let1 W1S1 [let] v past tense and past participle let present participle letting
2¦(not stop something happening)¦
3 let go
4 let somebody go
6 let's see
7 let me think
8 let him/her/them etc
9 let's face it/let's be honest
10 let's just say (that)
11 let yourself go
12 let something go
14 let alone
15 let something drop/rest/lie
16 let slip
19 let yourself in for something
20 never let a day/week/year etc go by without doing something
21 let the good times roll
22 let somebody have it
Phrasal verbs
 let somebody/something<=>down
 let somebody in on something
 let somebody/something into something
 let somebody/something off
 let on
 let out
 let up
[: Old English; Origin: lAtan]
1.) ¦(ALLOW)¦ [T not in passive]
to allow someone to do something
I can't come out tonight - my dad won't let me.
let sb do sth
Let Johnny have a go on the computer now.
Some people seem to let their kids do whatever they like.
Let me have a look at that letter.
let sb have sth
(=give something to someone)
I can let you have another £10, but no more.
2.) ¦(NOT STOP SOMETHING HAPPENING)¦ [T not usually in passive]
to not stop something happening, or to make it possible for it to happen
let sb/sth do sth
Jenny let the note fall to the ground.
Don't let anyone know it was me who told you.
Max let the door swing open.
Let the cookies cool down before you try them.
let yourself be beaten/persuaded/fooled etc
I stupidly let myself be persuaded to take part in a live debate.
3.) let go
a) to stop holding something or someone
Let go! You're hurting me.
let go of
The guard let go of the lead, and the dog lunged forward.
b) to accept that you cannot change something and stop thinking or worrying about it
Sometimes you just have to learn to let go.
4.) let sb go
a) to allow someone to leave a place where they have been kept
= ↑release
The police had to let him go through lack of evidence.
The hijackers were persuaded to let hostages go.
b) to make someone leave their job - used in order to avoid saying this directly
I'm afraid we had to let several of our staff go.
5.) spoken ¦(SUGGEST/OFFER)¦ [T not in passive]
used to make a suggestion or to offer help
let's do sth
Let's make a start, shall we?
Let's all get together over Christmas.
Let's not jump to conclusions - he might have been delayed.
let sb do sth
Let me help you with those bags.
Let me give you a piece of advice.
let's hope (that)
Let's hope he got your message in time.
don't let's do sth
BrE informal
Don't let's argue like this.
6.) spoken let's see also let me see
used when you are thinking about or trying to remember something
Today's date is - let me see, March 20th.
Now, let's see, where did I put your application form?
7.) spoken let me think
used to say that you need time to think about or remember something
What was his name, now? Let me think.
8.) spoken let him/her/them etc
used to say that you do not care if someone does something they are threatening to do
'She says she's going to sell her story to the newspapers!' 'Well, let her!'
9.) spoken let's face it/let's be honest
used to say that someone must accept an unpleasant fact or situation
Let's face it, no one's going to lend us any money.
10.) spoken let's just say (that)
used to say that you are not going to give someone all the details about something
'So who did it?' 'Let's just say it wasn't anyone in this family.'
11.) let yourself go
a) to relax completely and enjoy yourself
For goodness sake, Peter, why don't you just let yourself go for once?
b) to stop looking after yourself properly, for example by not caring about your appearance
Poor Dad. He's really let himself go since Mum died.
12.) let sth go
a) to not punish or criticize someone for something they have done wrong
OK, I'll let it go this time.
b) to stop worrying or thinking too much about something
It's time to let the past go.
c) informal to sell something for a particular amount
let sth go for £20/$200 etc
I couldn't let it go for less than £300.
13.) ¦(WISH)¦ [T not in passive]
used to say that you wish or hope that something happens, or does not happen
(not) let sb/sth do sth
Don't let him be the one who died, she prayed.
14.) let alone
used after a negative statement to say that the next thing you mention is even more unlikely
The baby can't even sit up yet, let alone walk!
15.) let sth drop/rest/lie
to stop talking about or trying to deal with something
It seems the press are not going to let the matter rest.
16.) let slip
to accidentally tell someone something that should have been kept secret
let slip that
Liz let slip that she'd seen him quite recently.
17.) ¦(RENT)¦ [T]
especially BrE to charge someone an amount of money for the use of a room or building
= ↑lease
→↑hire, rent ↑rent
Interhome has over 20,000 houses to let across Europe.
let sth to sb
I've let my spare room to a student.
let sb sth
Would you consider letting me the garage for a few months?
let sth out to sb
We let the smaller studios out to local artists.
