Idioms

Origin of let

1
before 900; Middle English leten, Old English lǣtan; cognate with Dutch laten, German lassen, Old Norse lāta, Gothic lētan; akin to Greek lēdeîn to be weary, Latin lassus tired. See late

Synonym study

1. See allow.

Usage note

Let us is used in all varieties of speech and writing to introduce a suggestion or a request: Let us consider all the facts before deciding. The contracted form let's occurs mostly in informal speech and writing: Let's go. Let's not think about that right now. Perhaps because let's has come to be felt as a word in its own right rather than as the contraction of let us, it is often followed in informal speech and writing by redundant or appositional pronouns: Let's us plan a picnic. Let's you and I (or me ) get together tomorrow. Both Let's you and me and Let's you and I occur in the relaxed speech of educated speakers. The former conforms to the traditional rules of grammar; the latter, nonetheless, occurs more frequently. See also leave1.

Definition for let (2 of 4)

let

2
[ let ]
/ lɛt /

noun

(in tennis, badminton, etc.) any play that is voided and must be replayed, especially a service that hits the net and drops into the proper part of the opponent's court.
Chiefly Law. an impediment or obstacle: to act without let or hindrance.

verb (used with object), let·ted or let, let·ting.

Archaic. to hinder, prevent, or obstruct.

Origin of let

2
before 900; Middle English letten (v.), lette (noun; derivative of the v.), Old English lettan (v.), derivative of læt slow, tardy, late; cognate with Old Norse letja to hinder

Definition for let (3 of 4)

-let


a diminutive suffix attached to nouns (booklet; piglet; ringlet), and, by extraction from bracelet, a suffix denoting a band, piece of jewelry, or article of clothing worn on the part of the body specified by the noun (anklet; wristlet).

Origin of -let

Middle English -let, -lette < Middle French -elet, equivalent to -el (< Latin -āle, neuter of -ālis -al1 (cf. bracelet) or < Latin -ellus diminutive suffix; cf. -elle, chaplet) + -et -et

Definition for let (4 of 4)

let's

[ lets ]
/ lɛts /

contraction of let us.

Can be confused

least lest let's

Usage note

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for let (1 of 4)

let

1
/ (lɛt) /

verb lets, letting or let (tr; usually takes an infinitive without to or an implied infinitive)

noun

British the act of letting property or accommodationthe majority of new lets are covered by the rent regulations

Word Origin for let

Old English lǣtan to permit; related to Gothic lētan, German lassen

British Dictionary definitions for let (2 of 4)

let

2
/ (lɛt) /

noun

an impediment or obstruction (esp in the phrase without let or hindrance)
tennis squash
  1. a minor infringement or obstruction of the ball, requiring a point to be replayed
  2. the point so replayed

verb lets, letting, letted or let

(tr) archaic to hinder; impede

Word Origin for let

Old English lettan to hinder, from læt late; related to Old Norse letja

British Dictionary definitions for let (3 of 4)

-let


suffix forming nouns

small or lesserbooklet; starlet
an article of attire or ornament worn on a specified part of the bodyanklet

Word Origin for -let

from Old French -elet, from Latin -āle, neuter of adj suffix -ālis or from Latin -ellus, diminutive suffix

British Dictionary definitions for let (4 of 4)

let's

/ (lɛts) /

contraction of

let us: used to express a suggestion, command, etc, by the speaker to himself and his hearers
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with let

let


In addition to the idioms beginning with let

  • let alone
  • let be
  • let bygones be bygones
  • let daylight through or into
  • let down
  • let down easy
  • let down one's hair
  • let drop
  • let fly
  • let go
  • let grass grow
  • let in on
  • let it all hang out
  • let it lay
  • let it rip
  • let me see
  • let off
  • let off steam
  • let on
  • let oneself go
  • let one's hair down
  • let out
  • let ride
  • let sleeping dogs lie
  • let slide
  • let slip
  • let someone
  • let someone down
  • let someone have it
  • let the cat out of the bag
  • let the chips fall where they may
  • let the grass grow under one's feet
  • let the side down
  • let up
  • let well enough alone

also see:

  • blow (let) off steam
  • give (let) someone have his or her head
  • (let someone) have it
  • live and let live

Also see underleave.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.