conjunction \ˈlest\

: for fear that

—used when you are saying something in order to prevent something from happening

Full Definition of LEST

:  for fear that —often used after an expression denoting fear or apprehension <worried lest she should be late> <hesitant to speak out lest he be fired>

Origin of LEST

Middle English les the, leste, from Old English thȳ̄s the, from thȳ (instrumental of thæt that) + ̄s + the, relative particle
First Known Use: before 12th century
LEST Defined for Kids


conjunction \ˈlest\

Definition of LEST for Kids

:  for fear that <“I have to be sharp and clever, lest I go hungry.” — E. B. White, Charlotte's Web>


Next Word in the Dictionary: lestobiosisPrevious Word in the Dictionary: less–than–truckloadAll Words Near: lest
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears