Main definitions of let in English

: let1let2

let1

verb

  • 1[with object and infinitive] Not prevent or forbid; allow:

    ‘my boss let me leave early’
    ‘you mustn't let yourself get so involved’
    • ‘They provided us with tea and biscuits and let us wait in the day room.’
    • ‘Stop letting your hate consume you and go do something with your lives.’
    • ‘Two of the group's leaders are county-standard archers and the facility will let them pass on their skills.’
    • ‘Rachael decided that she wouldn't let what had happened earlier get to her.’
    • ‘So, if your child has expressed interest in gardening, let them help you.’
    • ‘He doesn't let his busy schedule prevent him from visiting Scotland regularly.’
    • ‘I was terribly disappointed that they didn't let me take it into the hospital with me.’
    • ‘Oliver shows no signs of letting his early health problems hold him back, having played four games for Yorkshire under-11s cricket team already this season.’
    • ‘As with everything else in the investment world, don't let greed and the desire for a quick buck overrule common sense.’
    • ‘The padding helps prevent soreness and lets you spend more time on the saddle.’
    • ‘We can't let a short term political imperative override long term economic factors.’
    • ‘The security people let them pass with hardly a glance at their documentation.’
    • ‘Stop letting self-consciousness hold you back.’
    • ‘This book works because it brings together some of the best writers of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and lets them speak for themselves.’
    • ‘But his boss won't let him leave - at least not until he completes one final contract.’
    • ‘It's our job to formulate a clear question and let the people decide.’
    • ‘They just need to stay out of the way and let you and the boss go to work.’
    • ‘He lets Katie boss him around.’
    • ‘In March, she let them sneak an early peek at the work in progress.’
    • ‘I stopped blaming myself for letting Tom treat me like that.’
    allow, permit, give permission to, give leave to, authorize, sanction, grant, grant the right to, warrant, license, empower, enable, entitle
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with object and adverbial of direction] Allow to pass in a particular direction:
      ‘could you let the dog out?’
      ‘a tiny window that let in hardly any light’
      • ‘We sat in our car until just before 4pm when the traffic moved temporarily and someone let us in to the queue.’
      • ‘Torches lined the stairs, and an occasional stained-glass window let in some light.’
      • ‘He was going to let in his friend at the front door so they could visit another resident.’
      • ‘When they reached her room, Ryder let Harry and Corrie in, Harry setting the boxes down on the coffee table.’
      • ‘They let heat in but prevent it from getting out.’
      • ‘On June 22, the woman was sitting in a chair when they appeared at her living room door, having let themselves in by the back door.’
      • ‘His wife refused to let him in to the house.’
      • ‘The following morning I'm woken up nice and early by the builders letting themselves in to the apartment.’
      • ‘She opens the front door to let the cat in and the lock falls off in her hand.’
      • ‘I took a deep breath, letting it out with a shuddering sigh.’
      • ‘An original sash window overlooking the front garden lets in plenty of light.’
      • ‘A bogus caller was stopped in his tracks by a brave elderly woman who refused to let him in.’
      • ‘An eighty year old pensioner was tricked into letting a man into her home after he claimed he worked for the council and needed to measure her property last week.’
      • ‘He bicycled to the winery and opened up the doors to let in the softer morning air.’
      • ‘So to help my trousers dry a little, I opened a window a couple of inches to let a bit of a breeze in.’
      • ‘The pores also let water out while allowing in chemicals that help block decay.’
      • ‘The court heard the driver of the Volvo pulled out after a van stopped to let him across the road.’
      • ‘They let me through, I got on the bus to the plane, climbed on the plane and they shut the door behind me.’
      • ‘I looked older than most teenagers and the doorman let me through without any hassle.’
      • ‘Until then, most politicians were fearful of letting journalists into their smoke-filled rooms or on their campaign trains.’
      allow to go, permit to pass
      View synonyms
  • 2[with object and infinitive] Used in the imperative to formulate various expressions:

    allow, permit, give permission to, give leave to, authorize, sanction, grant, grant the right to, warrant, license, empower, enable, entitle
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1let us" or "let's Used as a polite way of making or responding to a suggestion, giving an instruction, or introducing a remark:
      ‘let's have a drink’
      ‘‘Shall we go?’ ‘Yes, let's’
      • ‘But let us not think that the men of the family are the only ones to be interested in horses.’
      • ‘Before we scoff, let us consider the power of the celebrity for a moment.’
      • ‘Finally, let's not forget that Bermuda is only one mile wide and surrounded by water.’
      • ‘In the name of my nephew, and all the other victims of this environment of fear, let us try to find common ground as a nation.’
      • ‘To enlarge on that point, let us suppose that we put a thousand liberal-arts graduates in a theatre.’
      • ‘There is, let us remember, another occasion when we can give thanks and pay our respects to all lost loved ones.’
      • ‘Yes, we do need democracy in Africa, but let us not use that as an excuse to deny life saving resources.’
      • ‘Please let us all strengthen the values of high moral standards, decency and caring before it is too late.’
      • ‘That is a very important point, but let us put it aside and consider the merits of the direction.’
      • ‘Also let's not forget the traffic lights on the Salisbury road also creating major tailbacks.’
      • ‘This, let's not forget, is the man who only this week pretended to cut off part of his ear in a press conference.’
      • ‘To illustrate, let us review some of the policies introduced in this chapter.’
      • ‘No doubt our political enemies will think they have got a scalp, but let us not forget that there is a human element to this.’
      • ‘Well done to one and all, and let us hope that this occasion will be repeated many times in the future.’
      • ‘That is the plan for the day - let us see how close to plan it actually goes.’
      • ‘If we are to talk of unity, let us talk of uniting people and not just territory.’
      • ‘If you ask me, let us forget two issues for the time being, one being money and the second being the name.’
      • ‘Let the debate run, but as it does, let us have some truth and owning up to responsibility.’
      • ‘Anyway, let's not live in the past - onward to the future.’
      • ‘Well, let us explore that, because it is quite an important suggestion which may or may not work.’
    2. 2.2let me" or "let us Used to make an offer of help:
      ‘‘Here, let me,’ offered Bruce’
      • ‘‘Here, let me,’ Emily said, coming to her aid.’
      • ‘You have plenty to do tonight. You have to get packed and such. Please, let me.’
      • ‘Here, let me do your bow tie.’
      • ‘If you must continue with this project, then please let me help with the images.’
    3. 2.3 Used to express one's strong desire for something to happen or be the case:
      ‘‘Dear God,’ Jessica prayed, ‘let him be all right.’’
      • ‘Let him soothe me, let him calm me, let his strong arms encircle me and protect me.’
      • ‘Every match I play, I still think ‘Oh my God, please let it end.’’
      • ‘Every day we wake up, we pray please let today be the day we have the answers.’
      • ‘Just let him be safe, he thought. That’s all I ask.’
      • ‘Please don't let them be right.’
    4. 2.4 Used as a way of expressing defiance or challenge:
      ‘if he wants to walk out, well let him!’
      • ‘If they want to have a genuinely scientific theory, let them propose a model that can be rigorously tested.’
      • ‘These parliamentarians who are against me, just let them try and take my statues or my park.’
      • ‘If some want to mount an eleventh-hour challenge, let them come out in the open.’
      • ‘However I was aware that we lived in a world where I can make up my own mind, so if I want to smoke then let me.’
      • ‘If they want a challenge, let them clean up the damage they have caused.’
      • ‘If he can do it better, let him!’
    5. 2.5 Used to express an assumption upon which a theory or calculation is to be based:
      ‘let A and B stand for X and Y respectively’
      • ‘Let x be the observed value of this statistic.’
      • ‘Let the line equal to line AG be AD, and let DG be joined.’
      • ‘Let L be the earth's equator and let x be a point in the northern hemisphere.’
  • 3British [with object] Allow someone to have the use of (a room or property) in return for regular payments:

