take French leave(redirected from taken French leave)
take French leave
1. To depart or absent oneself from some place or event without ceremony, permission, or announcement. The official story is that he's sick, but I think he's just taking French leave. As the evening wore on, we decided to take French leave and make our way home.
2. In the military, to desert one's unit. The sergeant is facing a court martial after it was discovered that he'd taken French leave just before the deadly operation.
take French leavemake an unannounced or unauthorized departure.
This expression stems from the custom prevalent in 18th-century France of leaving a reception or entertainment without saying goodbye to your host or hostess.