To Let
written (=written on a sign outside a building to show that it is available for renting)
let sth be/equal/represent sth
technical used in mathematics to mean that you give something a particular measurement or value in order to make a calculation
Let angle A equal the sum of the two opposite sides.
19.) let yourself in for sth informal
to do something that will cause you a lot of trouble
I don't think Carol realizes what she's letting herself in for.
20.) never let a day/week/year etc go by without doing sth
used to say that someone does a particular thing very regularly
They never seem to let a year go by without introducing a new version of their software.
21.) let the good times roll informal
used to say that it is time for people to start having fun
22.) let sb have it informal
to attack someone
let fly (sth) atfly1 (17), let it all hang out at hang out(3), live and let live atlive1 (21), let it/her rip atrip1 (5), let rip atrip1 (4)
let down [let sb/sth<=>down] phr v
1.) to not do something that someone trusts or expects you to do
She had been let down badly in the past.
The worst feeling is having let our fans down.
let the side down
BrE (=disappoint a group of people that you belong to)
2.) to make someone or something less successful or effective
McKenzie's judgement rarely lets him down.
3.) to move something or someone to a lower position
Let down a rope so that I can climb up.
Carefully, she let herself down into the water.
4.) let your hair down informal
to relax and enjoy yourself, especially after working hard
Visitors young and old let their hair down and enjoyed the show.
5.) let your guard/defences down
to relax and stop worrying about what might happen or what someone might find out about you
Maggie never really lets her guard down, does she?
6.) let sb down lightly/gently
to give someone bad news in a way that will not upset them too much
I get lots of offers, but I try to let them down gently.
7.) BrE to allow the air to escape from something so that it loses its shape and becomes flat
Someone's let my tyres down!
8.) to make a piece of clothing longer by unfolding a folded edge
≠ ↑take up
let in on [let sb in on sth] phr v
to tell something that is secret or only known by a few people
TV chef Raymond Blanc lets us in on the secrets of his kitchen.
Would someone mind letting me in on the joke?
let into [let sb/sth into sth] phr v
1.) to tell someone something that is secret or private
It was time to let the rest of the family into the secret.
2.) [usually passive] technical
to put something such as a window or a decoration into a wall
Two large windows were let into the wall each side of the door.
let off [let sb/sth off] phr v
1.) to not punish someone
I'll let you off this time, but don't do it again.
let somebody/something off with
After checking our identities, the customs men let us off with a warning.
let sb off the hook
(=allow someone to escape punishment or criticism)
He'd decided to make Sandra wait before letting her off the hook.
let sb off lightly/easily
(=give someone a less serious punishment than they deserve)
I think young criminals are let off far too lightly.
2.) let sb off (sth)
if someone in authority lets you off something you should do, they give you permission not to do it
You've worked hard all week, so I'll let you off today.
3.) let sth<=>off
to make something explode
One boy had let off a firework in class.
let/blow off steam atsteam1 (4)
let on phr v
to tell someone something, especially something you have been keeping secret
let on (that)
Don't let on that I told you.
let on who/why/how etc
We never did let on how we found out.
I'm sure he knows more than he's letting on.
let out phr v
1.) let out sth
to suddenly make a loud sound such as a shout or cry
let out a scream/cry/roar etc
He let out a cry of disbelief.
2.) let sth<=>out
to make a piece of clothing wider or looser, especially because it is too tight
3.) let sth<=>out
BrE to charge someone an amount of money for the use of a room or building
We're letting out our son's old room to a student.
4.) AmE if a school, college, film etc lets out, it ends and the people attending it can leave
What time does the movie let out?
let the cat out of the bag atcat
let up phr v
1.) to become less severe or harmful
The wind had dropped and the rain gradually let up.
2.) to be less severe, unkind, or violent towards someone
Even when the crowd had scattered, the police didn't let up.
3.) to stop working as hard as you were
You're doing really well, but you can't afford to let up now.
HINT sense 1
Do not say 'be let to do something', because let has no passive form. Use the active form, or use be allowed to do: They let me leave OR I was allowed to leave.
let 2
let2 n
1.) BrE
an arrangement in which a house or flat is rented to someone
An agency is managing the let.
a long-term let
2.) without let or hindrance
law happening freely without being prevented in any way

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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