friendly to someone in a way that shows a lack of respect, especially in a sexual way (often + with ) Don't let him take liberties with you.
1. Behave improperly or disrespectfully; also, make unwanted sexual advances. For example, He doesn't allow staff members to take liberties, such as calling clients by their first names , or She decided that if Jack tried to take liberties with her she would go straight home. This idiom uses liberties in the sense of "an overstepping of propriety," and thus differs markedly from take the liberty of. [c. 1700]
2. Make a statement or take an action not warranted by the facts or circumstances, as in Their book takes liberties with the historical record.