let (one) down(redirected from let them down)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.