let down

(redirected from let him down)

let down

1. verb To cause or allow someone or something to descend. In all usages as a verb, a noun or pronoun can be used between "let" and "down." I'll let down a rope ladder for you to climb up to the treehouse. The helicopter let the rescue worker down on a harness.
2. verb To fail or disappoint someone; to neglect or be unable to do what was wanted, required, or promised to someone. Dad said he'd be here to watch my baseball game, but he let me down again. We're counting on you to close this deal, Robert—don't let down the firm.
3. verb To lower the amount of effort, attention, or focus placed on something. We'll wait long enough for them to let down their guard before we launch our invasion. After her last relationship, she found it hard to let her defenses down around men.
4. verb To lengthen a garment by extending the extra cloth in its hem. I love this dress, but it's just a bit too short. I wonder if my tailor could let it down a bit.
5. verb To make a metal slightly more ductile or malleable in the process of tempering. The blacksmith let the spear down in order to reshape it. We should let down the temper on this steel to give it a bit more flexibility.
6. noun Something that is disappointing or anticlimactic. In this usage, the phrase is often spelled with a hyphen or as a single word. Not getting tickets to the game after my aunt promised them to us is a real let down. I was really excited about my new job, but now that I've been in it for a while, it's kind of been a let-down.
See also: down, let

letdown

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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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 someone down

1. Fail to support someone; also, disappoint someone. For example, I was counting on John to come, but he let me down, or The team didn't want to let down the coach. [Late 1400s] A British phrase with the same meaning is let the side down, alluding to some kind of competition (sports, politics) and dating from the mid-1900s. It is occasionally used in America.
2. let someone down easy. Convey bad or disappointing news in a considerate way, so as to spare the person's self-respect. For example, The teacher knew that Paul would have to repeat the course and that there was no way to let him down easy . [Colloquial; mid-1700s] Also see let down.
See also: down, let, someone
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

let down

v.
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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The gaffer didn't say much after the game but we know that's not good enough - we have let him down, we have let the fans down and we have let ourselves down.
We just never wanted to let him down. It wasn't the hairdryer that would worry me but when he was quiet and when we had let him down."
Fergie, who on Friday condemned Reading striker Jason Roberts for publicly stating he would snub the Kick It Out T-shirts, claimed his England defender had let him down.
"Rory's a very good tactical player but his scoring definitely let him down." Higgins managed breaks of 51, 72 and 47 as he closed out victory against McLeod.
Williams said: "We have worked well all week and I wouldn't like to say we just let him down. We have probably let ourselves and everyone involved down, not just him.
Williams, who was handed the armband by Flynn in the absence of Craig Bellamy, said: "We have worked well all week and I wouldn't like to say we just let him down.
I told him if he threw Adam in, he wouldn't let him down. It's a great opportunity.
Being the younger brother of the best defender in the world, the best centreback in the world, I certainly don't want to let him down.
But after Barton let him down and United's fans outraged, Shearer told the Chronicle today: "He apologised, but it was too late.
"First of all, you have to give credit to the manager for giving a young player a chance in such a big game and Jay certainly did not let him down.
"His selections have let him down and let England down, in Giles and Jones.
HE HAS HER ATTENTION, BUT WILL A LACK OF BLANKET PM LET HIM DOWN?
He did two pounds 5 ninefolds last weekend and only one side - Cardiff at home to Nottm Forest - let him down on his second line.
By ANDY HAMPSON Williams said: "We have worked well all week and I wouldn't like to say we just let him down. We have probably let ourselves and everyone involved down, not just him.
After Fredrik Ljungberg retrieved possession, Henry's through-ball found Sylvain Wiltord and when his control let him down, Pires seized on the loose ball to place his shot inside the far post.