verblet, let·ting, lets
- To give permission or opportunity to; allow: I let them borrow the car. The inheritance let us finally buy a house. See Usage Note at leave1.
- To cause to; make: Let the news be known.
a. Used as an auxiliary in the imperative to express a command, request, or proposal: Let's finish the job! Let x equal y.
b. Used as an auxiliary in the imperative to express a warning or threat: Just let her try!
- To permit to enter, proceed, or depart: let the dog in.
- To release from or as if from confinement: let the air out of the balloon; let out a yelp.
- To rent or lease: let rooms.
- To award, especially after bids have been submitted: let the construction job to a new firm.
Phrasal Verbs: let down
- To become rented or leased.
- To be or become assigned, as to a contractor.
To cause to come down gradually; lower: let down the sails.
To withdraw support from; forsake.To fail to meet the expectations of; disappoint. let on
To allow to be known; admit: Don't let on that you know me.
To pretend. let out
To come to a close; end: School let out early. The play let out at 10:30.
To make known; reveal: Who let that story out?
To increase the size of (a garment, for example): let out a coat. let up
To slow down; diminish: didn't let up in their efforts.
To become less severe or intense: The rain let up.
Origin of let
Middle English leten from
Old English lǣtan
; see lē-
in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present lets, present participle letting, simple past let or obsolete leet, past participle let or rarely letten)
- To allow to, not to prevent (+ infinitive, but usually without to).
- After he knocked for hours, I decided to let him come in.
- To leave.
- Let me alone!
- To allow the release of (a fluid).
- The physicians let about a pint of his blood, but to no avail.
- To allow possession of (a property etc.) in exchange for rent.
- I decided to let the farmhouse to a couple while I was working abroad.
- To give, grant, or assign, as a work, privilege, or contract; often with out.
- to let the building of a bridge
- to let out the lathing and the plastering
- Used to introduce an imperative in the first or third person.
- Let's put on a show!
- Let us have a moment of silence.
- Let me just give you the phone number.
- Let P be the point where AB and OX intersect.
- 1818, John Keats, "To"”":
- Time's sea hath been five years at its slow ebb, / Long hours have to and fro let creep the sand [...].
- Can you let me know what time you'll be arriving?
The use of "let" to introduce an imperative may sometimes be confused with its use, as its own imperative, in the sense of "to allow". For example, the sentence "Let me go to the store." could either be a second-person imperative of "let" (addressing someone who might prevent the speaker from going to the store) or a first-person singular imperative of "go" (not implying any such preventer).
From Middle English leten, lÃ¦ten, from Old English lÇ£tan (“to allow, let go, bequeath, leave, rent"), from Proto-Germanic *lÄ“tanÄ… (“to leave behind, allow"), from Proto-Indo-European *lÄ“d- (“to let, leave behind"). Cognate with Scots lat, lete (“to let, leave"), North Frisian lete (“to let"), West Frisian litte (“to let"), Dutch laten (“to let, leave"), German lassen (“to let, leave, allow"), Swedish lÃ¥ta (“to let, allow, leave"), Icelandic lÃ¡ta (“to let"), Albanian lÃ« (“to allow, let, leave").
(third-person singular simple present lets, present participle letting, simple past letted, past participle let)
- (archaic) To hinder, prevent; to obstruct (someone or something).
- An obstacle or hindrance.
- (tennis) The hindrance caused by the net during serve, only if the ball falls legally.
Middle English letten (“to hinder, delay"), from Old English lettan (“to hinder, delay"; literally, "to make late"), from Proto-Germanic *latjanÄ…. Akin to Old English latian (“to delay"), Dutch letten, Old English lÃ¦t (“late"). More at late, delay.