lets; let; letting
lets; let; letting
Learner's definition of LET
1 [+ object] : to allow or permit (someone or something) to do something
Let them go.
I'll be happy to help you if you'll let me (help you).
A break in the clouds let us see the summit. [=made it possible for us to see the summit]
Don't let this opportunity slip away!
Let me see the bruise.
I don't believe in letting children do whatever they want to do. = I don't believe that people should let children do whatever they want to do.
My philosophy is “Live and let live.” [=live your life as you choose and let other people do the same]
Usage Let is followed by a verb that has the form of the infinitive without to.Let is never used as be let; use be allowed or be permitted instead.
2 a — used in speech when you are making a polite offer to help someone b — used to introduce a polite statement or request c formal — used to introduce a command
— sometimes used figuratively in a way that is not formal d — used to express a warning
“The ambassadors have arrived, your Majesty.” “Let them not wait a moment longer: let them enter at once.”
Let there be music and laughter!
3 a b
◊ Let's and (more formally) let us are used to introduce statements that express a wish, request, suggestion, or command.
Let's [=let us] hope for the best. [=we should hope for the best]
Let's imagine what the world would be like with no war.
Let's suppose that he's right. What then?
Let's get out of here!
Let us all remember [=we should all remember] just how much we have to be thankful for.
I'm not calling her a liar. Let's just say that she tends to exaggerate the truth a little.
Let's see what's on the menu. = Let's have a look at the menu.
“Let's go, shall we?” [=shall we go?] “Yes, let's.”
“Let's go.” “No, let's not.”
Let's not go. = (Brit) Don't let's go. = (US, informal) Let's don't go.
◊ The phrase let's go is used in speech to tell someone to go or work faster.
◊ The phrase let us pray is used to introduce a prayer.
◊ The phrases let's face it and let's be honest are used to say that something is true and cannot be denied.
4 a [+ object] : to allow someone to use (something) in return for payment b [no object], chiefly British : to be rented or leased for a specified amount of money 5 always followed by an adverb or preposition, [+ object] : to allow (someone or something) to go, pass by, etc.
Let me out!
She locked the door and refused to let him in.
The guard refused to let us through the gate.
Let me through/past! [=let me move through a group of people, past a barrier, etc.]
1 — used to refer to something that is even less likely or possible than the thing previously mentioned 2 let (someone or something) alone : to not bother or touch (someone or something)
Let [=(more commonly) leave] your sister alone.
All I ask is to be let alone. [=(more commonly) left alone]
Would you please let it alone?
I never did learn to let well enough alone. [=to leave well enough alone; to stop changing something that is already good enough]
let down[phrasal verb]
let (someone) down
1 a : to fail to give help or support to (someone who needs or expects it)
— sometimes used figuratively b : to make (someone) unhappy or displeased by not being as good as expected
I promised Mary that I'd help her, and I can't let her down.
It's my fault we lost the game. I let the team down.
He never lets down a friend in need.
◊ To let someone down easy/gently is to give someone unpleasant news in a gentle or kind way.
She tried to let him down gently when she told him he didn't get the job.
I knew I had to fire her, but I was trying to think of a way to let her down easy.
let (something) down or let down (something)
3 a : to cause or allow (something) to move down gradually b : to make (a skirt, a pair of pants, etc.) longer
— see also let your hair down at hair
orlet (something or someone) goorlet go of (something or someone)orlet go (something or someone): to stop holding or gripping something or someone
— often used figuratively
I tried to take the ball from him, but he wouldn't let go.
She grabbed my hand and refused to let go.
He let the rope go. = He let go of the rope. = (less commonly) He let go the rope.
When a child grows up and moves away from home, it can be hard for parents to let go. [=to allow the child to live independently; to not be too involved in the child's decisions, actions, etc.]
I know she disappointed you, but you need to let the past go and move on with your life. [=you need to stop caring or thinking about the past]
You need to let go of the past.
She felt she had been treated wrongly, and she wasn't willing to let it go. [=she wasn't willing to forget how she had been treated]
You're late. I'll let it go this time, but it had better not happen again.
The car is probably worth a lot more, but she agreed to let it go for five thousand dollars. [=she agreed to sell the car for five thousand dollars]
orlet (yourself) go: to behave in a very free and open way
let (someone) go
3 a : to allow (someone who is being held as a slave, prisoner, etc.) to be free b : to officially make (someone) leave a job 4 let (yourself) go : to fail to take care of (yourself)
let it all hang outinformal
: to show your true feelings: to behave in a very free and open way
let me seeorlet's seeorlet me think
— used in speech by someone who is trying to remember something
Let me see, where did I put my keys?
Let's see, how long did it take last time?
What was the name of that restaurant? Let me think. Oh, that's right: “The High Street Café.”
let off[phrasal verb]
1 let (someone) off or let off (someone) : to allow (someone) to get off a bus, an airplane, etc.
Could you let me off (the bus) at the next stop, please?
The bus stopped to let off a few passengers.
2 let (someone) off : to allow (someone who has been caught doing something wrong or illegal) to go without being punished
— often used in the phrase let (someone) off the hook
The police officer let her off with just a warning.
They let him off easy/easily/lightly, if you ask me. [=I do not think he was punished as severely as he could/should have been]
3 let off (something) : to cause (something) to explode or to be released in a forceful way
— see also let off (some) steam at 1steam
let on[phrasal verb]
1 let (someone) on or let on (someone) : to allow (someone) to get on a bus, an airplane, etc. 2 let oninformal or let on (something) : to tell, admit, or show that you know something
He knows a lot more than he lets on.
Don't let on that I told you!
She was unhappy, but she never let on. = She never let on to anyone that she was unhappy. [=she never showed or told anyone that she was unhappy]
3 US, informal : to pretend or seem
let out[phrasal verb]
1 let (something or someone) out or let out (something or someone) : to release (something or someone)
She let out a scream. [=she screamed]
They let the prisoner out (of prison) for the weekend. = The prisoner was let out for the weekend.
Let the clutch out slowly.
2 let (something) out or let out (something) : to make (a shirt, a pair of pants, etc.) larger
— opposite take in at 1take
3 US, of a school : to end a semester, year, or session
let (someone) have itinformal
: to attack, punish, or criticize (someone) in a violent or angry way
let (someone) in on (something)
: to allow (someone) to know (a secret)
let (someone or something) be
: to not bother or touch (someone or something)
let (something) sliporlet slip (something)
let the cat out of the bag
let the grass grow under your feet
let up[phrasal verb]
1 : to stop or become slower 2 let up on (someone) : to treat (someone) in a less harsh or demanding way 3 let up on (something) : to apply less pressure to (something)
let (yourself) in for
: to cause (yourself) to have or experience (something bad or unpleasant)
She's letting herself in for a lot of trouble/criticism.
When I agreed to help, I didn't know what I was letting myself in for. [=getting myself into]
Learner's definition of LET
: a serve that is not accepted or allowed officially and must be done again
without let or hindrancechiefly British, law
: without being interfered with