take the liberty of (doing something)(redirected from took the liberty of)
take the liberty of (doing something)
To do something without first seeking out or asking someone's permission. I thought I'd take the liberty of printing out some financial reports ahead of today's meeting so we would all be on the same page. I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of telling your husband you'd be late for dinner.
take the liberty of doing something
to do something for someone voluntarily; to do something slightly personal for someone that would be more appropriate if one knew the person better. (Often used as an overly polite exaggeration in a request.) Do you mind if I take the liberty of flicking a bit of lint off your collar? May I take the liberty of removing your coat? I took the liberty of ordering an entree for you. I hope you don't mind.
take the liberty of
Act on one's own authority without permission from another, as in I took the liberty of forwarding the mail to his summer address. It is also put as take the liberty to, as in He took the liberty to address the Governor by her first name. This rather formal locution was first recorded in 1625 and does not imply the opprobrium of the similar-sounding take liberties.