let slip

Idioms & Phrases

let slip

  1. Also, let slip or slide by; let slide. Miss an opportunity; waste time. For example, We forgot to buy a ticket and let our big chance slip by, or He let the whole day slide by. The first term dates from the mid-1500s, the variant from the late 1500s.

  2. Also, let slip out. Reveal something, usually inadvertently, as in He let it slip out that he had applied for the vacant position. [Mid-1800s]

  3. let slip through one's fingers. Fail to seize an opportunity, as in We could have won the trophy but we let it slip through our fingers. [First half of 1600s]

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