leave behind(redirected from leave them behind)
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1. To depart (from some place) without bringing someone or something. In each usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "leave" and "behind." We decided to leave the kids behind when we go to Paris this spring so we can have a bit of time to ourselves. I can't believe I left my passport behind! I hope they still let me on the plane.
2. To abandon or forsake someone or something. I can't believe he left his family behind to pursue a career in acting. I left behind teaching to focus on writing my novel.
3. To cause something to remain as a result, consequence, or byproduct of something else. I really hope this cut doesn't leave a scar behind. That fish you cooked last night really left behind a bad smell, didn't it? The economic downturn left a lot of ruined lives behind.
4. To be outlived by members of one's family. He died at the age of 43, leaving behind his wife and two children.
5. To put an increasing amount of distance between oneself and someone or something else. She left the other racers behind after the second lap. We left the city behind us as we drove away.
6. To do increasingly better (in some field, activity, or situation) than someone or something else. Powerhouse retail chains continue to leave local businesses behind. The tech giant has totally left behind its competition in the mobile phone market.
7. To relegate someone or something to one's past. She wants to leave her old life behind when she moves to Europe next fall. I understand your decision to move abroad, but just don't leave your friends and family behind.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
leave someone or something behind
to fail or forget to bring someone or something along. John was sick, so we had to leave him behind. Oh, I left my money behind.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To depart from some place, especially in order to begin a new stage of a journey: We left Paris behind and went on to Warsaw.
2. To abandon, neglect, or forego someone or something: I can't believe you would leave behind your whole family. We boarded the plane to Tahiti and left all our troubles behind. The teacher was afraid that the younger students were getting left behind.
3. To have someone or something remaining after one's death: When she died, she left behind two young children. Many of the soldiers who died in the war left families behind. The actor left behind a legacy when he died.
4. To depart or disappear, leaving something as a result: When the glacier receded, it left behind many small lakes.
5. To surpass someone or something: This new product will leave the competition behind.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.