take the liberty of (doing something)

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take the liberty of (doing something)

To do something without first seeking out or asking someone's permission. I thought I'd take the liberty of printing out some financial reports ahead of today's meeting so we would all be on the same page. I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of telling your husband you'd be late for dinner.
See also: liberty, of, take

take the liberty of doing something

to do something for someone voluntarily; to do something slightly personal for someone that would be more appropriate if one knew the person better. (Often used as an overly polite exaggeration in a request.) Do you mind if I take the liberty of flicking a bit of lint off your collar? May I take the liberty of removing your coat? I took the liberty of ordering an entree for you. I hope you don't mind.
See also: liberty, of, take

take the liberty of

Act on one's own authority without permission from another, as in I took the liberty of forwarding the mail to his summer address. It is also put as take the liberty to, as in He took the liberty to address the Governor by her first name. This rather formal locution was first recorded in 1625 and does not imply the opprobrium of the similar-sounding take liberties.
See also: liberty, of, take

take the liberty of doing something

(formal) do something without permission: I have taken the liberty of giving your address to a friend who is visiting London. I hope you don’t mind.
See also: liberty, of, something, take
References in classic literature ?
He was so extremely conciliatory in his manner that he seemed to apologize to the very newspaper for taking the liberty of reading it.
I am taking the liberty of enclosing a poorly written epistle published in a village paper where I have my studio.
As a workplace delegate, I suggest there has been plenty of opportunity to discuss matters of such significance at our monthly workplace meetings, without taking the liberty of assuming art members support this contentious bill I consider this submission to be a total misuse of the mandate from members on matters relevant to the profession.
I am taking the liberty of making a few comments about Cardiff and Wales, for we have greatly enjoyed our time here.
There is a sort of neoclericalism bent on modifying the liturgy, which the faithful however have the right to receive in its integrity as a gift of Christ and the Church, without priests taking the liberty of changing it.
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