One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in racket sports) a play that is nullified and has to be played again, especially when a served ball touches the top of the net.
- ‘It was stop start game with both players looking for lets and strokes.’
- ‘He called 23 lets, eight no lets and 10 strokes, as Hopwood eventually levelled the match.’
- ‘I believe I have a very good understanding of lets and strokes.’
- ‘In a first game that lasted nearly 30 minutes, she maintained her composure through a series of lets, strokes, and no lets.’
- ‘If you encounter interference and then play the ball, you have no right to a let.’
- ‘There are few, if any, lets and the strokes awarded are obvious.’
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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The umpire played a let, as ballboys and girls scurried around reassembling Miss Whatley's paperwork.’
let or hindrance
formal Obstruction or impediment.‘the passport opened frontiers to the traveler without let or hindrance’
- ‘The oil would continue to flow without let or hindrance - and it did.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘He is a government spy who can move without let or hindrance between France and England.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Owners could continue to redeem their silver certificates without let or hindrance.’
- ‘To live without let or hindrance would be life indeed.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The law must take its course on this matter, without let or hindrance.’
Old English lettan ‘hinder’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch letten, also to late.
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