    ‘she let the flat to a tenant’
    ‘they've let out their house’
    • ‘The council also wants to start targeting private landlords in a bid to encourage them to consider letting their properties to people receiving housing benefit.’
    • ‘Letters have been sent to solicitors and letting agents after police found people are letting properties for themselves then sub-letting them to prostitutes.’
    • ‘Essex County Council lets the site for a peppercorn rent.’
    • ‘Since then he has purchased another three houses that he lets out to tenants.’
    • ‘The event is aimed primarily at owners of empty properties in the private sector and visitors can get free advice on a range of topics linked to letting property.’
    • ‘Sisson said that professional letting agents will meet with potential tenants prior to letting the property.’
    • ‘The administration might even be letting rooms in the villages for the fall term.’
    • ‘When one frees up the house - it is let to a public tenant.’
    • ‘She will take charge of letting the property in the future.’
    • ‘Almost all private landlords will only let properties on a shorthold tenancy, in order to protect their investment.’
    • ‘She and the children want to move into our rather small house and let her property, thereby providing an income.’
    • ‘Does a landlord, however, control premises which are let out to tenants?’
    • ‘Under the government's Rent a Room scheme, you can earn up to £4,250 tax free each tax year from letting a room in your home.’
    • ‘It is as well to check the conditions of your mortgage before letting the property.’
    • ‘All of the sites are currently let to strong tenants and are being sold by private treaty.’
    • ‘Even if your particular room has been let it is usually possible to stay in one of the others that is free.’
    • ‘Income from letting French property must be declared to the French tax authorities by April 30 each year.’
    • ‘If re-housed, these applicants could sell their property for a profit or let the property and receive a rental income from it.’
    • ‘Mr Bennett's business is mainly letting property to students.’
    • ‘The government says such protection is no longer appropriate and discourages investors from letting properties.’
    rent out, let out, rent, lease, hire, hire out, loan, give on loan, sublet, sublease, farm out, contract, charge for the use of
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 Award (a contract for a project) to an applicant:
      ‘preliminary contracts were let and tunnelling work started’
      • ‘Since letting that contract, the campus has used the method on four other retrofits with a combined value of $75 million.’
      • ‘The construction work was let under two building contracts.’
      • ‘Construction contracts are to be let next year and the hub completed by the end of 2007.’
      • ‘The Government let the contract to an English firm.’
      • ‘Contracts were let for making bricks, burning lime and additional miners employed.’
      • ‘These were then packaged into the contracts that would be let to the section design consultants.’
      • ‘A contract was let for 25 buildings across the state in a first round of construction.’
      • ‘The decision means tenders will now be let for the project, with work expected to begin in late February.’
      • ‘The changes and delays in fund-raising and letting contracts pushed the opening to this summer.’
      • ‘A contract has been let to Signway Supplies Ltd to replace 142 signs in and around the city.’
      • ‘In 1957 a contract was let to link the two sections and build a road from Closeburn Station to White Point.’
      • ‘They claim that the feed quality has changed since the contract was let.’
      • ‘I let contracts for the manufacture of parts, assembled the sets in my apartment, and sold them however I could.’
      • ‘The firm will be responsible for training staff and letting the operating contract and will give advice on waste systems engineering, policy and planning.’
      • ‘A contract was let unfairly and we contested it in front of a Federal judge.’

noun

British
  • 1A period during which a room or property is rented:

    ‘I've taken a month's let on the flat’
    • ‘The agency would strive towards securing long term lets which would suit tenants and landlords.’
    • ‘Estates advertising holiday cottages often also have long-term lets available.’
    • ‘Fully furnished, it is set up for holiday and short-term lets.’
    • ‘St John's owns a former coalyard next door as well as four terraced cottages which are currently rented on short lets - they would be demolished under the proposals.’
    • ‘Once the conversion is complete, the new flats must be affordable and available for short-term lets.’
    • ‘In high season, lets run from Friday to Friday but later in the year mid week and weekend lets are often available.’
    • ‘The first development, Leitrim Quay, has 13 houses for short-term lets.’
    • ‘If you intend to let the property for short-term holiday lets, then the service will need to include changeovers and handover of the keys.’
    • ‘While short lets of a week, a month or six months cost substantially more, reductions are offered for a standard year-long contract.’
    • ‘The occupiers would be lower order users (such as car breaking) who would occupy the units on short lets at cheap rents.’
    1. 1.1 A property available for rent:
      ‘an unfurnished let’
      • ‘They have also refurbished cottages to provide holiday lets for visitors and sportsmen.’
      • ‘He gave his support to preventing houses being bought as second homes or holiday lets.’
      • ‘The idea is to prevent people buying newly built properties for second homes or holiday lets.’
      • ‘Similar barns had been converted to holiday lets.’
      • ‘The land has been sold or leased to other farmers and the buildings, including one former agricultural worker's house, are now six holiday lets.’
      • ‘The Landmark Trust buys and restores interesting and historic building at risk, restores them and lets them out as holiday lets, so that the income can pay for their continued maintenance.’

Phrases

  • let alone

    • Used to indicate that something is far less likely or suitable than something else already mentioned:

      ‘he was incapable of leading a bowling team, let alone a country’
      • ‘He has the unenviable task of promoting a product that few want to think about, let alone buy.’
      • ‘I don't want to share the same room with her and the hounds, let alone a mortgage.’
      • ‘At the time he had no idea how to start a business, let alone find the financial backing to realise his dream.’
      • ‘After a long search he came to the conclusion that he cannot afford to rent a home in Epsom, let alone buy one.’
      • ‘There was a chance that he might not be able to breathe for himself or swallow, let alone walk or talk again.’
      • ‘In Scotland we can have a range of weather conditions in one hour, let alone one day.’
      • ‘There is barely enough demand in Scotland to keep one film studio in business, let alone two.’
      • ‘It gets so crowded here in high summer that there's often no room to sit down, let alone lay out a towel.’
      • ‘He is suffering from a ghastly disease for which there is no treatment, let alone a cure.’
      • ‘Who on earth would be prepared, let alone equipped to take on such a challenge?’
  • let someone/thing alone

  • let someone/thing be

    • Stop interfering with someone or something:

      ‘let him be—he knows what he wants’
      • ‘Nobody likes a control freak, so stop being a bossyboots and let things be.’
      • ‘Irritated, she turned to me at a noisy high school basketball game, complaining that I should let things be, stop applying words to our friends, stop seeking motives and positing consequences.’
      • ‘Not everybody is content with letting things be.’
      • ‘That includes recognizing without anxiety the sources of your tension and letting them be.’
      • ‘He stopped frozen and let me be, which was the best choice he could have made.’
      • ‘She has a wonderful acceptance of the world, of letting things be.’
  • let someone down gently

    • Seek to give someone bad news in a way that avoids causing them too much distress:

      ‘she was content for him to take his time and let Celeste down gently’
      • ‘Sure, he's broken a bunch of hearts, but he's always let them down gently.’
      • ‘Rather than letting Nicole down gently, it would only serve to raise her hopes even higher.’
      • ‘Is there a good way to let someone down gently when you're not interested?’
      • ‘I think he was trying to let me down gently.’
      • ‘His editor let him down gently and swiftly changed the subject.’
      • ‘She told me it would never happen between us, and she didn't let me down gently.’
      • ‘Sophie called and let me down gently but I still wanted to scratch out her eyes.’
      • ‘I didn't want anyone to get hurt, so I tried to let her down gently.’
      • ‘All the director can do is let you down gently, which he does.’
      • ‘I had let him down gently and quietly so that the word wouldn't get to George.’
  • let something drop (or fall)

    • Casually reveal a piece of information:

      ‘from the things he let drop I think there was a woman in his life’
      • ‘Some things he let drop during our conversation last night lead me to believe that his arm might be painful to him this morning.’
      • ‘After the cop had stopped the attractive and self-assured woman for speeding, she let it drop that her father was himself an officer, recently retired.’
      • ‘Some time ago, he let it fall that he thought the novel no longer had any life in it.’
      • ‘The other day, while talking to a group of women at a public function, she let it drop that she had visited the Chief Minister.’
      • ‘From what I could gather from hints she let fall, she had been pushed down a staircase by her husband some years back.’
  • let fall

    • Draw (a perpendicular) from an outside point to a line.

