) KEY NOUN:
IDIOM: leave to (one's) own devices
- A contrivance or an invention serving a particular purpose, especially a machine used to perform one or more relatively simple tasks.
- A technique or means.
- A plan or scheme, especially a malign one.
- A literary contrivance, such as parallelism or personification, used to achieve a particular effect.
- A decorative design, figure, or pattern, as one used in embroidery. See Synonyms at figure.
- A graphic symbol or motto, especially in heraldry.
- Archaic The act, state, or power of devising.
- To allow to do as one pleases: left the child to her own devices for an hour in the afternoon.
Middle English, from Old French devis
, division, wish
, and Old French devise
, both from Latin dvsus, dvsa
, past participle of dvidere
, to divide, separate
; see divide