be left to (one's) own devices

(redirected from left to her own devices)
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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, 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

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, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
EMMERDALE ITV, 7pm LEFT to her own devices, Holly struggles not to give in to drugs and desperately wants a fix.
THE UGLY THOUGHTS IN MY HEAD: WEIGHT LOSS A good balance of healthy eating and exercise is always the aim, but when left to her own devices, her love for food takes over.
Mum is still grieving for her husband, Martha's dad, and Martha is more or less left to her own devices, naturally getting up to mischief.
Thirteen-year-old Marta is left to her own devices while her loving but worn-out mother toils away at an industrial bakery.
David Scutt, prosecuting, said Henderson rose to the post of manager's assistant at a branch in London, and was considered so trustworthy she was "left to her own devices".
"WHERE grey hair in a man seems to signify power, experience and respect, in a woman it says she has finished her useful life as breeding material and is best left to her own devices - and ignored."