take the liberty of (doing something)

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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.
See also: liberty, of, take

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.
See also: liberty, of, take

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.
See also: liberty, of, take

take the liberty of doing something

(formal) do something without permission: I have taken the liberty of giving your address to a friend who is visiting London. I hope you don’t mind.
See also: liberty, of, something, take
References in classic literature ?
Sir James invited himself with great composure to remain here a few days--hoped we would not think it odd, was aware of its being very impertinent, but he took the liberty of a relation; and concluded by wishing, with a laugh, that he might be really one very soon.
As every word uttered by Natty Bumppo was not to be received as rigid truth, we took the liberty of putting the "Horican" into his mouth, as the substitute for "Lake George.
The general presented the ambassador with a rich robe, and returned this gallant answer: "That he and his fellow-soldiers were come with an intention to drive Mahomet out of these countries, which he had wrongfully usurped; that his present design was, instead of returning back the way he came, as Mahomet advised, to open himself a passage through the country of his enemies; that Mahomet should rather think of determining whether he would fight or yield up his ill-gotten territories, than of prescribing measures to him; that he put his whole confidence in the omnipotence of God and the justice of his cause, and that to show how just a sense he had of Mahomet's kindness, he took the liberty of presenting him with a looking-glass and a pair of pincers.
More than two hours passed and Gerasim took the liberty of making a slight noise at the door to attract his attention, but Pierre did not hear him.
I am sure you have your own branches of knowledge," I took the liberty of saying, genially.
I took the liberty of asking why, if there was actually enough money to maintain both of them, there would not be more than enough in case of her being left alone.
But our lucky star having guided us to this door, we took the liberty of knocking and of asking for shelter, which was given to us at once with the best grace in the world.
I took the liberty of representing that we had been patient for a good many years; and that the circumstance of Sophy's being extraordinarily useful at home, ought not to operate with her affectionate parents, against her establishment in life - don't you see?
Miss Amy, I took the liberty of walking this way, because Mr Dorrit chanced to mention, when I called upon him just now, that you--'
I took the liberty of waiting upon you, sir, to ask whether the idea of a reward for so large a sum came spontaneously from your department?
By the way," he resumed, "I ought perhaps to explain how it was that I took the liberty of sending you that telegram.
I took the liberty of pointing out to my gentleman that the whole business looked apocryphal, and that a man does not, in real life, walk into a cellar door at four in the morning and come out with another man's cheque for close upon a hundred pounds.
Bennet's return, as Jane and Elizabeth were walking together in the shrubbery behind the house, they saw the housekeeper coming towards them, and, concluding that she came to call them to their mother, went forward to meet her; but, instead of the expected summons, when they approached her, she said to Miss Bennet, "I beg your pardon, madam, for interrupting you, but I was in hopes you might have got some good news from town, so I took the liberty of coming to ask.
I took the liberty of sending them along to Will Dabbs and he assured me he would share your letters with the family.
We then took the liberty of nominating Nancy Ajram as a judge on the kiddie singing competition.