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verb, \ˈlet\

Definition of let

lettedletted or letletting


  1. transitive verb
  2. :  hinder, prevent

Origin of let

Middle English letten, from Old English lettan to delay, hinder; akin to Old High German lezzen to delay, hurt, Old English lǣt late

First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with let




Simple Definition of let

  • tennis : a serve that is not accepted or allowed officially and must be done again

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of let

  1. 1 :  something that impedes :  obstruction <ruled his little world without hindrance or let — B. F. Reilly>

  2. 2 :  a shot or point in racket games that does not count and must be replayed

Examples of let in a sentence

  1. The first serve was a let.

  2. <a private resort that allows vacationers to experience without let the joys of nudism>

12th Century

First Known Use of let

12th century




Definition of let


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to cause to :  make <let me know>

  3. 2 a chiefly British :  to offer or grant for rent or lease <let rooms> b :  to assign especially after bids <let a contract>

  4. 3 a :  to give opportunity to or fail to prevent <live and let live> <a break in the clouds let us see the summit> <let the opportunity slip> b —used in the imperative to introduce a request or proposal <let us pray> c —used as an auxiliary to express a warning <let him try>

  5. 4 :  to free from or as if from confinement <let out a scream> <let blood>

  6. 5 :  to permit to enter, pass, or leave <let them through> <let them off with a warning>

  7. 6 :  to make an adjustment to <let out the waist>

  8. intransitive verb
  9. 1 chiefly British :  to become rented or leased

  10. 2 :  to become awarded to a contractor

let alone
  1. :  to leave undisturbed <let the flowers alone>; also :  to leave to oneself <wanted to be let alone>

let fly
  1. 1 :  to hurl an object

  2. 2 :  to give unrestrained expression to an emotion or utterance <let fly with some sharp rebukes — Janice Castro>

let go
  1. 1 :  to dismiss from employment <the firm let him go at the end of the month>

  2. 2 :  to abandon self-restraint :  let fly <spoke in clipped sentences, as if fearful of letting go — David Kline> <there just to party, just to let go — Philippe Vergne>

  3. 3 :  to relax or release one's hold —used with of <let go of stress — Kathy McCoy> <let go of my arm>

  4. 4 :  to fail to take care of :  neglect <let himself go and got real fat — Bill Parcells>

let it all hang out
  1. :  to reveal one's true feelings :  act without dissimulation

let one have it
  1. :  to subject to vigorous assault

let one's hair down
  1. :  to act without pretense or self-restraint

let rip
  1. 1 :  to utter or release without restraint <let 'er rip>

  2. 2 :  to do or utter something without restraint <let rip at the press>

let the cat out of the bag
  1. :  to give away a secret

Origin of let

Middle English leten, from Old English lǣtan; akin to Old High German lāzzan to permit, and perhaps to Lithuanian lėnas tranquil

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of let

hire, let, lease, rent, charter mean to engage or grant for use at a price. hire and let, strictly speaking, are complementary terms, hire implying the act of engaging or taking for use and let the granting of use <we hired a car for the summer> <decided to let the cottage to a young couple>. lease strictly implies a letting under the terms of a contract but is often applied to hiring on a lease <the diplomat leased an apartment for a year>. rent stresses the payment of money for the full use of property and may imply either hiring or letting <instead of buying a house, they decided to rent> <will not rent to families with children>. charter applies to the hiring or letting of a vehicle usually for exclusive use <charter a bus to go to the game>.


noun suffix

Simple Definition of -let

  • : small one

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of -let

  1. 1 :  small one <booklet>

  2. 2 :  article worn on <wristlet>

Origin of -let

Middle English, from Middle French -elet, from -el, diminutive suffix (from Latin -ellus) + -et

LET Defined for Kids


verb \ˈlet\

Definition of let for Students


  1. 1 :  to allow or permit to <Let them go.>

  2. 2 :  to allow to go or pass <Let me through.>

  3. 3 :  to cause to :  make <Let it be known that I'm not going to confess.>

  4. 4 :  2rent 2 <rooms to let>

  5. 5 —used as a warning <Just let him try to do it again!>

let alone
  1. :  to leave undisturbed

let down
  1. :  disappoint <Don't let me down.>

let go
  1. 1 :  to relax or release a grip <Please let go of my arm.>

  2. 2 :  to dismiss from employment

  3. 3 :  to fail to take care of <They let the garden go.>

let on
  1. :  to admit or reveal <… Sam Fraunces never let on that he knew any of them. — Judith Berry Griffin, Phoebe the Spy>

let up
  1. 1 :  to slow down

  2. 2 :  1stop 4, cease <The rain has finally let up.>


noun suffix \lət\

Definition of -let for Students

  1. 1 :  small one <booklet>

  2. 2 :  something worn on <anklet>

Law Dictionary



Legal Definition of let


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to offer or grant for rent, lease, or hire :  lease <may not be alienated, let, or encumbered> <corporeal things may be let out>

  3. 2 :  to assign especially after bids <were attempting to let a contract without going through the bidding process — Union Springs Tel. Co. v. Rowell, 623 So. 2d 732 (1993)>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. 1 :  to become rented, leased, or hired

  6. 2 :  to become awarded to a contractor

Seen and Heard

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a timid, meek, or unassertive person

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