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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

leave (one) to (one's) own devices

To let one rely on oneself, without any help or other interference. I'm going to leave you to your own devices and see what you come up with without my input. It's amazing how some kids can really thrive when you leave them to their own devices, while others will be completely helpless.
See also: device, leave, own

leave one to one's own devices

 and 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.
See also: device, leave, one, own

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]
See also: device, leave, 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

leave someone to their own devices

leave someone to do as they wish without supervision.
Device in the sense of ‘inclination’ or ‘fancy’ now only occurs in the plural, and is found only in this expression or in the phrase devices and desires , as quoted from the General Confession in the Book of Common Prayer.
See also: device, leave, own, someone

leave somebody to their own deˈvices

leave somebody to do something without your help, or to spend their time as they like: I’ve explained everything to him. Now I’m leaving him to his own devices, and we’ll see how he manages.The children were usually left to their own devices in the summer holidays.
See also: device, leave, own, somebody

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.
See also: device, leave, own

left to one's own devices, to be

To be allowed to do as one pleases; to be left alone. The word devices in this meaning—projects or stratagems— survives mainly in this cliché, which dates from the late nineteenth century. It also appears in a phrase still used from the 1552 Anglican Book of Common Prayer: “We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts.”
See also: left, own
References in periodicals archive ?
The console server provides multiple connectivity options to the network manager, allowing them to reach the console port of any device from anywhere they have a network connection or dialup connection.
At the destination, another IPS device enables the data stream to be translated from Gigabit Ethernet to Fibre Channel or SCSI to drive the tape silo.
JVC has improved its technology for arranging the orientation and direction of liquid molecules, which significantly reduces the source of discrination or colored noise attributable to the device.
Finally, there is the storage device itself (typically disk or tape drives) where the data physically resides on some media for action now or in the future.
Edge expanders may be combined to form an "edge expander device set.
Bonar said Nokia has already released a device that looks like a GameBoy electronic toy, but it's a PDA and a cellular telephone.
On the other hand, the manufacturer was paid for three unapproved devices.
Free marketeers and patient advocates have blamed FDA chief Kessler's headline-grabbing enforcement proceedings for causing much of the recent food, drug, and device delays.
I developed a prototype system with a simple tactile output device that represented the six braille elements.
Rather than creating dozens of vendor-specific device agents, the company can create a single SMI-S-compliance client per device type (host, array, switch, etc).
Since passage of the Medical Device Amendments in 1976, manufacturers have been able to market new devices through a 510k provision by demonstrating that the device has the same intended use and the same technical characteristics as a device approved before May 28, 1976.