The word ‘let‘ can mean many different things. As a verb, the meaning is to allow.

For example:

  • My mum lets me stay up until 11 at the weekend. (allow)


Let is an irregular verb. The past tense is let and the past participle is let.

idioms list with ‘let’

verb phrases - let

don’t let the bed bugs bite

meaning – wishing someone a good night’s sleep
example – It’s past your bed time, go upstairs now. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.

idioms with verbs (LET) - don’t let the bed bugs bite meaning

don’t let the grass grow under one’s feet

meaning – hurry, act now, don’t wait
example – Brian is a useless employee. We’ve lost so much business by him letting the grass grow.

Idioms with verbs - GROW - don’t let the grass grow under one’s feet meaning

let nature take its course

meaning – allow events to develop naturally, don’t interfere

example – I’ve bandaged the baby owl’s leg, now I have to let nature take its course.

let idioms - let nature take its course

let one’s hair down

meaning – relax and have fun

example – The kids are with grandad so I will let my hair down this weekend.

verb phrase - let one’s hair down

let someone stew

meaning – allow someone to worry/be fearful about something they have done

example –  My girlfriend hasn’t messaged me all day. She’s letting me stew as I forgot her birthday.

let phrases - let someone stew

let the cat out of the bag

meaning – reveal the secret

example – We’re throwing a surprise party for my parents, don’t let the cat out of the bag.

verb phrase - let the cat out of the bag

let the side down

meaning – disappoint your friends/family/colleagues

example – I want you all playing your best. If you let the side down, you’re out of the team.

let idioms - let the side down


Hey, did you know the verb ‘let’ has many phrasal verbs. Since you like idioms and phrases, you obviously want to improve your fluency and speak like a native.

Am I right?


I thought you might like to learn the phrasal verbs with ‘let’ too. They are very common in informal English and great to know/be able to understand if you happen to be speaking to a native. We use them all the time, like literally ALL the time.