be left to (one's) own devices

(redirected from left to his 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
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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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References in classic literature ?
He was so good and so anxious to learn, and flushed so pink, that his education was cut short, and he was left to his own devices by every one except the Senior Subaltern, who continued to make life a burden to The Worm.
He is very much interested in me; he can be left to his own devices. He is a contrast to you."
For an hour or more the prisoner was left to his own devices, which consisted in vain and unremitting attempts to loosen the strands which fettered his wrists, and then he was interrupted by the appearance of the black sergeant Usanga, who entered his hut and approached him.
Ian Scott, defending, said: "He is embarrassed he has committed this offence and can only explain it because his wife had been away on holiday and he had been left to his own devices in the house.
Left to his own devices, he can make only one meal - cheese on toast!
The dog, who has been left to his own devices all day starts to feel a little bit hard-done by.
Many of the tunes feature other artists but it's when he's left to his own devices that Lil Wayne shines.
Once left to his own devices, he completely stripped off, raising cheers, wolf whistles and laughter from bystanders, as well as a cry of: "Well done mate".
If Bush is left to his own devices, he would still have 100,000 troops in Iraq at 11:59 a.m.
Mr Walker was essentially left to his own devices."
But this business with Iraq could prove very dirty if Hussein is left to his own devices.
And there is little doubt that, left to his own devices, he will acquire them in the not-too-distant future.
'This is an evil man who, left to his own devices, will wreak havoc again on his own population, his neighbours and, if he gets weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them, all of us,' she said.
It might be easier if he was left to his own devices as opposed to having to put words in the mouths of the supporting cast in the same manner as a father would enlighten his children.
STUART BROAD will be left to his own devices as captain of the Twenty20 team this month because neither of England's TWO head coaches will be around.