let (one) off easy

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let (one) off easy

1. To give someone a very mild punishment or rebuke relative to the wrongdoing. Considering he completely destroyed Mr. Smith's hardware store and dang near killed a few people, I'd say they let him off pretty easy with just 3 months in jail. I was expecting her to scream her head off at me, but she let me off easy.
2. To expect or demand less from someone. Everyone's been letting her off easy since the accident.
See also: easy, let, off
References in periodicals archive ?
The "artists'' are being let off easy while the property owners are being held responsible for an illegal act they had no part in and must incur the expense of a cleanup or a fine.
Phelps wont be let off easy either, he will be cited for driving with an invalid, out-of-state license.
In that piece, the woman had very movingly poured out her grief and outrage at a justice system she felt had let off easy the murderer of her brother.