American English

Definition of let verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they let
    he / she / it lets
    past simple let
    -ing form letting
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  1. 1[no passive] to allow someone to do something or something to happen without trying to stop it let somebody/something do something Let them splash around in the pool for a while. Don't let her upset you. Let your body relax. let somebody/something He'd eat chocolate all day long if I let him.
  2. 2to give someone permission to do something let somebody/something do something They won't let him leave the country. let somebody/something She wanted to lend me some money but I wouldn't let her.
  3. 3let somebody/something + adv./prep. to allow someone or something to go somewhere to let someone into the house I'll give you a key so that you can let yourself in. Please let me past. The cat wants to be let out.
  4. making suggestions
  5. 4let's [no passive] let (do something) used for making suggestions Let's go to the beach. Let's not tell her what we did. I don't think we'll make it, but let's try anyway. “Shall we check it again?” “Yes, let's.”
  6. offering help
  7. 5[no passive] let somebody/something do something used for offering help to someone Here, let me do it. Let us get those boxes down for you.
  8. making requests
  9. 6[no passive] let somebody/something do something used for making requests or giving instructions Let me have your report by Friday.
  10. challenging
  11. 7[no passive] let somebody/something do something used to show that you are not afraid or worried about someone doing something If he thinks he can cheat me, just let him try!
  12. wishing
  13. 8[no passive] let somebody/something do something (literary) used to express a strong wish for something to happen Let her come home safely!
  14. introducing something
  15. 9[no passive] let somebody/something do something used to introduce what you are going to say or do Let me give you an example. Let me just finish this and then I'll come.
  16. in calculating
  17. 10[no passive] let somebody/something do something (technology) used to say that you are supposing something to be true when you calculate something Let line AB be equal to line CD.
  18. Idioms
      let somebody go
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    1. 1to allow someone to be free synonym free Will they let the hostages go?
    2. 2to make someone have to leave their job They had to let 100 employees go because of falling profits.
      let somebody/something go, let go (of somebody/something)
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    1. 1to stop holding someone or something Don't let the rope go. Don't let go of the rope. Let go! You're hurting me!
    2. 2to give up an idea or an attitude, or control of something It's time to let the past go. It's time to let go of the past.
    let something go
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    to stop taking care of a house, garden, etc. I'm afraid I've let the garden go this year. Let the house go in order to spend time with the kids.
    let somebody have it (informal)
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    to attack someone physically or with words
    let it go (at that)
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    to say or do no more about something I don't entirely agree, but I'll let it go at that. I thought she was hinting at something, but I let it go.
    let me see/think
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    used when you are thinking or trying to remember something Now let me see—where did he say he lived?
    used when making a suggestion or giving an example I can let you have it for, well let's say $100.
      let yourself go
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    1. 1to behave in a relaxed way without worrying about what people think of your behavior Come on, enjoy yourself, let yourself go!
    2. 2to stop being careful about how you look and dress, etc. He has let himself go since he lost his job.
    Phrasal Verbslet somebodydownlet somethingdownlet somebody/yourself in for somethinglet somebody in on somethinglet somebody off (with something)let something offlet on (to somebody)let outlet something outlet up
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: let