take liberties with

take liberties with (someone or something)

1. To act disrespectfully. You're too friendly with your subordinates—that's why they take liberties with you.
2. To alter something in order to benefit from it or accommodate one's own needs or interests. Of course I didn't slander you; the paper simply took liberties with what I said.
See also: liberty, take

take liberties with someone or something

 and make free with someone or something
to freely use or abuse someone or something. You are overly familiar with me, Mr. Jones. One might think you were taking liberties with me. I don't like it when you make free with my lawn mower. You should at least ask when you want to borrow it.
See also: liberty, take
References in periodicals archive ?
com published an article titled "IsoRay Takes Liberties With Lung Cancer Study Results to Prop Up Stock Price," which reported that "To make up for the inability to deliver revenue growth -- and prop up its stock price -- IsoRay issues a lot of promotional press releases, some of which take liberties with clinical data using clever, selective editing.