left to (one's) own devices

left to (one's) own devices

Left unsupervised or uncontrolled; allowed to do as one pleases. My job is really great. I know what I need to work on and am usually 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, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, 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, to
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012