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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
ISLAMABAD -- The implementation of Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS), developed to curtail counterfeit mobile phone usage, would start from December 1 (Saturday).
The central venous catheter securement devices segment is further divided on the basis of type into PICC securement devices, subclavian securement devices, jugular securement devices, femoral securement devices, portal securement devices, and midlines securement devices.
The Journal takes advantage of the annual Design of Medical Devices Conference (DMD) www.dmd.umn.edu and its review process.
* Rule 41(f)(2) Return on Warrant: Within 10 days after use of the device has ended, the officer executing the warrant must make the return to the magistrate judge specified in the warrant.
This conference provides a forum for medical device manufacturers and designers, materials suppliers and specialist rubber and plastic processors.
The Ontario-based company develops multimedia client software for smart phones, WiFi handsets, and emerging dual-mode devices.
Administrators can use powerful policies in these devices for a range of data migration tasks such as moving data off legacy file servers to new NAS devices, balancing storage capacity, or performing software upgrades.
Now, a human-rigged device has joined the menagerie.
Successful research outcomes will result in the incorporation of the PICM-19H cells in an artificial liver device for use by patients suffering from chronic and acute liver disease, as well as use in in-vitro toxicology and pre-clinical drug testing platforms.
The necessary steps to progress from e- to u- are to "unplug" conventional devices by making them wireless and portable, and to "plug" other appliances onto the network by inserting connection devices.
For power-conscious customers, the A3P250 devices deliver stand-by power consumption of only 3mA under typical conditions.
The latest device also makes use of new pixel surface smoothing technology that delivers high reflectivity to achieve the brightness demanded from devices used in consumer projection televisions.
a look at the Internet's distance running message boards reveals that thousands of marathoners are now incorporating the use of personal global positioning system (GPS) devices into their training and racing.
Indeed, while the Blue Ribbon Panel concluded that pilot training was adequate, it also opined that "historical precedent suggests that funding may not remain stable throughout upcoming budget cycles" and recommended that adequate funding be provided for aircrew ground training, aircraft simulators, and upgrades to training devices.