      • ‘Their effects must be estimated by the length of perpendiculars let fall upon the lines of direction in a similar manner.’
      • ‘Let ABC be any triangle, and the angle at B one of its acute angles, and upon BC, one of the sides containing it, let fall the perpendicular.’
      • ‘On the tangent PR produced let fall the perpendicular SY.’
  • let fly

    • Attack physically or verbally:

      ‘Mary opened her mouth to let fly at Jim’
      • ‘A furious Hayden let fly verbally at Jones, who had raised his hand in apology.’
      • ‘The details are still blurry, but it seems that a couple of boar hunters let fly at the wolf for no particular reason except his wolfhood.’
      • ‘The man took the piece of rock he was given, whirled it in his sling, and let fly.’
      • ‘But he was only saving that for later in the speech - the fourth quarter, as it were - and then he let fly.’
      • ‘Well, I verbally let fly, causing Daddy to come in and, thankfully, and fairly, he stuck up for me.’
      • ‘Handfuls of stones were loaded into our respective weapons, and as the first bird flew over, we let fly.’
      • ‘Today, he let fly at the Air Traffic Controllers' Association, saying they're overstating the danger.’
      • ‘Once she has lured the audience into misjudging just how innocent she really is, she lets fly with more voracious comments.’
      • ‘It's written from the point of view of boisterous, bolshie Gemma; who when she learns Alice's parents are taking her away to Scotland, lets fly at Alice's mum Karen.’
      • ‘The biggest reception, indeed a rapturous one, greeted the next speaker, who well and truly let fly.’
      lose one's temper with, lash out at, scold, criticize, condemn, chastise, chide, rant at, inveigh against, rail against, abuse, revile
      hurl, fling, throw, propel, pitch, lob, toss, launch, cast, shy, project, catapult, bowl
      View synonyms
  • let oneself go

    • 1Act in a relaxed or uninhibited way:

      ‘you need to unwind and let yourself go’
      • ‘I wish that everyone would let themselves go once in a while.’
      • ‘Carl made her feel so good, so relaxed that she let herself go completely, losing herself in the moment.’
      • ‘The government seems uncomfortable about these ‘drink-fuelled scenes’, fearful of rowdy crowds of people letting themselves go.’
      • ‘It is so good to be able to go out at night and let myself go.’
      • ‘‘I think I am just not afraid of letting myself go in front of the children; whatever it takes, I will do it to make them learn,’ said Gemma.’
      • ‘Decadence is selfish - it means letting yourself go and not caring about others, not caring about tomorrow so you do whatever you want today.’
      • ‘The size of the audience at the event was ideal, as there was generally sufficient space on the dance floor to let yourself go, and plenty of places to sit if you needed to take a break.’
      • ‘Almost a quarter of men in London admitted completely letting themselves go and sobbing or bawling in the past month.’
      • ‘Some men can't handle a woman who really lets herself go.’
      • ‘By the end of the show there's not a person in the audience who hasn't just thought, ‘What the hell,’ and let themselves go.’
    • 2Become careless or untidy in one's habits or appearance:

      ‘he's really let himself go since my mother died’
      • ‘No wonder most of us meet a guy our own age, settle down and let ourselves go.’
      • ‘They find a guy and make an effort when they go on a date, and then once they get comfy with him and have kids they let themselves go.’
      • ‘Just because you get married and have children it does not mean you have to let yourself go.’
      • ‘You have to wait until you get married before you start letting yourself go.’
      • ‘He has let himself go, no longer caring about his appearance, or able to get up in the mornings.’
      • ‘But when he told me I was letting myself go because I wore a size 8, it stung so much I thought I might collapse with the weight of it.’
      • ‘Let's speak plainly here, David, it looks as if you've been letting yourself go.’
      • ‘After the disappointment of the Olympic trial I really let myself go, and my health went downhill very quickly.’’
      • ‘Even though a well-chosen wardrobe can help make the most of your shape, you will never look your best if you have totally let yourself go.’
      • ‘His condition before the fight in New York did not indicate a man building up muscular mass so much as a boxer letting himself go.’
  • let someone/thing go

    • 1Allow someone or something to escape or go free:

      ‘they let the hostages go’
      • ‘He produced a knife and forced her to remove her underwear, but when she repeatedly asked to be freed he panicked and let her go.’
      • ‘Though agents say they are sure illegal aliens or drugs were here perhaps minutes earlier, there is nothing now, so they must let the men go.’
      • ‘Scream help or fire, or anything that comes to mind until they let you go.’
      • ‘The gunman let Smith go and surrendered to the police around noon.’
      • ‘It only took me seven hours to talk the doctors into letting me go, and then they discharged me only when I threatened them with a lawsuit.’
      • ‘‘Whoever has him, please let him go and send him home to me,’ she said at the weekend.’
      • ‘A hostage heard the gunmen shouting that they would release their captives if the security forces let them go.’
      • ‘After a trained release coordinator lets the birds go, they immediately fly back to the place where they're kept.’
      • ‘The woman pleaded with the man to let her go, and eventually escaped after kicking him in the groin.’
      • ‘They let the dogs go, allowing them to go after my parents.’
      1. 1.1euphemistic Dismiss an employee:
        ‘I was upset about letting him go, but he assured me he'd easily get another job’
        • ‘If you can't systematically advance on merit within business and the military, they let you go rather than allow you to sit and deteriorate in the same job.’
        • ‘Twenty workers still remained at the plant in the employ of the liquidator and it was unlikely they would be let go until after Christmas.’
        • ‘And as Neil's report shows, you were not let go on good terms - you were fired.’
        • ‘The only protection people need in a tight labour market with skills shortages is to be so adaptable, trained and valuable that no employer would dare let them go or treat them badly.’
        • ‘On your side is the fact that, in most sectors, employers are increasingly realising that it's cheaper and more efficient to hold on to skilled people rather than let them go and train new employees.’
        • ‘About 24 of the 100 employees at CBS Internet were let go in June.’
        • ‘In the free market, people are let go because changes in productivity or markets have made it uneconomical for their company to employ them.’
        • ‘He would hire employees, let them go when receivables dipped - and then hastily hire them back when the work flowed in again.’
        • ‘If an employee cannot fulfil his duties, the company can let him go even if the injury was due to factors outside the employee's control.’
        • ‘If a crew member wants to leave, it's usually better to let him go instead of hanging on to a disgruntled employee.’
        make redundant, dismiss, discharge, lay off, give notice to, pay off, remove, release
        sack, give someone the sack, fire, give someone their cards, give someone their marching orders, send packing, give someone the boot, give someone the bullet, give someone the push, give someone the heave-ho, give someone the old heave-ho, boot out, axe
        View synonyms
    • 2Relinquish one's grip on someone or something:

