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 ?
"I don't want to vote against this because I think it's important that we do something," Moody said, adding, "I don't want to let us off the hook by passing an ordinance and then OK, now we feel good.
Lazy stereotypes also let us off the hook when we really should be getting to grips with the deeper social issues that are the cause of problematic drug use.
There are also the things we tell ourselves -- the excuses or "famous last words'' that let us off the hook. We reviewed a number of them over the summer, and here's some more to watch out for:
luck at the first went to Birmingham and their failure to take them let us off the hook. heir em s d et Nonetheless Jordan maintained Rangers are heading in the right direction.
"As if selling out the biggest concert ever to be staged in Dubai wasn't enough, the 'Beliebers' just won't let us off the hook," said the COO of Done Events, Thomas Ovesen.
I think they probably feel like they let us off the hook a week ago and they will be coming back looking for us.
We didn't kick well, we didn't chase well and they let us off the hook at some points by dropping the ball.
Porthmadog penned us back in the second half, had their chances but let us off the hook.
Earlier in the season teams let us off the hook when we made mistakes but now we're being punished.
The theatrical performance of actual spiritual rituals has had a mini-boom, but unlike Les Freres Corbusier's "Hell House," which staged a "haunted house of sin" originally created by Evangelicals, Lee's play doesn't let us off the hook with smug irony.
"That let us off the hook a little bit, because we should have won the game in regulation time with the lead we had when it was at six or seven points.
"Once Lancashire got a sniff they never let us off the hook. We paid dearly for that bad start.
November," he declared -then proceeded the explain how the fallen price of oil doesn't let us off the hook.