verb (used with object), let, let·ting.
verb (used without object), let, let·ting.
- to disappoint; fail.
- to betray; desert.
- to slacken; abate: We were too near success to let down in our efforts.
- to allow to descend slowly; lower.
- Aeronautics. (of an airplane) to descend from a higher to a lower altitude preparatory to making an approach and landing or a similar maneuver.
- to admit.
- to involve (a person) in without his or her knowledge or permission: to let someone in for a loss.
- Also let into. to insert into the surface of (a wall or the like) as a permanent addition: to let a plaque into a wall.
- Also let in on. to share a secret with; permit to participate in.
- to release by exploding.
- to free from duty or responsibility; excuse.
- to allow to go with little or no punishment; pardon: The judge let off the youthful offender with a reprimand.
- to reveal one's true feelings: She was terrified at the prospect, but didn't let on.
- to pretend: They let on that they didn't care about not being invited, but I could tell that they were hurt.
- to divulge; make known.
- to release from confinement, restraint, etc.
- to enlarge (a garment).
- to terminate; be finished; end: When does the university let out for the summer?
- to make (a let-out fur or pelt).
- to slacken; diminish; abate: This heat wave should let up by the end of the week.
- to cease; stop: The rain let up for a few hours.
Origin of let1
Definition for lets (2 of 3)
verb (used with object), let·ted or let, let·ting.
Origin of let2
Definition for lets (3 of 3)
Examples from the Web for lets
Now, his new book “The Bulletproof Diet,” claims to offer a weight loss solution that lets you have your butter, and eat it too.Bulletproof Coffee and the Case for Butter as a Health Food|DailyBurn|December 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Rob Marshall lets a sigh of relief erupt so loud it could be heard by giants in the sky.
He lets it roll and then pokes it between two defenders to a teammate, darting inside towards the top of the box.
It lets conservatives seem responsive without giving more power to the Justice Department.
In first person, Grand Theft Auto lets you be the kind of criminal you want to be, rather than just steer one.I Felt Like Showering After the First-Person Sex in ‘Grand Theft Auto’|Alec Kubas-Meyer|November 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The wise one is good, and neither steals nor lets himself be stolen from.The Quest|Frederik van Eeden
After hours of suspense, darkness came at last and then Terry whispered, Lets get out of here.Gypsies of the Air|Bess Moyer
Lets draw lots to see who makes the fire, who cleans the fish and who cooks them, suggested Ned.The Motor Boys|Clarence Young
In the course of his article, Dr. Barry lets slip a phrase about "half-empty churches."Books and Persons|Arnold Bennett
But as long as he lets me see you now and then and treats you well, we may as well be friends.A Dog with a Bad Name|Talbot Baines Reed
British Dictionary definitions for lets (1 of 4)
n acronym for
British Dictionary definitions for lets (2 of 4)
British Dictionary definitions for lets (3 of 4)
verb lets, letting or let (tr; usually takes an infinitive without to or an implied infinitive)
- used as an auxiliary to express a request, proposal, or command, or to convey a warning or threatlet's get on; just let me catch you here again!
- (in mathematical or philosophical discourse) used as an auxiliary to express an assumption or hypothesislet "a" equal "b"
- used as an auxiliary to express resigned acceptance of the inevitablelet the worst happen
- to allow the occupation of (accommodation) in return for rent
- to assign (a contract for work)
- (conjunction) much less; not to mentionI can't afford wine, let alone champagne
- let be, leave alone or leave be to refrain from annoying or interfering withlet the poor cat alone
- to set free
- informal to make (a sound or remark) suddenlyhe let loose a hollow laugh
- informal to discharge (rounds) from a gun or gunsthey let loose a couple of rounds of ammunition
Word Origin for let
British Dictionary definitions for lets (4 of 4)
- a minor infringement or obstruction of the ball, requiring a point to be replayed
- the point so replayed
verb lets, letting, letted or let
Word Origin for let
Word Origin and History for lets (1 of 2)
Old English lætan "to allow to remain; let go, leave, depart from; leave undone; to allow; bequeath," also "to rent" (class VII strong verb; past tense let, past participle læten), from Proto-Germanic *letan (cf. Old Saxon latan, Old Frisian leta, Dutch laten, German lassen, Gothic letan "to leave, let"), from PIE *le- "to let go, slacken" (cf. Latin lassus "faint, weary," Lithuanian leisti "to let, to let loose;" see lenient). If that derivation is correct, the primary sense would be "let go through weariness, neglect."
Of blood, from late Old English. To let (something) slip originally (1520s) was a reference to hounds on a leash; figurative use from 1540s. To let (someone) off "allow to go unpunished" is from 1814. To let on "reveal, divulge" is from 1725; to let up "cease, stop" is from 1787. Let alone "not to mention" is from 1812.
Word Origin and History for lets (1 of 2)
"stoppage, obstruction" (obsolete unless in legal contracts), late 12c., from archaic verb letten "to hinder," from Old English lettan "hinder, delay," from Proto-Germanic *latjanan (cf. Old Saxon lettian "to hinder," Old Norse letja "to hold back," Old High German lezzen "to stop, check," Gothic latjan "to hinder, make late," Old English læt "sluggish, slow, late"); see late.
Idioms and Phrases with lets
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
- blow (let) off steam
- give (let) someone have his or her head
- (let someone) have it
- live and let live
Also see underleave.