      ‘Adam let go of the reins’
      figurative ‘you must let the past go’
      • ‘William refused to let her go as his grip around her tightened.’
      • ‘Blushing, Vicki reluctantly let go of his hand.’
      • ‘The dog Louis pulled on his leash at the sound of horses, and I let it go, allowing him to run ahead.’
      • ‘She shivered slightly as his fingers gently gripped hers then slowly let go.’
      • ‘‘I love you too, baby,’ she said as she reluctantly let me go, allowing me to turn to my dad.’
      • ‘On another occasion a traumatised child - a victim of shelling in the stunningly beautiful Neelam valley - lay on a bed in a military hospital and gripped my hand and would not let it go.’
      • ‘I let out a yell and tried to twist out of his grip, he let go and I fell with a thump.’
      • ‘She smiled to herself and loosed her grip on his arm, but she did not let it go.’
      • ‘He let her go, half throwing her back against the sacks.’
      • ‘Finally we made it to my locker and she reluctantly let go of my arm.’
      release, release one's hold on, loose one's hold on, loosen one's hold on, relinquish, unhand, surrender, give up
      View synonyms
  • let someone have it

    • informal Attack someone physically or verbally:

      ‘I really let him have it for worrying me so much’
      • ‘So he's going to hold back the wrath until he gets tired and then he's just gonna let us have it?’
      • ‘My amazement was strong enough to prompt me to exclaim to the woman sitting next to me, ‘Wow, they've really let him have it!’’
      • ‘Go to the polls in a white hot rage and let them have it where it hurts.’
      • ‘So I turned to this man, my boss, and let him have it.’
      • ‘The fighter draws a slug from a water bottle, swishes it round his mouth, fixes the kid with a grin and lets him have it, right between the eyes.’
      • ‘I have been here before, so when his hand goes behind his back, I let him have it with several direct hits.’
      • ‘Excellent ministers, who have helped improve this country greatly over the past seven years, let me have it with both barrels.’
      • ‘They rang him up for an interview - and before they could put the phone down he let them have it with both barrels.’
      • ‘She let him have it about his life of heavy drug use and womanizing.’
      • ‘The men stand ready for him behind the door with a rolling pin, and when he gets home, they let him have it.’
      attack, assault, beat, beat up, batter, thrash, pound, pummel, assail, set upon, fall upon, set about, strike at, let fly at, tear into, lash out at
      scold, rebuke, reprimand, reproach, reprove, admonish, remonstrate with, chastise, chide, upbraid, berate, take to task, pull up, castigate, lambaste, read someone the riot act, give someone a piece of one's mind, go on at, haul over the coals, criticize, censure
      View synonyms
  • let in (or out) the clutch

    • Engage (or release) the clutch of a vehicle by releasing pressure on (or applying it to) the clutch pedal.

      • ‘I don't know exactly what happened at the start - I just let out the clutch and suddenly the engine shut down.’
      • ‘I drop into first gear, let out the clutch, and enjoy the crawl.’
      • ‘We ran out of time and just took a shot, but the bike bogged when I let out the clutch.’
      • ‘The driver stood on the accelerator, let out the clutch and roared away with tyres screaming.’
      • ‘I'd heard about bump starting and knew it involved pushing the scooter then jumping on and letting out the clutch.’
      • ‘My driver's ed consisted of getting in, starting the motor, and letting out the clutch.’
      • ‘The driver gives them five seconds to find a seat, then pushes the gear handle and lets in the clutch.’
      • ‘Judy apparently had trouble driving a stick shift without bucking and stalling, and so she compensated by using a tremendous amount of gas each time she had to let out the clutch.’
  • let something drop (or rest)

    • Say or do no more about a matter:

      ‘you should let it drop, love, it's more trouble than it's worth’
      • ‘It has upset everybody, we just can't let it rest.’
      • ‘We are certainly not going to let it rest until we get an answer, and an answer we can accept.’
      • ‘Sam didn't know whether to push the issue or let it rest.’
      • ‘In the same defiant way, she decided not to let it rest when she was prescribed a drug she was convinced was inappropriate.’
      • ‘But James was not prepared to let it rest there, and went on to insist on publishing novels and poems.’
      • ‘He had written to the local MP about the situation and residents would not let it rest.’
      • ‘I'm hoping the prosecution will let it rest now.’
      • ‘But if the situation is in check, we say let it rest.’
      • ‘‘I just want what is mine. I'm not going to let it rest,’ he said.’
      • ‘Either do something about the situation or let it rest.’
  • let something go (or pass)

    • Choose not to react to an action or remark:

      ‘the decision worried us, but we let it go’
      • ‘If there is a chance to bring it up, then do it by all means; but if there is no opportunity, then let it pass.’
      • ‘I told him over and over again: you're crossing the limit, let it pass.’
      • ‘He should have remarked on this, but let it pass.’
      • ‘I thought about telling you that, on the basis of my own extensive research; but I let it pass, believing my conclusions to be less than riveting.’
      • ‘A Chinese boy was bitten by his neighbour's dog but his parents just let it pass because they thought the boy was not seriously injured.’
      • ‘Well, okay, that wasn't routine, but let it pass.’
      • ‘Most of the time I either don't notice or I'm of a mood to let it pass.’
      • ‘Actually, it was a couple of days back, but let it pass.’
      • ‘This sounds a bit like staring to me, but I let it pass.’
      • ‘I'm not sure what the Guardian and BBC would say about a scheme for which only white males qualified, but let it pass.’
  • let someone know

    • Inform someone:

      ‘let me know what you think of him’
      • ‘I couldn't tell if the remark was a question or if he was just letting me know he was informed.’
      • ‘Keep letting us know how you feel about our performance and our responsiveness to you.’
      • ‘If you have your own property website then please let us know and we can mention it in the coming weeks.’
      • ‘Thank you for letting me know in advance this question was coming.’
      • ‘We still need members of the public to come forward and help us by letting us know who is committing the burglaries and who is storing the items.’
      • ‘The British Arts Council funds his mostly poetry press at a level of $150,000 per year and lets him know in advance what his funding level will be.’
      • ‘Talk to her in a mature and calm manner, and ask why she's reading and deleting your e-mail without letting you know.’
      • ‘Please let us know if you wish to be kept informed of events at the orchard.’
      • ‘I should preface this by letting you know that my partner is American and that many of the people who support this project are too.’
      • ‘‘Communities must keep letting us know about problems if we are to stand a chance of beating this,’ he said.’
  • let someone/thing loose

    • 1Release someone or something:

      ‘let the dog loose for a minute’
      • ‘In this competition, dogs are let loose to chase a jack rabbit over desert terrain.’
      • ‘Also, when animal shelters don't take every animal brought to the door, the risk is that it will be let loose on the street and perhaps be hit by a car, poisoned, tortured or maimed.’
      • ‘On Saturday afternoon power boats were let loose from their moorings and on Sunday vandals did the same to canoes.’
      • ‘When I lived more in the country, dogs were kept up and cats were let loose.’
      • ‘The infuriated chief took a photo of the scene as the illegal aliens were let loose and sent me a copy.’
      • ‘I'm not sure letting your four-month-old puppy loose in your average city dog park is that great an idea.’
      • ‘To add to the general excitement, a couple of tigers were let loose on the racetrack to be hunted!’
      • ‘He also claimed any person walking a dog of a hunting breed in an area where there were known to be wild mammals could be open to prosecution if they let the dog loose.’
      • ‘However, at least two dogs were let loose by spectators.’
      • ‘He stressed he was not criticising people who lived in the country but newcomers and visitors from urban areas, who kept their dogs cooped up and then thought they could let them loose as soon as they were in the countryside.’
      free, set free, unloose, turn loose, set loose, let go, release, liberate
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Allow someone freedom of action in a particular place or situation:
        ‘Ellen was laughing like a child let loose in a sweet shop’
        • ‘And for the last 200 years they have been let loose on humanity to perpetuate the worst kind of injustices.’
        • ‘Long before any filmmaker is let loose on complicated things like working out which lens is best for what shot, they first have to enter the mind-boggling minefield of film financing.’
        • ‘The first two years of study are similar to that of any other health care practitioner and thousands of hours of clinical practice are required before the student is let loose on the public.’
        • ‘Something did need to be done, so the road planning idiots were let loose on this project, a department that I don't think has half a brain between them.’
        • ‘The staff spend an average of six months concentrating on backroom duties and learning the basics before they are let loose on the company's clients.’
        • ‘Nowadays professional caddies at the world's leading courses undergo strenuous training and have to prove themselves to their caddie-masters before they are let loose on the paying public.’
        • ‘Before you can drive, you need to take a test for a licence, which gives you and others on the road the confidence that you have gained all skills and aptitudes required to let you loose on the road.’
        • ‘While their menfolk were at the convention, these elderly candy-floss haired ladies were let loose on Manhattan.’
        • ‘They have been let loose on the BBC archive to select their choice of rare recordings.’
        • ‘I really had a taste for racing by the time I was let loose on my final track challenge in a single-seat race car.’
      2. 1.2Suddenly utter a sound or remark:
        ‘he let loose a stream of abuse’
        • ‘Once out in the narrow hall I let loose a cry of frustration.’
        • ‘She stiffened and then let loose a stream of abuse in a South Yorkshire accent.’
        • ‘Ducking his head, he rushes the door, letting loose a yell as he throws his body against it.’
        • ‘Stunned, the CEO let loose a stream of expletives and walked out.’
        • ‘In one Michigan case, a man who let loose a stream of curses after falling out of a canoe in 1999 was convicted of violating a law against cursing in front of women and children.’
        emit, give, burst out with, give forth, send forth
        View synonyms
  • let me see (or think)

