be left to (one's) own devices

(redirected from left to their own devices)
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Related to left to their own devices: the likes of, take into account, set out, in favor of, for the most part, refer to, lined up
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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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
In the absence of labels, artists' statements, or other curatorial dues, visitors were left to their own devices, most notably their eyes.
Then there is a skein of specialist ambassadors, like Dennis Ross on the Middle East, who are pretty much left to their own devices.
For instance, the rather formal style of the vocabulary doesn't relate to the relaxed setting, which pictures boys and girls left to their own devices in the ballet studio.
Left to their own devices, too many officers choose counterproductive methods, such as alcohol abuse and withdrawal.
We feed them when they'll eat it, and by and large they're left to their own devices,"says Russ Miller, manager of cable TV tycoon Ted Turner's 7,500 head of bison in Montana, New Mexico and Nebraska.
The report concluded that, "If left to their own devices the companies, both the established telephone companies and their new competitors, are likely to try to make the industry's workers and residential customers pay the price for the new age of telecommunications.
However, until this time, manufacturers were left to their own devices to meet validation requirements for disinfectant effectiveness.
Child poverty in my opinion is where they do not get sufficient to eat, where they are not taken to school, where they do not have suitable clothing and are left to their own devices by parents.
Because shrubs such as Philadelphus and Kerria do fine year after year, they are often left to their own devices.
Businesses left to their own devices can perfectly well work out which geographical areas suit them.
Ravi, Leila and Anita are left to their own devices as they wave their parents goodbye, but it's not long before they realise how difficult it's going to be when Ravi nearly burns the house down.
I don't believe that, if left to their own devices, all men would love football.
Most are contained in small spaces by looping the shoots around a wooden or wire framework secured into a pot, although if left to their own devices they can grow to more than 2m (6ft) tall when trained up a conservatory wall.
While the poor and needy are left to their own devices on the streets (gambling, drugs and prostitution), the affluent revel in the luxury of Fiddler's Green, a high-rise complex of chintzy fabrics, piped lift muzak, exclusive boutiques and coffee shops.
No Child Left Behind arose from the premise that America's public schools weren't doing well enough and states ought not to be left to their own devices to improve them.