let

verb (1)
\ˈlet \
let; letting

Definition of let 

(Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to cause to : make let me know

2a : 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

3 : to free from or as if from confinement let out a scream let blood

4 : to permit to enter, pass, or leave let them through let them off with a warning

5a chiefly British : to offer or grant for rent or lease let rooms

b : to assign especially after bids let a contract

6 : to make an adjustment to let out the waist

intransitive verb

1 chiefly British : to become rented or leased

2 : to become awarded to a contractor

let alone

: to leave undisturbed let the flowers alone also : to leave to oneself wanted to be let alone

let fly

1 : to hurl an object

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

let go

1 : to relax or release one's hold used with of let go of stress— Kathy McCoylet go of my arm

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 : to dismiss from employment the firm let him go at the end of the month

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

let it all hang out

: to reveal one's true feelings : act without dissimulation

let one have it

: to subject to vigorous assault

let one's hair down

: to act without pretense or self-restraint

let rip

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

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

let the cat out of the bag

: to give away a secret

let

noun

Definition of let (Entry 2 of 4)

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

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

let

verb (2)
letted; letted or let; letting

Definition of let (Entry 3 of 4)

Definition of -let (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : small one booklet

2 : article worn on wristlet

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for let

Verb (1)

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

Examples of let in a Sentence

Noun

The first serve was a let. a private resort that allows vacationers to experience without let the joys of nudism

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The stated purpose was to let kids know officers wanted them to have a safe summer. jsonline.com, "Trust damaged between Milwaukee police and community, Department of Justice draft report says," 30 Aug. 2017 That was like letting Niagara Falls run full-blast onto Houston for 15 days straight. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Up to 30 percent of Harris County, home to Houston, is under water," 29 Aug. 2017 Approving them together wouldn’t let one company benchmark the price against the other. Caroline Chen, Bloomberg.com, "New Drug Price Questions Loom After Gilead's Cancer Purchase," 29 Aug. 2017 Menashe and his son’s week together is interrupted by visits from Menashe’s brother-in-law and rabbi, each of whom plead with him to let his son go. Saul Austerlitz, New Republic, "How Do You Make a Movie in a Language You Don’t Speak?," 28 Aug. 2017 That’s a lot of pressure to put on anyone — let alone someone who only recently was legally allowed to drink a beer. Jim Ayello, USA TODAY Sports, "George Steinbrenner IV cutting path toward top of IndyCar ownership," 28 Aug. 2017 Some states, like Pennsylvania, favor letting the wastewater settle in aboveground pools, which can cause run-off contamination of drinking supplies. Simon Worrall, National Geographic, "Earthquakes Can Happen in More Places Than You Think," 26 Aug. 2017 In 1991, following the retirement of their carillonneur and citing budget cuts; Iowa State University was going to the let their carillon fall silent. Naperville Sun, "Letters to the editor: Support Naperville's Carillon," 25 Aug. 2017 But keeping faith with institutions can mean letting down voters. The Economist, "The power of populists," 20 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'let.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of let

Verb (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for let

Verb (1)

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

Verb (2)

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

Noun suffix

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about let

Statistics for let

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for let

The first known use of let was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for let

let

noun

English Language Learners Definition of let

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

English Language Learners Definition of -let (Entry 2 of 2)

: small one

let

verb
\ˈlet \
let; letting

Kids Definition of let

1 : to allow or permit to Let them go.

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

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

4 : rent entry 2 sense 2 rooms to let

5 used as a warning Just let him try to do it again!

let alone

: to leave undisturbed

let down

: disappoint Don't let me down.

let go

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

2 : to dismiss from employment

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

let on

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

let up

1 : to slow down

2 : stop entry 1 sense 4, cease The rain has finally let up.

\lət\

Kids Definition of -let

1 : small one booklet

2 : something worn on anklet

let

verb
let; letting

Legal Definition of let 

transitive verb

1 : to offer or grant for rent, lease, or hire : lease may not be alienated, let, or encumbered corporeal things may be let out

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

intransitive verb

1 : to become rented, leased, or hired

2 : to become awarded to a contractor

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on let

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

WORD OF THE DAY

full of whispering sounds

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!