- for fear that; so that (one) should not (used negatively to introduce a clause expressive of an action or occurrence requiring caution): He kept his notes by his side lest faulty memory lead him astray.
- that (used after words expressing fear, danger, etc.): There was danger lest the plan become known.
Origin of lest
Examples from the Web for lest
And lest you be deceived, primary elections are no partisan monopoly.Reality Check: There Are No Swing Voters
November 13, 2014
He said it would be wise to stop taking it, lest it turn on my “genetic light switch.”Birth Control Made My Hair Fall Out, and I’m Not the Only One
October 14, 2014
Lest anyone be confused, the site clearly states: “This is not a dating app.”
Lest anyone be confused, the site clearly states: ‘This is not a dating app.’
Lest anyone contend that blacks inherently merit greater police attention than whites, the report offers another statistic.Ferguson Feeds Off the Poor: Three Warrants a Year Per Household
August 22, 2014
Was he worse and were they afraid to tell her, lest she should go to him!Weighed and Wanting
Stand aside, Arnaud, lest you find a bolt through your gizzard.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
Yet they took no active measures in that way, lest they might have cause to regret it.The Dream
Nevertheless, we will have it done, lest their bad example should corrupt the other hogs.Tanglewood Tales
But we were afraid to lose sight of the bridge, lest we should get all adrift.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
- so as to prevent any possibility thathe fled the country lest he be captured and imprisoned
- (after verbs or phrases expressing fear, worry, anxiety, etc) for fear that; in casehe was alarmed lest she should find out
Word Origin and History for lest
c.1200, contracted from Middle English phrase les te "less that," from Old English phrase þy læs þe "whereby less that," from þy, instrumental case of demonstrative article þæt "that" + læs (see less) + þe "the." The þy was dropped and the remaining two words contracted into leste.