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1. To allow someone or an animal to leave a particular place. I already let the dog out—she's having a fine time romping around the back yard.
2. To release or discharge something, often air. Ugh, some pranksters let the air out of my tires.
3. To allow someone to avoid an obligation. That agreement you signed is iron-clad—there's no way they'll let you out of it.
4. To end. In this usage, "let out" is a set phrase. A: "Hey, you're back early." B: "Yeah, that meeting let out earlier than I'd anticipated."
5. To reveal or disclose something, usually of a private or secret nature. If you let out any details about the surprise party, mom will start bombarding you with questions.
6. To release or utter something audibly. In this usage, "let out" is a set phrase. I let out a shriek when the dog suddenly jumped on me.
7. To alter the seams in a garment to make it larger. The seamstress let out that dress for me so I could wear it while I was eight months pregnant.
8. To rent something. If you're going to be studying abroad this semester, why not just let out your apartment?
let (someone or an animal) (get) out (of something)
1. to permit someone or an animal to exit or escape from something or some place. Please let the president get out of the car. Don't let the snake get out!
2. to permit someone or an animal to evade something. I will not let you get out of your responsibilities. They wouldn't let me out of the contract.
let something out (to someone)
to rent something to someone. I let the back room out to a college boy. I let out the back room to someone.
let something out
1. Fig. to reveal something; to tell about a secret or a plan. (See also leak something out.) It was supposed to be a secret. Who let it out? Who let out the secret?
2. Fig. to enlarge an article of clothing. She had to let her overcoat out because she had gained some weight. I see you have had to let out your trousers.
let out (with) something
1. to state or utter something loudly. The man let out with a screaming accusation about the person whom he thought had wounded him. She let out a torrent of curses.
2. to give forth a scream or yell. She let out with a bloodcurdling scream when she saw the snake in her chair. They let out with shouts of delight when they saw the cake.
[for an event that includes many people] to end. (The people are then permitted to come out.) What time does the movie let out? I have to meet someone in the lobby. The meeting let out at about seven o'clock. School lets out in June.
2. Make known, reveal, as in I thought it was a secret-who let it out? [First half of 1800s] Also see let the cat out of the bag.
3. Come to a close, end, as in What time does school let out? [Late 1800s]
4. Increase the size of a garment, as in May's coat needs to be let out across the shoulders. This usage refers to opening some of the seams. [Late 1700s]
1. To allow someone or something to exit from some place; release someone or something: My neighbor let out the dog for the night. After the party, we let the helium out of the balloons.
2. To make some sound: I let a sigh of relief out when I saw my test score. I let out a shriek when I saw the mouse.
3. To come to a close; end: School let out early.
4. To make something known; reveal something: Who let that story out? If you let out the secret, our team will lose.
5. To increase the size of a garment by undoing its seams: The tailor let out my new coat. The kids grew so much this year that I had to let all the hems out on their jeans.
6. To rent or lease something to someone: We decided to let the apartment out for extra income. The neighbors let out the space over the garage to students.