    • Used when one is trying to remember something or considering one's next words:

      ‘now let me see, where did I put it?’
      • ‘You first came here, into our parts - let me think - when was it?’
      • ‘Of course, it may just be paranoia on my part, but I prefer to call it - er, let me think - interconnectedness.’
      • ‘‘Yes, I could see that could be a problem,’ Isabella admitted. ‘Hm, let me think.’’
      • ‘Yesterday… now let me think, oh yes, I recall now though it seems some time ago.’
      • ‘Um. Well let me think… I was wearing… oh, that stupid frilly dress that my father used to make me wear on special occasions.’
      • ‘For that reason, I haven't gone to visit my blood family on Thanksgiving for, let me think - at least seven years.’
      • ‘Um, how to explain this without encouraging the wrong sort of search engine referrals… let me think.’
      • ‘What seemed like an impulsive, friendly thing to do at one moment became, in the space of - oh, let me think, about ten seconds - the worst, most inappropriate and downright clumsy action ever.’
      • ‘Okay, there must be something good I can mention… let me think… oh yeah, Jackson and I spent a lot of time today building Lego marble runs under the roar of the air conditioning and that was fun.’
      • ‘He is going to be electronically monitored for - let me think - for one year.’
  • let me tell you

    • Used to emphasize a statement:

      ‘let me tell you, I was very scared!’
      • ‘They seem to really understand customer service over here, let me tell you.’
      • ‘Our first album is coming out soon, and let me tell you, that one is going to be really different.’
      • ‘I've been in hibernation for a while, and let me tell you, deep sleep is refreshing.’
      • ‘There's no better way to capture an idea than to get it down on paper, let me tell you.’
      • ‘I have seen it in advance, and let me tell you, it's one of the great war movies ever made.’
      • ‘Well, let me tell you, if I lose this contract after all the work that I'm having to do, then they will be making a mistake.’
      • ‘It'll be nice to have some time off from the work environment though, let me tell you!’
      • ‘We had to drive all the way back to Montreal, and let me tell you, that was the most silent trip anyone has ever been on.’
      • ‘I have freed myself from its grasp - and let me tell you, it feels good.’
      • ‘But let me tell you, when work is needed, they know how to work hard.’
  • let off steam

  • let rip

    • 1informal Do something vigorously or without restraint:

      ‘the brass sections let rip with sheer gusto’
      • ‘Bank of England independence and the introduction of fiscal rules after 1997 told the markets that Labour would not allow inflation to let rip, and would exercise fiscal discipline.’
      • ‘It is said that the losers during the last days of a battle often let rip in appallingly brutal ways.’
      • ‘He gambolled away on the left before letting rip from over 25 metres, his punishing volley zipping into the net.’
      • ‘It is simply a montage of digital portraits of the students which had been transferred onto computer, with the young film-makers then letting rip and having fun.’
      • ‘So who can blame him for letting rip last week, after his chances of being Britain's remaining hope at the first Grand Slam of 2006, the Australian Open, crumbled before his eyes.’
      • ‘The giant grunted, his slow brain deciding when he would let rip and smother Glaucus in a deadly embrace.’
      1. 1.1Express oneself vehemently or angrily:
        ‘Charlie felt he had suffered enough insults and suddenly let rip’
        • ‘Now he is letting rip on drugs, Labour, his new record company and the race for London mayor.’
        • ‘Rather than letting rip in the locker-room afterwards, he stepped back.’
        • ‘She is at her funniest when letting rip about all that is sexist and sizeist.’
        • ‘It suddenly slowed up, crackled with blue electricity and let rip with a sizzling blue column of energy, followed by the plasma being dumped from the engine, completely frying the ship's shields.’
        • ‘He is sensitive, gentle and polite, which makes it all the more dramatic when he lets rip, as he often does, with a verbal flourish, about some injustice or object of his scorn.’
        • ‘And as he was lyin' there, half dozin' and thinkin' about things, he suddenly let rip a big stale Guinness fart that rumpled the bedclothes.’
    • informal

      see rip
  • let's face it (or let's be honest)

    • informal Used to convey that one must be realistic about an unwelcome fact or situation:

      ‘let's be honest, your taste in men is famously bad’
      • ‘But let's be honest here: athletes must think about their associations before acting ridiculously.’
      • ‘And let's face it, I'm never likely to produce a great work of English literature.’
      • ‘I believe in public servants being rewarded for the jobs they do because, let's face it, it's work no one else wants.’
      • ‘And let's face it, when you've had as many birthdays as she's had, they don't mean so much anyway.’
      • ‘Well, let's face it, she's a lot better looking than some of the football experts on our British television screens.’
      • ‘They are the sort of people we should be listening to because, let's face it, their opinions matter.’
      • ‘Anyway, let's face it, we all know that cigarettes are bad for your health.’
      • ‘But, let's face it, not everyone is a writer or an artist, or even wants to be.’
      • ‘I'm not going to put in any spoilers although - let's face it - we all know what's going to happen.’
      • ‘He is a guy who, let's face it, did not have to take a lie detector test at all.’
  • let slip

  • let's pretend

    • A game or situation in which one behaves as though a fictional or unreal situation is a real one:

      ‘a crazy and possibly dangerous game of let's pretend’
      • ‘Tournaments such as the World Cup and European Championship will soon join international rugby as another giant round of let's pretend.’
      • ‘Sometimes, since we lived close to each other, we would go to Anna's house and play let's pretend.’
      • ‘Of course his repentance is another game of let's pretend, momentarily seeming true under the spell of Handel's music.’
      • ‘But standing in a parking lot today I suddenly felt home, and everything I'd experienced since I left felt like a big game of let's pretend.’
      • ‘Everyone knows that theatre is a world of let's pretend.’
  • let's say (or let us say)

    • Used as a way of introducing a hypothetical situation:

      ‘let's say we agreed to go our separate ways’
      • ‘For example, let's say that a young inventor is trying futilely to build a time machine in his garage.’
      • ‘For example, let's say that an individual begins setting money aside for a new car.’
      • ‘So it's a little bit different from reading, let's say, a scholarly journal.’
      • ‘Let's say that an investigator stumbled upon this and was blackmailed into resigning.’
      • ‘So let's say there are 10 places, those 10 places go only to the very best students.’
      • ‘Have you ever watched a teenage girl get ready to go out, let's say to a wedding?’
      • ‘So let's say that we have about 2.5m children in one parent families.’
      • ‘Let's say there had been drugs, let's say there had been a shooting and two students were killed.’
      • ‘The money they collect from corruption will be placed in banks as term deposits, let's say for just one month.’
      • ‘Going just slightly faster than you, let's say at 105 kmph, I overtake you in my car.’
  • to let

