leave behind - definition and synonyms

phrasal verb [transitive]
present tense
I/you/we/theyleave behind
he/she/itleaves behind
present participleleaving behind
past tenseleft behind
past participleleft behind
  1. 1
    leave someone/something behind to increase the distance by which you are ahead of someone or something

    The other climbers were fitter and more experienced and I was worried I’d get left behind.

  2. 2
    leave someone/something behind to improve or progress much faster than someone or something else
  3. 3
    to deliberately not think about something, especially an unpleasant experience, and not let it affect what you do in the future
  4. 4
    to not take someone or something with you when you go somewhere

    He had to leave his family behind in Chile.

    1. a.
      leave someone/something behind to forget to take someone or something with you

      It wasn’t until she was halfway home that she realized that she’d left her purse behind.

See also main entry: leave