let down

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let (one) down

To fail or disappoint one; to neglect or be unable to do what was wanted, required, or promised. Dad said he'd be here to watch my baseball game, but he let me down again. I'm counting on you to close this deal, Robert—don't let me down. Jenny always felt pressure not to let down her parents in her studies.
See also: down, let


Something that is disappointing, usually because it did not meet one's high expectations about it. Not getting tickets to the game after my aunt promised them to us is a real letdown. Sue was really excited about her new position, but now that's she's in it, it seems to be a letdown.

let someone or something down

Fig. to fail someone or something; to disappoint someone or a group. Please don't let me down. I am depending on you. I let down the entire cast of the play.
See also: down, let

let someone down

to disappoint someone; to fail someone. I'm sorry I let you down. Something came up, and I couldn't meet you. I don't want to let you down, but I can't support you in the election.
See also: down, let

let down

to relax one's efforts or vigilance. Now is no time to let down. Keep on your guard. After the contest was over, Jane let down a bit so she could relax.
See also: down, let

let down

1. Cause to descend, lower, as in They let down the sails. [Mid-1100s]
2. Also, let up. Slacken, abate, as in Sales are letting down in this quarter, or They didn't let up in their efforts until the end. The first term dates from the mid-1800s, the variant from the late 1700s.
See also: down, let

let down

1. To cause to fall to a lower level; lower something: The tailor let down the hem of my new pants. If you let your hair down, I can braid it. It's time to let down the sails.
2. To fail to meet the expectations of someone; disappoint someone: The contractor really let us down when the kitchen wasn't ready in time for Thanksgiving. When the school board had to cancel the sports program, they really let down the community.
3. To hinder the success or progress of someone or something: It would have been a good book, but the slow pacing lets it down a bit.
4. To be released from the breast as breast milk: She tried to breastfeed her newborn infant, but her milk wouldn't let down.
See also: down, let
References in periodicals archive ?
To mark Allergy Week this week, the charity has released research showing people affected by allergies often feel let down by the NHS.
It is in fact this Government that has let down the people of this city.
Teenagers have been let down by an exam system that is abused by teachers who are under intense pressure to achieve good grades, Ofqual has warned.
I feel let down by the sentencing but I don't feel let down by the police standards officers who investigated it.
Our father Roger Goswell was a tortured soul and, unfortunately, in the end we feel that they were both let down by the system.
But it is a majority made up of people let down by Labour, and dissatisfied by the dishonesty and spin of the Labour Government, who are turning to the Tories.
I felt I had been let down badly by reports I had read in the national papers and on the internet.
If they fall below those standards they let down more than their profession.
A CATALOGUE of blunders has yet again highlighted how victims of crime are too often let down by the system.
I have been having a bad time recently and been let down by a lot of people in the past in terms of friends and lovers.
YET again, a young child has been badly let down by hopeless social workers and others.
These men let down the taxpayers and they let down the rest of the hard-working bin men in Brum.
They are people who switched from other parties to vote Conservative at the last General Election but now feel let down by Prime Minister David Cameron and his policies.