    • (of a room or property) available for rent:

      ‘holiday homes for sale or to let’
      • ‘She knew the house was to let and believed that the two men were probable tenants.’
      • ‘He had heard that she had a flat to let.’
      • ‘If you have a room to let in a London house share or flat share you can advertise your flatshare for free.’
      • ‘There was no sign that indicated that the house was to let.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • let down

    • (of an aircraft or a pilot) descend prior to making a landing:

      ‘over the harbour, I started to let down’
      • ‘Within the hour, we were letting down for a landing at Casablanca on the Atlantic coast of Morocco.’
      • ‘It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and I was letting down over the Adriatic heading southward.’
  • let someone down

    • 1Fail to support or help someone as they had hoped:

      ‘if I let him down now, I knew he'd never trust me again’
      • ‘I will not fail you, I will not disappoint you and I will not let you down.’
      • ‘From a personal standpoint, I wouldn't mind down-sizing, but I worry about the vendors, the clients, and especially the employees I'd be letting down.’
      • ‘I had a daughter to support, and I couldn't let her down.’
      • ‘Girlfriends support you when the man in your life lets you down.’
      • ‘Any lecturer whose courses fail to attract adequate numbers of students is made to feel not only that he is in some way deficient but also that he is letting down his colleagues.’
      • ‘We feel frustrated and completely let down by this Government, and that is why we are planning this rally.’
      • ‘Is someone letting you down or failing to get a job done on time?’
      • ‘She did absolutely nothing to assist me and failed to keep appointments, letting down the local community.’
      • ‘Ken had been her best friend and she'd let him down.’
      • ‘Half of 14-year-olds can't write or add up properly and the schools inspectorate said failing schools were letting down children of the poor.’
      fail, fail to support, fall short of expectation
      disappoint, disillusion, disenchant
      abandon, desert, leave stranded, leave in the lurch, leave high and dry, betray, neglect, jilt
      stab in the back
      bail on
      forsake
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Have a detrimental effect on the overall quality or success of someone or something:
        ‘the whole machine is let down by the tacky keyboard’
        • ‘However, smaller airports were let down by the quality of their facilities, such as shops and food outlets.’
        • ‘The quality of the competition apart, what let things down was the abysmal and partisan television coverage.’
        • ‘The sound quality let them down massively, but they still managed to do well at warming up the audience.’
        • ‘The vegetable samosas were pronounced okay, with a greasy exterior letting down the contents.’
        • ‘A bit young and reckless, his positional play and defensive qualities occasionally let him down at the very top level.’
        • ‘The north west has a wonderful range of historic buildings, but so often they are let down by the poor quality of the public spaces around them.’
        • ‘But what really lets this collection down is not the quality of the songs - everything about their tunes is well considered and slickly executed - but the production.’
        • ‘An excellent cast is let down by an uninspired script and a collection of unimpressive bad guys.’
        • ‘We've been working on the areas that have been letting us down and I'm hoping that as the weeks go by we get better and better.’
        • ‘It was a disappointing finish and we were let down by lapses in concentration’
  • let something down

    • 1Lower something slowly:

      ‘they let down a basket on a chain’
      • ‘You have to let the rig down very slowly.’
      • ‘He was busy with the ropes, letting down just two yards of sail from the spar attached to the top of the mast.’
      • ‘As soon as the nets were let down, a bottle flew onto the outfield - right opposite the nets, out of the expensive seats.’
      • ‘Everyone who had a weapon slowly let it down.’
      • ‘The man let his hand down slowly, still looking at the woman.’
      • ‘After everything settled down, I slowly let my arm down.’
      • ‘The sides of my hut can be let down on a pulley, so I can watch the sun go down through the trees from the comfort of my hammock chair.’
      • ‘I tied one end of the cord to the basket and let the basket down slowly to Mr. Webster's level.’
    • 2Make a garment longer by lowering the hem:

      ‘I put on a skirt which Sylvie had let down for me’
      • ‘I do not own a pair of trousers that I have not had to let the hem down on.’
      • ‘When you let the hem down, the nice bright unfaded material now exposed tends to show up just how faded the rest of the garment has become.’
      • ‘I bought a used dress and I need to let the skirt down about an inch.’
      lengthen, make longer
      View synonyms
    • 3Deflate a tyre:

      ‘the driver was still in the cab, so I couldn't let the tyres down’
      • ‘I could let their tyres down and spray paint their vehicles with anarchist slogans.’
      • ‘He let the tyres down on my bike.’
      • ‘Not a single one of the tens of thousands of drunks that swarm round the station at night had even bothered to let the tyres down.’
      • ‘We even tried to let the tyres down, but they were foam-filled.’
      • ‘The van was well and truly stuck, and even tried and tested methods of removal including letting the tyres down failed.’
      • ‘Mindless vandals covered his beloved car with eggs and flour and let the tyres down.’
      • ‘Someone should sneak into the garage and let his tyres down.’
      • ‘They are going around letting down the tyres of four-wheel-drive vehicles.’
      • ‘She told the court her car tyres had been let down on the day she found the note.’
      • ‘They let the tyres down on one resident's invalid trike, and turned on the lights to drain the battery.’
  • let someone in

    • Admit someone to a room, building, or area:

      ‘I had to wake up my flatmate Veronica to let me in’
      • ‘Just what is the problem with letting in these boat people?’
      • ‘"Come on in," She chirped cheerily, stepping aside to let us in.’
      • ‘In Australia country towns are already dying, in part because they are unwilling to let in strangers.’
      • ‘Obviously, there's been some overt mention of Iraq and chemical weapons - letting U.N. inspectors in and so on.’
      • ‘When she let them in the men held her in the kitchen while they ransacked all the rooms in the house.’
      • ‘The prime minister has warned other Arab nations to be wary of who they let in.’
      • ‘So the driver rings the door bell and is let in.’
      • ‘He was standing outside the Pemberley gate, waiting patiently for the guard to let him in.’
      • ‘He'll shut up once you let him in.’
      • ‘I was to let myself in the basement around back.’
      allow to enter, allow in, admit, take in, open the door to, grant entrance to, give access to, allow entry to, permit entry to, give right of entry to
      View synonyms
  • let oneself in for

    • Involve oneself in (something likely to be difficult or unpleasant):

      ‘I didn't know what I was letting myself in for’
      • ‘Do you know what you're letting yourself in for?’
      • ‘You know exactly what you're letting yourself in for.’
      • ‘I remember thinking: ‘What am I letting myself in for?’’
      • ‘I didn't really know what I was letting myself in for.’
      • ‘I don't think any of us knew what we were letting ourselves in for.’
      • ‘I do hope they know what they will be letting themselves in for if they ask the city council to place traffic obstacles in their streets.’
      • ‘I don't think some of them realised what they were letting themselves in for.’
      • ‘I want to talk a little about the reality of post-graduate work for people who are considering it because I think you should know what you're letting yourself in for.’
      • ‘They knew about the plans and they should have ensured housebuyers knew what they were letting themselves in for.’
      • ‘It's a very competitive market out there and I think that artists have to be aware of what they are letting themselves in for and not to be intimidated by it.’
  • let someone in on/into

    • Allow someone to know or share (something secret):

