to take liberties with

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - take liberties with

"to take liberties with"

1) to behave improperly or disrespectfully by freely using or abusing someone or something

2) to alter something in order to benefit from it or accommodate your own needs or interests


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - take liberties with

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1: Did I overhear you using the clients' first names in the meeting?

Colleague 2: Sure. What's the big deal?

Colleague 1: Because the boss strictly forbids taking liberties with formal client relationships.

Colleague 2: I thought it was helpful to form a closer bond. I did not realize that I was overstepping the bounds of propriety.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - take liberties with

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1: Well, that was an interesting biographical movie.

Friend 2: I am not sure I liked the way the screenwriter took such liberties with the truth. Embellishing events to make for a more exciting movie is not really staying true to the spirit of a person's life.

Friend 1: But movies need to make money so adding events or characters is common in order to make the story more exciting or appealing.

Test Your Understanding  

to take liberties with - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   177   click for frequency by country

to take liberties with - Gerund Form:

Taking liberties with the truth, he embellished his story to make himself look better in the situation.

to take liberties with - Examples:

1)  He is known to take liberties with female patients exposed to unclad examinations, touching them indecently, making inappropriate and ...

2)  ... and I know that has been difficult for you at times when people take liberties with your feelings because of the outward facing persona.

3)  I'm sure Spector is a nice guy, but you can't take liberties with a basic narrative if you're a paid hockey writer.

4)  Only the educated, they realize, know how to take liberties with the rules.

5)  The improvisers are encouraged to take liberties with the script, making the performance even more relatable ...

6)  Unfortunately, some companies, recognising the importance of this issue to consumers, take liberties with the language on their packaging. This can be confusing.

7)  To be sure, it's hardly unusual for political rhetoric to take liberties with the truth, or to stretch an argument to breaking-point.

8)  Remember sleep is essential for you so don't take liberties with it, and aim for around 8 hours nightly.

9)  ... who in the interests of propaganda were happy to take liberties with the truth secure in the protection of the powerful. 

10)  ... how the merchant's son had tried to take liberties with her, and how she had rebuffed him. 

11)  She was surprised at first, but when he tried to take liberties with her she understood and began to tremble violently, as she felt quite alone.

12)  ... and that made him bold, and he wanted to take liberties with me, but I told him sharply to keep his place.

13)  Those who love their own wives should not take liberties with other women. Those who love honest words should not deceive others.

14)  If someone tried to take advantage of him, especially those who tried to take liberties with perceived free admittance privileges he would lash out mercilessly.

15)  ... is vaguely familiar, it could because of her record of accusing men of taking liberties with her mammary glands. 

16)  Second, if I was a mechanic and I caught you taking liberties with my toolkit, you'd expect me to have something to say about it.

17)  Taking liberties with touching and jokes can be a way of acting out these feelings and resentments.

18)  It is understood that some of the sleazy leftists took liberties with union funds. They generally ran the Victorian branch into the ground.

19)  ... now suggests that John F. Kennedy himself took liberties with other people's lines and claimed them as his own.

20)  I changed all the names and I took liberties with what happened. I made up things that I didn't know.