take leave of one's senses

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take leave of one's senses (third-person singular simple present takes leave of one's senses, present participle taking leave of one's senses, simple past took leave of one's senses, past participle taken leave of one's senses)

  1. (idiomatic) To go crazy; to stop behaving rationally.
    • 1868 January 4 – June 6, [William] Wilkie Collins, “Second Period. The Discovery of the Truth. (1848–1849.) [] [Fourth Narrative. Extracted from the Journal of Ezra Jennings.]”, in The Moonstone. A Romance. [], volume III, London: Tinsley Brothers, [], published 1868, OCLC 225036627, pages 180–181:
      Here I am, with my book and my pencil—the latter not pointed so well as I could wish, but when Christians take leave of their senses, who is to expect that pencils will keep their points?
    • 1880, [Henry Brooks Adams], chapter X, in Democracy: An American Novel (Leisure-hour Series; no. 112), New York, N.Y.: Henry Holt and Company, OCLC 557792295, page 256:
      She plainly said that men seemed to take leave of their senses as soon as women were concerned; []
    • 1920 March, L[ucy] M[aud] Montgomery, “Her Father’s Daughter”, in Further Chronicles of Avonlea, Boston, Mass.: The Page Company, OCLC 437844740, page 43:
      Rachel Spencer, have you taken leave of your senses? What do you mean by such nonsense as this?
    • 2005 May 8, Nancy Gibbs, "Midlife Crisis? Bring It On!," Time:
      Sue Shellenbarger was 49, living in Oregon and writing her "Work & Family" column for the Wall Street Journal, when in the space of two years she got divorced, lost her father, drained her bank account and developed a taste for wilderness camping and ATV riding that left her crumpled up on an emergency-room gurney. "People around me thought I'd taken leave of my senses," she says.
    • 2007, HRH The Prince of Wales, The Elements of Organic Gardening, Kales Press, page 7:
      One of the great difficulties associated with the adoption of organic or, perhaps more appropriately, sustainable principles at the time I started turned out to be convincing others that you had not taken complete leave of your senses.