      ‘I'll let you into a secret’
      ‘I wish someone would let me in on the joke’
      • ‘If you've set yourself a New Year's resolution of getting fitter and healthier, I'll let you in on a little secret.’
      • ‘He deliberately let Dave in on a company secret, making him swear he wouldn't tell a soul.’
      • ‘The thing is - I'll let you into a little secret - I wasn't always this glamorous and fabulous.’
      • ‘Although working hard and getting the grades in high school is a necessity, I'm going to let you in on a little secret.’
      • ‘I'm going to let you into the secret of their new romance.’
      • ‘He speaks directly to his audience, letting us in on great secrets - not as though we are sitting in his class, but like we ran in to him at the video store.’
      • ‘At the start of this article, I'd promised to let you in on the secret of how to be fashionable.’
      • ‘Friday afternoons were a nightmare until a colleague let me into the secret of the computer room.’
      • ‘I wanted her to let me in on all her secrets.’
      • ‘Ned lets Lyn in on his secret, because he wants her to make him a costume.’
      include, count in, admit
      allow to share in, let participate in, take in, inform about, tell about, bring up to date about
      View synonyms
  • let something into

    • Set something back into (the surface to which it is fixed), so that it does not project:

      ‘the basin is partly let into the wall’
      • ‘Two stone plaques are let into the wall on either side of the entrance.’
      • ‘Metal plates, hinges, and other pieces of hardware look best if let into the surface of the wood.’
  • let someone off

    • 1Punish someone lightly or not at all for a misdemeanour or offence:

      ‘he was let off with a caution’
      • ‘In the end she was let off and told not to forget the L-plates in future.’
      • ‘But his brother lets him off without punishment, and Prince John does attain the throne after his brother's death.’
      • ‘To find someone has been let off with meaningless punishments like community service orders and not even banned from keeping animals for life breaks our hearts.’
      • ‘It may have been better to discipline him for his repeated misdemeanours rather than let him off.’
      • ‘The cop let him off without issuing a warning.’
      • ‘A sympathetic judge lets her off with a fine and a reprimand and she goes driving off on a high ready to tilt at windmills once more.’
      • ‘He failed a drugs test in 1988, but the result was attributed to ginseng tea, and he was let off without punishment.’
      • ‘I was beginning to regret letting him off so lightly before.’
      • ‘Is there any concern that this is going to be seen as basically letting him off lightly?’
      • ‘He limped over and thanked us for letting him off lightly.’
      • ‘Thanks very much for letting me off with a caution.’
      • ‘Never had her father let her off this lightly for something so severe.’
      • ‘He has destroyed our lives but he has been let off lightly.’
      pardon, forgive, grant an amnesty to, amnesty
      View synonyms
    • 2Excuse someone from a task or obligation:

      ‘he let me off work for the day’
      • ‘The last words addressed to me were ‘I'll let you off tomorrow.’’
      • ‘The Council should let us off for this special occasion during the tournament.’
      • ‘Her father would regularly let her off school to accompany him on fishing excursions.’
      • ‘He felt pity for the young man and let him off for the rest of the day.’
      • ‘If you come up with an excuse, a doctor's note might let you off.’
      • ‘I just had to make a simple excuse of overwhelming studies, confusion and stress, and I was let off.’
      excuse from, relieve from, exempt from, spare from
      View synonyms
  • let something off

    • Cause a gun, firework, or bomb to fire or explode.

      • ‘Some people enjoy fireworks but animals don't and can become terrified when fireworks are let off.’
      • ‘Explosive devices were let off in Paris, and celebrities were threatened with letter-bombs if they didn't contribute to the cause.’
      • ‘Everyone let out a great cheer, and fireworks were let off.’
      • ‘Already kids are letting off fireworks and collecting old tyres for their Halloween bonfires.’
      • ‘Thousands of fireworks were let off in the castle grounds at the stroke of midnight to mark the start of the New Year.’
      • ‘Will the idiots who let fireworks off all year ever stop to think of the upset they cause?’
      • ‘Do not waste flares or smokes by letting them off when there's no boat in sight - no-one will see them.’
      • ‘Monday's explosion occurred minutes after firecrackers had been let off during a religious ceremony in the area.’
      • ‘Police can also slap £80 on-the-spot fines on anyone letting fireworks off in the street.’
      • ‘When he played Carnegie Hall in 1971 a stink bomb was let off.’
      detonate, discharge, explode, set off, fire off
      View synonyms
  • let on

    • 1Reveal information:

      ‘she knows a lot more than she lets on’
      • ‘All this was having a bigger affect on him than he was letting on because he tightened his grip on me; desperately searching for the comfort he was deprived of all those years ago.’
      • ‘They believe there's more to the young man's death than police are letting on.’
      • ‘I felt like he had more information then he was letting on.’
      • ‘So you've let it slip that you know more about me than you originally let on.’
      • ‘The note had obviously affected him more than he let on.’
      • ‘Something wasn't right here and she knew Noah held more information than he was letting on.’
      • ‘She said it in the tone of that made me believe that she knew a lot more than she was letting on.’
      • ‘I just have the feeling they know so much more than they're letting on.’
      • ‘I answered simply, without letting on a lot of information.’
      • ‘I don't think they realised it was as dangerous, but they knew a whole lot more about it than they were letting on.’
      • ‘Though they talked back and forth about many subjects, neither of them really let on any information about themselves.’
      • ‘If the reporter knew this, he wasn't letting on.’
      • ‘She said: ‘I will be demanding to know whether the school knows more about gang problems than it is letting on to the governors.’’
      • ‘She was more affected by her break up with Logan than she let on.’
      reveal, make known, tell, disclose, mention, divulge, let out, let slip, give away, leak, proclaim, blurt out, expose, bring to light, uncover, make public
      View synonyms
    • 2Pretend:

      [with clause] ‘they all let on they didn't hear me’
      • ‘I once liked Rosie, but she let on she was a different person then.’
      • ‘Serious things have happened and it's no good people letting on that they didn't.’
      • ‘Now he's letting on he finds them bewildering, and he's supposed to be Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism!’
      • ‘They would rig up all sorts of stuff in his room and make noises behind his bed and he would be lying there terrified while they all let on they were asleep.’
      pretend, feign, affect, make out, make believe, simulate, fake
      View synonyms
  • let out

    • (of lessons at school, a meeting, or an entertainment) finish, so that those attending are able to leave:

      ‘his classes let out at noon’
      • ‘School begins at seven and lets out at two thirty.’
      • ‘It was raining in true Florida fashion the day after the schools were let out.’
      • ‘What time does class let out?’
      • ‘The last screening of the film festival let out at 7:30 p.m.’
  • let someone out

    • Release someone from obligation or suspicion:

      ‘they've started looking for motives—that lets me out’
      • ‘The player we have been looking at has had problems with his club letting him out.’
      • ‘Clearly if you were the average poor boy who got drafted and sent into the active force, they weren't going to let you out before you had completed your obligation.’
      • ‘Be polite and keep your lip zipped and they'll usually let you out and tell you to disappear.’
      • ‘We had to give them 10,000 dollars just so they'd let us out of our contract.’
      • ‘The Principal told me they were only going to hire the music teacher and one other teacher besides himself so that let me out.’
      release, liberate, free, set free, let go, discharge
      let loose, set loose, turn loose, allow to leave, open the door for, grant exit to
      uncage, unfetter, unshackle
      View synonyms
  • let something out

    • 1Utter a sound or cry:

      ‘he let out a sigh of happiness’
      • ‘He bends to the right to reach for the water glass on his night stand and lets out a muted whine of terror.’
      • ‘My mom let out a gasp when she saw the box sitting on my desk.’
      • ‘He coasted all the way down, letting out a whoop of glee as he picked up speed.’
      • ‘As soon as the door opened, both the parents let out gasps of horror.’
      • ‘I rushed forward and ran into his arms, letting out a scream as he spun me around.’
      • ‘She shifts in her chair, blinks several times and lets out a tiny laugh, her mouth in a crooked sneer.’
      • ‘I throw myself onto the other bed, letting out a long sigh of weariness and relief.’
      • ‘The guard let out a pained groan before going down for the count.’
      • ‘She snuggled her body next to mine a little bit more and closed her eyes, letting out a little sigh.’
      • ‘Shaw starts fumbling and, for the first time, lets out an audible grunt of effort.’
      utter, emit, give vent to, produce, give, issue, express, air, voice, verbalize, release, pour out, come out with
      View synonyms
    • 2Make a garment looser or larger, typically by adjusting a seam:

