let (one) off the hook

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let (one) off the hook

To pardon, release, or allow one to escape from 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. I was meant to spend the weekend cleaning out the garage, but my wife let me off the hook so I could go on the big fishing trip with my buddies.
See also: hook, let, off
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

let someone off the hook

COMMON If you let someone off the hook, you allow them to avoid being punished or blamed for something. We cannot let the government off the hook for what it has done. They resent any hint that he will be let off the hook because of his privileged position. Note: You can also say that you get someone off the hook if you do something to stop them being punished or blamed for something. She had got Tom off the hook. Note: You can also just say that someone is off the hook if they have not been punished or blamed. That way, Charlie would get the money, and she would be off the hook.
See also: hook, let, off, someone
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

let somebody off the ˈhook

(informal) allow somebody to escape from a difficult situation or punishment: We’ll let you off the hook this time, but if you make any more mistakes like that, you’ll lose your job.There won’t be time for me to read my report to the committee, so that’s let me off the hook.
This expression refers to a fish escaping after it has been caught.
See also: hook, let, off, somebody
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
But Labour's feminist campaigner Stella Creasy wouldn't let him off the hook, demanding he utter the dreaded T-word.
But if Bob thinks the thug will now let him off the hook after just one favour, he's delusional.
The Tunisian star asked Tamer to let him off the hook for a couple days, so he could head over to Paris and film scenes for the TV show "Engrenages" as well.
Varela, who fought Scott Quigg in a world title eliminator last year, was crafty and hard to pin down but Dickens refused to let him off the hook. Having finally coaxed the Venezuelan to engage, the Everton Red Triangle southpaw planted a countering straight left hand which floored Varela in the fourth round.
But the world number four had won both their most recent meetings and did not take long to move ahead today, breaking in the fourth game after his opponent had let him off the hook in the previous game with a woeful miss.
The Boston archdiocese apparently let him off the hook, and focused attention on its beneficence in forcing the child to be enrolled elsewhere.
God's apologists always let him off the hook this way - if anything bad happens, it's the wickedness of man.
Talk for a few minutes, then let him off the hook. Guys aren't into phone chats like girls are.
"I let him off the hook at 8-5 and he came back well.
"I let him off the hook the last time and he knows it.
There, despite Davies hitting breaks of 50 in each of the opening two frames, Thompson never let him off the hook and forced a deciding frame shoot-out which the Gwent player won to score a 4-3 victory.
He is your husband and part of that deal is being loving and faithful and you are foolish if you let him off the hook on this one.
There is no way Barney, who will have the crowd behind him, will let him off the hook with that kind of finishing.
Mr Cameron is expected to set up an independent commission to quell the row and let him off the hook.
Magistrates in Rotherham let him off the hook, prompting him to tell reporters: "This has been a really sweet and sour experience for me."