off the hook

(redirected from let off the hook)

off the hook

1. Pardoned, vindicated, released; allowed to avoid blame, responsibility, obligation, or difficulty. At first, Sam was suspected of stealing money from the safe, but he was let off the hook after security camera footage showed it was someone else. A: "I thought you had that big work event tonight." B: "No, it got canceled, so I'm off the hook."
2. Of a telephone receiver, not positioned on the cradle (and thus giving a busy signal to the operator). That's why you couldn't get through to grandma's house before—her phone was off the hook.
3. slang Very enjoyable or appealing. That band's new song is really off the hook!
See also: hook, off

*off the hook

Fig. freed from an obligation. (Alludes to a fish freeing itself from a fishhook. *Typically: be ~; get ~; get someone ~; let someone ~.) Thanks for getting me off the hook. I didn't want to attend that meeting. I couldn't get myself off the hook no matter what I tried.
See also: hook, off

off the hook

Also, get or let off the hook . Released (or be released) from blame or annoying obligation, as in He was out of town during the robbery so he was off the book, or I don't know how the muggers got off the hook, or Once they found the real culprit, they let Mary off the hook. This idiom alludes to the fish that manages to free itself from the angler's hook and get away. [Mid-1800s]
See also: hook, off

off the hook

1 no longer in trouble or difficulty. informal 2 (of a telephone receiver) not on its rest, and so not receiving incoming calls.
Hook in sense 1 is a long-standing (mid 15th-century) figurative use of the word to mean ‘something by which a person is caught and trapped’, as a fish hook catches a fish. Sense 2 is a fossilized expression from the late 19th century, the early years of telephony, when the receiver literally hung on a hook.
See also: hook, off

off the ˈhook

if you leave or take the telephone off the hook, you take the receiver (= the part that you pick up) off the place where it usually rests, so that nobody can call you: So many people were calling me that in the end I got tired of it and left the phone off the hook.
See also: hook, off

off the hook

1. mod. no longer in jeopardy; no longer obligated. I’ll let you off the hook this time, but never again.
2. mod. crazy. (Referring to the telephone—disconnected.) She’s so ditzy—really off the hook.
See also: hook, off

off the hook

Informal
Freed, as from blame or a vexatious obligation: let me off the hook with a mild reprimand.
See also: hook, off
References in periodicals archive ?
Yet another example of a predator tor let off the hook when allegations first swirled around.
LABOUR'S new Scottish leader yesterday warned that David Cameron was being let off the hook while her party publicly tears itself apart.
By Tom Marshall-Bailey Town 3-5-2 ALEX SMITHIES Let off the hook after his error handed Watford a way back into the contest.
Wert" (from Chroniclelive) TOP TREND: A St James' Park pitch invader has been let off the hook after the judge told him she could have sentenced him to watch another Newcastle United game.
Under this Government bills will rise this winter and energy companies are being let off the hook.
The Dragons actually had the first chance to score but Tom Prydie's straightforward penalty, after only one minute of play, went wide and Ulster were let off the hook.
For people who are looking for a job and can't find a work it's deeply frustrating and then of course the small minority who don't want to work - well they are let off the hook by the fact there isn't a proper work programme.
However, Germany, Europe's top economy and political powerhouse, believes that Paris should be let off the hook "if France can credibly prove they will stick to the limit next year," said Spiegel, citing a top official.
Having been let off the hook, Accrington levelled five minutes before half-time when former Premiership striker James Beattie headed in a corner.
It is not acceptable for the Labour Party to be let off the hook here.
The 20-year-old former Disney star, has been on a string of dates with her pop star boyfriend just in time for Christmas, getting their relationship back on track after a lot of grovelling on Bieber's part - and he's finally been let off the hook if reports are to be believed.
The Dragons' first away victory of the campaign came courtesy of an eighth minute own goal by Lambs' defender Duane Courtney and, although Morrell said the winner would be claimed by striker Rob Ogleby, he admitted that wayward finishing meant the previously unbeaten home side were let off the hook.
The economic climate has been difficult for everyone but it is always the same ones who are let off the hook by others who are paying more.
Foley clashed with Rovers' Jake Thompson during a stoppage-time brawl which saw referee Amy Fearn brandish red for the Exiles front-man - although the visiting midfielder was let off the hook for his part - and sub James Norwood almost seized on the one-man advantage to snatch victory.
Or that advertisers would be let off the hook so easily.