      ‘the dress is too tight—perhaps it could be let out’
      • ‘Those jeans have been let out so often you don't look like you're wearing jeans that fit.’
      • ‘The dress can easily be taken in at the bust, but there is no room to let the dress out.’
      • ‘You can let the shoulder seam out or take it in at the princess seam.’
      • ‘I had to let the waist out in all my pants.’
      • ‘The extra cloth will allow your tailor to let the trousers out up to 3 inches at the waist.’
    • 3Reveal information:

      [with clause] ‘she let out that he'd given her a lift home’
      • ‘She let the information out that Kevin already knew about the baby.’
      • ‘During the heated argument, she let out that she had cancer and walked away.’
      • ‘Some Congressmen began letting out that they would rather save the government even if the nuclear deal was to be sacrificed.’
      • ‘No one had any idea if his injuries were serious or not, since the doctors were not letting any information out.’
      • ‘How could he exchange words with that man without letting out that he was in love with his wife?’
      reveal, make known, tell, disclose, mention, divulge, let slip, give away, let it be known, leak, blurt out, expose, bring to light, uncover, make public, blab
      View synonyms
  • let up

    • 1(of something undesirable) become less intense:

      ‘the rain's letting up—it'll be clear soon’
      • ‘The rain had let up a bit and now we were left to walk through a light drizzle and thick, mountain fog.’
      • ‘Instead of letting up, the snow squalls intensified.’
      • ‘The cold weather in the state had not let up one bit.’
      • ‘The pain in my side had let up a little bit, thank goodness.’
      • ‘However, on December 27, the region was blanketed by an intense winter storm that showed no signs of letting up.’
      • ‘At this point the violence shows no sign of letting up.’
      • ‘The storm did not let up at all throughout the rest of the day or the entirety of the night.’
      • ‘The corruption scandal dogging the Victoria Police Force is showing no sign of letting up.’
      • ‘Over the last six years there has been a 46 per cent hike in the numbers seeking advice on the subject - and the problem shows no sign of letting up.’
      • ‘The rain had let up a little bit.’
      abate, lessen, decrease, diminish, subside, moderate, decline, relent, slacken, die down, die off, tail off, taper off, drop away, drop off, peter out
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Relax one's efforts:
        ‘she was so far ahead she could afford to let up a bit’
        • ‘After yesterday's rest day a lot of riders were feeling good but there were times that some of us were wondering if people would ever let up, even a bit.’
        • ‘Neither side has shown any sign of letting up.’
        • ‘Our main priority is getting promoted and finishing the season on a high, but that doesn't mean we will be letting up one bit tomorrow.’
        • ‘It is now more than two months after the cubs were born, the zoo authorities are not letting up their constant vigil regarding the health indicators of these three frisky cubs.’
        • ‘They practice intensely and study with purpose - and they don't let up in the offseason.’
        • ‘You could see once he made the lead, he let up a little bit.’
        • ‘Microsoft and Sony aren't letting up in their efforts either.’
        • ‘The police are not letting up in their search for the suspect.’
        • ‘I've always believed that success lies in driving yourself hard and not letting up until you've reached a goal.’
        • ‘Sylvia holds the title of the longest serving active volunteer, and shows no sign of letting up.’
        relax one's efforts, relax, ease off, ease up, do less, slow down
        View synonyms
      2. 1.2Treat in a more lenient manner:
        ‘she didn't let up on Cunningham’
        • ‘Now, that he's participated in a debate, and the reviews ranged from pretty good to OK, do you think they'll let up on him at all?’
        • ‘She lets up on Felicia but starts complaining about her year-old marriage, which is much harder than she thought it would be.’
        • ‘This is a constant problem and we will not let up on those who break the law.’
        • ‘I do think, however, that you should let up on your guy a little - the more you pressure him, the more difficult it will be.’
        • ‘His superlative show in both playoffs and World Series in 2002 finally forced the media to let up on him.’
        • ‘When are the elderly going to let up on the youngsters of today?’
        • ‘His little brother would never let up on him until he wrestled the truth out of him somehow.’
        • ‘Billy never lets up on Cal, and Cal soaks it up.’
        • ‘Rebecca said, ‘He's not going to let up on me until I cave in, right?’’
        • ‘We are not going to let up on the government until things are done.’
        treat less severely, be more lenient with, be kinder to
        View synonyms

Origin

Old English lǣtan ‘leave behind, leave out’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch laten and German lassen, also to late.

Pronunciation:

let

/lɛt/

Main definitions of let in English

: let1let2

let2

noun

  • (in racket sports) a circumstance under which a service is nullified and has to be taken again, especially (in tennis) when the ball clips the top of the net and falls within bounds:

    ‘he was obstructed and asked for a let’
    • ‘In a first game that lasted nearly 30 minutes, she maintained her composure through a series of lets, strokes, and no lets.’
    • ‘He called 23 lets, eight no lets and 10 strokes, as Hopwood eventually levelled the match.’
    • ‘It was stop start game with both players looking for lets and strokes.’
    • ‘There are few, if any, lets and the strokes awarded are obvious.’
    • ‘If you encounter interference and then play the ball, you have no right to a let.’
    • ‘I believe I have a very good understanding of lets and strokes.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]archaic
  • Hinder:

    ‘pray you let us not; we fain would greet our mother’
    • ‘If God be with a work, who is he that will let or impede it?’
    • ‘Pray you let us not; We fain would greet our mother.’
    • ‘As Jesus Christ hath appointed a regular government and discipline in his Church, no law of any commonwealth should interfere with, let, or hinder, the due exercise thereof, among the voluntary members of any denomination of Christians, according to their own profession and belief.’

Phrases

  • play a let

    • (in tennis, squash, etc.) play a point again because the ball or one of the players has been obstructed.

      • ‘If there is a disagreement between you and your opponent about a let/stroke/no let situation, play a let.’
      • ‘The umpire played a let, as ballboys and girls scurried around reassembling Miss Whatley's paperwork.’
      • ‘When he accidentally hit Joey with the ball, Nick was very apologetic and sportingly played a let.’
      • ‘As a beginner it is best to play a let on most interferences.’
      • ‘There is no such thing as playing a let when a ball from another court comes into your court.’
  • without let or hindrance

    • formal Without obstruction or impediment:

      ‘rats scurried about the house without let or hindrance’
      • ‘Owners could continue to redeem their silver certificates without let or hindrance.’
      • ‘A highway is a way over which there exists a public right of passage, that is to say a right for all Her Majesty's subjects at all seasons of the year freely and at their will to pass and repass without let or hindrance.’
      • ‘Each of these two ladies is entitled to come into England without let or hindrance provided that she is truly the wife of her husband.’
      • ‘The law must take its course on this matter, without let or hindrance.’
      • ‘Whatever happened to being granted passage without let or hindrance?’
      • ‘The BBC board of governors had come under assault because it had sought to reassert ‘the right of the BBC to report British and international politics without let or hindrance from Downing Street,’ he continued.’
      • ‘The oil would continue to flow without let or hindrance - and it did.’
      • ‘To live without let or hindrance would be life indeed.’
      • ‘The reality is, of course, that for every ‘bad apple’ who ended up in court, there were countless more going about their dread business without let or hindrance.’
      • ‘He is a government spy who can move without let or hindrance between France and England.’

Origin

Old English lettan ‘hinder’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch letten, also to late.

Pronunciation:

let

/lɛt/