let1 / let/ • v. (let·ting; past let) 1. [tr.] not prevent or forbid; allow: my boss let me leave early you mustn't let yourself get so involved. ∎ [tr.] allow to pass in a particular direction: could you let the dog out? a tiny window that let in hardly any light.2. [tr.] used in the imperative to formulate various expressions: ∎ (let us or let's) used as a polite way of making or responding to a suggestion, giving an instruction, or introducing a remark: let's have a drink “Shall we go?” “Yes, let's.” ∎ (let me or let us) used to make a polite offer of help: “Here, let me,” offered Bruce. ∎ used to express one's strong desire for something to happen or be the case: “Dear God,” Jessica prayed, “let him be all right.” ∎ used as a way of expressing defiance or challenge: if he wants to walk out, well, let him! ∎ used to express an assumption upon which a theory or calculation is to be based: let A and B stand for X and Y, respectively.3. [tr.] allow someone to have the use of (a room or property) in return for regular payments; rent: homeowners will be able to let rooms to lodgers without having to pay tax they've let out their apartment.4. [tr.] award (a contract for a particular project) to an applicant: preliminary contracts were let and tunneling work started.PHRASES: let alone used to indicate that something is far less likely, possible, or suitable than something else already mentioned: he was incapable of leading a bowling team, let alone a country.let someone/something alonesee alone.let someone/something be stop disturbing or interfering with: let him be—he knows what he wants.let someone down gently seek to give someone bad news in a way that avoids causing them too much distress or humiliation.let something drop (or fall) casually reveal a piece of information: from the things he let drop, I think there was a woman in his life.let fall Geom. draw (a perpendicular) from an outside point to a line.let fly attack, either physically or verbally: the troops let fly with tear gas.let oneself go1. act in an unrestrained or uninhibited way: you need to unwind and let yourself go.2. become careless or untidy in one's habits or appearance: he's really let himself go since my mother died.let someone/something go1. allow someone or something to escape or go free: they let the hostages go. ∎ dismiss an employee.2. (also let go or let go of) relinquish one's grip on someone or something: Adam let go of the reins| fig. you must let the past go. let someone have it inf. attack someone physically or verbally: I really let him have it for worrying me so much.let in (or out) the clutch engage (or release) the clutch of a vehicle by releasing pressure on (or applying it to) the clutch pedal.let it drop (or rest) say or do no more about a matter or problem.let it go (or pass) choose not to react to an action or remark: the decision worried us, but we let it go.let someone know inform someone: let me know what you think of him.let someone/something loose release someone or something: let the dog loose for a minute. ∎ allow someone freedom of action in a particular place or situation: people are only let loose on the system once they have received sufficient training. ∎ suddenly utter a sound or remark: he let loose a stream of abuse.let me see (or think) used when one is pausing, trying to remember something, or considering one's next words: now let me see, where did I put it?let me tell you used to emphasize a statement: let me tell you, I was very scared!let off steamsee steam.let ripsee rip1 .let's face it (or let's be honest) inf. used to convey that one must be realistic about an unwelcome fact or situation: let's be honest, your taste in men is famously bad.let slipsee slip1 .let's pretend a game or set of circumstances in which one behaves as though a fictional or unreal situation were a real one.let's say (or let us say) used as a way of introducing a hypothetical or possible situation: let's say we agreed to go our separate ways.to let chiefly Brit. (of a room or property) available for rent.PHRASAL VERBS: let down (of an aircraft or a pilot) descend before making a landing.let someone down fail to support or help someone as they had hoped or expected. ∎ (let someone/something down) have a detrimental effect on the overall quality or success of someone or something: the whole machine is let down by the tacky keyboard.let something down1. lower something slowly or in stages: they let down a basket on a chain.2. make a garment longer, esp. by lowering the hem. let oneself in for inf. involve oneself in (something likely to be difficult or unpleasant): I didn't know what I was letting myself in for.let someone in on/into allow someone to know or share (something secret or confidential): I'll let you into a secret.let something into set something back into (the surface to which it is fixed), so that it does not project from it: the basin is partly let into the wall.let someone off1. punish someone lightly or not at all for a misdemeanor or offense: he was let off with a warning.2. excuse someone from a task or obligation: he let me off work for the day.let something off cause a gun, firework, or bomb to fire or explode.let on inf. 1. reveal or divulge information to someone: she knows a lot more than she lets on [with clause] I never let on that he made me feel anxious. 2. pretend: [with clause] they all let on that they didn't hear me. let out (of lessons at school, a meeting, or an entertainment) finish, so that those attending are able to leave: his classes let out at noon.let someone out release someone from obligation or suspicion: they've started looking for motives—that lets me out.let something out1. utter a sound or cry: he let out a sigh of happiness.2. make a garment looser or larger, typically by adjusting seams.3. reveal a piece of information: [with clause] she let out that he'd given her a ride home. let up inf. (of something undesirable) become less intense or severe: the rain's letting up—it'll be clear soon. ∎ relax one's efforts: she was so far ahead that she could afford to let up a bit. ∎ (let up on) inf. treat or deal with in a more lenient manner: she didn't let up on Cunningham.let2 • n. (in racket sports) a play that is nullified and has to be played again, esp. a when a served ball touches the top of the net.• v. (let·ting; past and past part. let·ted or let) [tr.] archaic hinder: pray you let us not; we fain would greet our mother.PHRASES: let or hindrance formal obstruction or impediment: the passport opened frontiers to the traveler without let or hindrance.play a let (in tennis, squash, etc.) play a point again because the ball or one of the players has been obstructed.
See also let the buyer beware, let the cobbler stick to his last, let this cup pass from me, let the dead bury the dead, let sleeping dogs lie.
Hence sb. hindrance. XII.
To award a contract, such as for the erection of public works, to one of several bidders.
To lease certain property.