let (one) off the hook(redirected from let them 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.
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.
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.