let on

let

1 [let]
verb (used with object), let, letting.
1.
to allow or permit: to let him escape.
2.
to allow to pass, go, or come: to let us through.
3.
to grant the occupancy or use of (land, buildings, rooms, space, etc., or movable property) for rent or hire (sometimes followed by out ).
4.
to contract or assign for performance, usually under a contract: to let work to a carpenter.
5.
to cause to; make: to let one know the truth.
6.
(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, letting.
7.
to admit of being rented or leased: The apartment lets for $100 per week.
noun
8.
British. a lease.
Verb phrases
9.
let down,
a.
to disappoint; fail.
b.
to betray; desert.
c.
to slacken; abate: We were too near success to let down in our efforts.
d.
to allow to descend slowly; lower.
e.
Aeronautics. (of an airplane) to descend from a higher to a lower altitude preparatory to making an approach and landing or a similar maneuver.
10.
let in,
a.
to admit.
b.
to involve (a person) in without his or her knowledge or permission: to let someone in for a loss.
c.
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.
d.
Also, let in on. to share a secret with; permit to participate in.
11.
let off,
a.
to release by exploding.
b.
to free from duty or responsibility; excuse.
c.
to allow to go with little or no punishment; pardon: The judge let off the youthful offender with a reprimand.
12.
let on,
a.
to reveal one's true feelings: She was terrified at the prospect, but didn't let on.
b.
to pretend: They let on that they didn't care about not being invited, but I could tell that they were hurt.
13.
let out,
a.
to divulge; make known.
b.
to release from confinement, restraint, etc.
c.
to enlarge (a garment).
d.
to terminate; be finished; end: When does the university let out for the summer?
e.
to make (a let-out fur or pelt).
14.
let up,
a.
to slacken; diminish; abate: This heat wave should let up by the end of the week.
b.
to cease; stop: The rain let up for a few hours.
15.
let up on, to treat less severely; be more lenient with: He refused to let up on the boy until his grades improved.
Idioms
16.
let alone. alone ( def 8 ).
17.
let be,
a.
to refrain from interference.
b.
to refrain from interfering with.
18.
let go. go ( def 82 ).
19.
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.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English leten, Old English lǣtan; cognate with Dutch laten, German lassen, Old Norse lāta, Gothic lētan; akin to Greek lēdeîn to be weary, Latin lassus tired. See late


1. See allow. 1. suffer, grant. 3. lease, rent, sublet, hire.


1. prevent.


Let us is used in all varieties of speech and writing to introduce a suggestion or a request: Let us consider all the facts before deciding. The contracted form let's occurs mostly in informal speech and writing: Let's go. Let's not think about that right now. Perhaps because let's has come to be felt as a word in its own right rather than as the contraction of let us, it is often followed in informal speech and writing by redundant or appositional pronouns: Let's us plan a picnic. Let's you and I (or me) get together tomorrow. Both Let's you and me and Let's you and I occur in the relaxed speech of educated speakers. The former conforms to the traditional rules of grammar; the latter, nonetheless, occurs more frequently. See also leave1.
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World English Dictionary
let1 (lɛt)
 
vb , lets, letting, let
1.  to permit; allow: she lets him roam around
2.  (imperative or dependent imperative)
 a.  used as an auxiliary to express a request, proposal, or command, or to convey a warning or threat: let's get on; just let me catch you here again!
 b.  (in mathematical or philosophical discourse) used as an auxiliary to express an assumption or hypothesis: let "a" equal "b"
 c.  used as an auxiliary to express resigned acceptance of the inevitable: let the worst happen
3.  a.  to allow the occupation of (accommodation) in return for rent
 b.  to assign (a contract for work)
4.  to allow or cause the movement of (something) in a specified direction: to let air out of a tyre
5.  informal (Irish) to utter: to let a cry
6.  let alone
 a.  (conjunction) much less; not to mention: I can't afford wine, let alone champagne
 b.  let be, leave alone, leave be to refrain from annoying or interfering with: let the poor cat alone
7.  let go See go
8.  let loose
 a.  to set free
 b.  informal to make (a sound or remark) suddenly: he let loose a hollow laugh
 c.  informal to discharge (rounds) from a gun or guns: they let loose a couple of rounds of ammunition
 
n
9.  (Brit) the act of letting property or accommodation: the majority of new lets are covered by the rent regulations
 
[Old English lǣtan to permit; related to Gothic lētan, German lassen]

let2 (lɛt)
 
n
1.  an impediment or obstruction (esp in the phrase without let or hindrance)
2.  tennis, squash
 a.  a minor infringement or obstruction of the ball, requiring a point to be replayed
 b.  the point so replayed
 
vb , lets, letting, letted, let
3.  archaic (tr) to hinder; impede
 
[Old English lettan to hinder, from lætlate; related to Old Norse letja]

let on
 
vb
1.  to allow (something, such as a secret) to be known; reveal: he never let on that he was married
2.  (tr) to cause or encourage to be believed; pretend

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

let
O.E. lætan "to allow, let go, bequeath, leave," also "to rent" (class VII strong verb; past tense let, pp. læten), from P.Gmc. *lætan (cf. O.S. latan, O.Fris. leta, Du. laten, Ger. lassen, Goth. letan "to leave, let"), from PIE *le(i)d- "to leave behind, leave, yield" (cf. L. lassus
"faint, weary," Lith. leisti "to let, to let loose"). The primary sense appears to be "to let go through weariness, to neglect." Obsolete let (n.) "hindrance" is from O.E. lettan "hinder, delay," from P.Gmc. *latjanan, related to Mod.Eng. late. Let on "reveal, divulge" is from 1630s; let up "cease, stop" is from 1787.

let
"hindrance," 1175, from O.E. lettan "hinder, delay," from P.Gmc. *latjanan (cf. O.S. lettian "to hinder," O.N. letja "to hold back," O.H.G. lezzen "to stop, check," Goth. latjan "to hinder, make late," O.E. læt "sluggish, slow, late"); see late.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
LET
linear energy transfer
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

let on

  1. Reveal one's true feelings or a fact, allow something to be known, as in Don't let on that you met her before. This usage is probably a shortening of let it on someone. [c. 1700]

  2. Pretend, as in He let on that he was very angry, but in fact he didn't care a bit. [First half of 1800s] Also see let in on.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Idioms & Phrases
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