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


Next Word in the Dictionary: lestobiosis
Previous Word in the Dictionary: less–than–truckload
All Words Near: lest

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up lest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).