Definition of let on in US English:

let on

phrasal verb

informal
  • 1Reveal or divulge information to someone.

    ‘she knows a lot more than she lets on’
    with clause ‘I never let on that he made me feel anxious’
    • ‘She said: ‘I will be demanding to know whether the school knows more about gang problems than it is letting on to the governors.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I just have the feeling they know so much more than they're 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.’
    • ‘They believe there's more to the young man's death than police are letting on.’
    • ‘I answered simply, without letting on a lot of information.’
    • ‘She was more affected by her break up with Logan than she let on.’
    • ‘I don't think they realised it was as dangerous, but they knew a whole lot more about it than they were letting on.’
    • ‘She said it in the tone of that made me believe that she knew a lot more than she was letting 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
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  • 2Pretend.

    with clause ‘they all let on that they didn't hear me’
    • ‘Serious things have happened and it's no good people letting on that they didn't.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Now he's letting on he finds them bewildering, and he's supposed to be Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism!’
    • ‘I once liked Rosie, but she let on she was a different person then.’
    pretend, feign, affect, make out, make believe, simulate, fake
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