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Alternative forms[edit]


Inherited from Old Spanish dexar, from Early Old Spanish lexar, from Latin laxāre, whence also laxar (a borrowed doublet). Also compare Portuguese and Galician deixar, Asturian dexar, Aragonese deixar, Catalan deixar, Occitan daissar, laissar, Sicilian dassari and both French laisser and délaisser.

Early Old Spanish generally has l-, forms appearing with d- towards 1200. The change of the initial l- to d- in many (especially Iberian) Romance languages has been explained in various ways: most likely, it is due to the influence of the preposition de, often used in constructions with this verb, or from an influence of, or contraction of, Late Latin dēlaxāre (also attested in Old Spanish as delexar), due to rapid pronunciation (as is common in quasi-auxiliary verbs). Less likely explanations include influence from the verb dar (to give), or derivation from Latin dēsinere, the latter proving difficult on phonetic grounds.[1] Compare English lease (sense 5), lax, and laxative.


  • IPA(key): /deˈxaɾ/ [d̪eˈxaɾ]
  • Audio:(file)
  • Rhymes: -aɾ
  • Syllabification: de‧jar


dejar (first-person singular present dejo, first-person singular preterite dejé, past participle dejado)

  1. (transitive) to leave (to place)
    Dejé la cerveza arriba.
    I left the beer upstairs.
  2. (transitive) to leave, to keep (to allow to continue)
    Me gusta dejar la luz encendida.
    I like to keep/leave the light on.
    Supongo que podríamos dejar el restaurante abierto un poco más.
    I suppose we could keep the restaurant open a little bit longer.
  3. (transitive) to leave (to cause, result in)
    Su respuesta nos dejó convencidos.
    His answer left us convinced.
  4. (transitive) to let, allow
    Synonym: permitir
    Antonym: prohibir
    Deja que se explique.
    Let her explain herself.
    Después de asear el área afectada, déjela secar.
    After you clean the affected area, allow it to dry.
  5. (transitive) to let go, put down (to release from one's grasp)
    Synonym: soltar
  6. (transitive) to drop off
    Ayer dejé un paquete muy importante.
    Yesterday I dropped off a very important package.
  7. (transitive) to leave, to abandon, to dump
    Synonym: abandonar
    Su madre la dejó cuando tenía tres años.
    Her mother left her when she was three.
    La invitó a una cita muy agradable, y de repente de la nada, él la dejó.
    He took her on a really nice date, and then suddenly out of nowhere, he dumped her.
  8. (transitive) to give up, to lay off, to kick (colloquial)
    Van a dejar la bebida.
    They're going to lay off drinking.
    Estoy pensando en dejar el chocolate para la Cuaresma.
    I am thinking of giving up chocolate for Lent.
    Espero dejar ese hábito terrible para siempre.
    I hope to kick that terrible habit for good.
  9. (transitive) to set, to put, to make (in certain phrases)
    Quería dejar las cosas claras.
    I wanted to set the record straight.
    Usted tiene que dejar atrás el pasado.
    You've got to put the past behind you.
    El político emergente estaba decidido a dejar su huella.
    The emerging politician was determined to make his mark.
  10. (Spain, transitive, colloquial) to cut out (stop)
  11. (intransitive) to leave off
  12. (intransitive, or transitive with de) to cease, stop (doing something)
    Synonym: parar
    Hace dos años dejaron de fumar.
    Two years ago they stopped smoking.
    Mi pareja no deja de sorprenderme.
    My partner never ceases to amaze me.
  13. (reflexive, transitive with a) to be left, to be left to
  14. (reflexive) to let (oneself), to let oneself go (cease to care about one's appearance)


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]