get off/be let off lightly

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get off lightly

1. To have or face less difficulty than would normally be the case. Whereas some graduate students tell horror stories of the hours upon hours of work they have to do for their programs, I feel like I got off quite lightly with mine! Last summer, we seemed to have endless rain, but we got off lightly this year.
2. To face less severe punishment than might be expected, or to escape punishment entirely. I hope you realize you got off lightly. If your uncle—the senator—hadn't intervened, you'd be in jail right now. In the end, we only had to pay a small fine for the damage, so I'd say we got off pretty lightly!
See also: get, lightly, off

get off/be let off ˈlightly

(informal) be lucky and escape serious injury, punishment or trouble: Only two years in prison for stealing all that money? I think he got off very lightly.
See also: get, let, lightly, off
References in periodicals archive ?
Keeping in mind the gruesome nature of the crime, I feel he should not be let off lightly considering he played a prominent role in the violent act," Tirath told PTI.
Though John Rollins (right) will be remembered for his choke in the first round, Woods' other foes should not be let off lightly. It's hard to escape the conclusion that Tiger would not have made the top 15 had the tournament been strokeplay, but put him face-to-face with some of the lily- livered players of today and he frightens the life out of them.
Police in Leamington's Old Town are launching a clampdown on cyclists who use the pavements instead of the road and warn that persistent offenders will not be let off lightly.
Biggs (pictured) should not be let off lightly from his sentence.