- a decrease in volume, force, energy, etc.: a letdown in sales; a general letdown of social barriers.
- disillusionment, discouragement, or disappointment: The job was a letdown.
- depression; deflation: He felt a terrible letdown at the end of the play.
- the accelerated movement of milk into the mammary glands of lactating mammals upon stimulation, as by massage or suckling.
- Aeronautics. the descent of an aircraft from a higher to a lower altitude preparatory to making an approach and landing or to making a target run or the like.
verb (used with object), let, let·ting.
- to allow or permit: to let him escape.
- to allow to pass, go, or come: to let us through.
- to grant the occupancy or use of (land, buildings, rooms, space, etc., or movable property) for rent or hire (sometimes followed by out).
- to contract or assign for performance, usually under a contract: to let work to a carpenter.
- to cause to; make: to let one know the truth.
- (used in the imperative as an auxiliary expressive of a request, command, warning, suggestion, etc.): Let me see. Let us go. Just let them try it!
verb (used without object), let, let·ting.
- to admit of being rented or leased: The apartment lets for $100 per week.
- British. a lease.
- let down,
- to disappoint; fail.
- to betray; desert.
- to slacken; abate: We were too near success to let down in our efforts.
- to allow to descend slowly; lower.
- Aeronautics.(of an airplane) to descend from a higher to a lower altitude preparatory to making an approach and landing or a similar maneuver.
- let in,
- to admit.
- to involve (a person) in without his or her knowledge or permission: to let someone in for a loss.
- Also let into.to insert into the surface of (a wall or the like) as a permanent addition: to let a plaque into a wall.
- Also let in on.to share a secret with; permit to participate in.
- let off,
- to release by exploding.
- to free from duty or responsibility; excuse.
- to allow to go with little or no punishment; pardon: The judge let off the youthful offender with a reprimand.
- let on,
- to reveal one’s true feelings: She was terrified at the prospect, but didn’t let on.
- to pretend: They let on that they didn’t care about not being invited, but I could tell that they were hurt.
- let out,
- to divulge; make known.
- to release from confinement, restraint, etc.
- to enlarge (a garment).
- to terminate; be finished; end: When does the university let out for the summer?
- to make (a let-out fur or pelt).
- let up,
- to slacken; diminish; abate: This heat wave should let up by the end of the week.
- to cease; stop: The rain let up for a few hours.
- let up on, to treat less severely; be more lenient with: He refused to let up on the boy until his grades improved.
- let alone. alone(def 8).
- let be,
- to refrain from interference.
- to refrain from interfering with.
- let go. go1(def 93).
- let someone have it, Informal. to attack or assault, as by striking, shooting, or rebuking: The gunman threatened to let the teller have it if he didn’t move fast.
verb (tr, mainly adverb)
- (also preposition) to lower
- to fail to fulfil the expectations of (a person); disappoint
- to undo, shorten, and resew (the hem) so as to lengthen (a dress, skirt, etc)
- to untie (long hair that is bound up) and allow to fall loose
- to deflateto let down a tyre
- a disappointment
- the gliding descent of an aircraft in preparation for landing
- the release of milk from the mammary glands following stimulation by the hormone oxytocin
verb lets, letting or let (tr; usually takes an infinitive without to or an implied infinitive)
- to permit; allowshe lets him roam around
- (imperative or dependent imperative)
- used as an auxiliary to express a request, proposal, or command, or to convey a warning or threatlet’s get on; just let me catch you here again!
- (in mathematical or philosophical discourse) used as an auxiliary to express an assumption or hypothesislet “a” equal “b”
- used as an auxiliary to express resigned acceptance of the inevitablelet the worst happen
- to allow the occupation of (accommodation) in return for rent
- to assign (a contract for work)
- to allow or cause the movement of (something) in a specified directionto let air out of a tyre
- Irish informal to utterto let a cry
- let alone
- (conjunction)much less; not to mentionI can’t afford wine, let alone champagne
- let be, leave alone or leave beto refrain from annoying or interfering withlet the poor cat alone
- let go See go 1 (def. 59)
- let loose
- to set free
- informalto make (a sound or remark) suddenlyhe let loose a hollow laugh
- informalto discharge (rounds) from a gun or gunsthey let loose a couple of rounds of ammunition
- British the act of letting property or accommodationthe majority of new lets are covered by the rent regulations
- an impediment or obstruction (esp in the phrase without let or hindrance)
- tennis squash
- a minor infringement or obstruction of the ball, requiring a point to be replayed
- the point so replayed
verb lets, letting, letted or let
- (tr) archaic to hinder; impede
n.also let-down, “disappointment,” 1768, from let (v.) + down (adv.). The verbal phrase is from mid-12c. in a literal sense; figuratively by 1795. v.Old English lætan “to allow to remain; let go, leave, depart from; leave undone; to allow; bequeath,” also “to rent” (class VII strong verb; past tense let, past participle læten), from Proto-Germanic *letan (cf. Old Saxon latan, Old Frisian leta, Dutch laten, German lassen, Gothic letan “to leave, let”), from PIE *le- “to let go, slacken” (cf. Latin lassus “faint, weary,” Lithuanian leisti “to let, to let loose;” see lenient). If that derivation is correct, the primary sense would be “let go through weariness, neglect.” Of blood, from late Old English. To let (something) slip originally (1520s) was a reference to hounds on a leash; figurative use from 1540s. To let (someone) off “allow to go unpunished” is from 1814. To let on “reveal, divulge” is from 1725; to let up “cease, stop” is from 1787. Let alone “not to mention” is from 1812. n.“stoppage, obstruction” (obsolete unless in legal contracts), late 12c., from archaic verb letten “to hinder,” from Old English lettan “hinder, delay,” from Proto-Germanic *latjanan (cf. Old Saxon lettian “to hinder,” Old Norse letja “to hold back,” Old High German lezzen “to stop, check,” Gothic latjan “to hinder, make late,” Old English læt “sluggish, slow, late”); see late. 1Cause to descend, lower, as in They let down the sails. [Mid-1100s] 2Also, let up. Slacken, abate, as in Sales are letting down in this quarter, or They didn’t let up in their efforts until the end. The first term dates from the mid-1800s, the variant from the late 1700s. 3See let someone down. Also see let one’s hair down. In addition to the idioms beginning with let
Also see underleave.