Meaning of “let sb off” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"let sb off" in British English

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let sb off

phrasal verb with let uk /let/ us /let/ verb present participle letting, past tense and past participle let

B2 to not punish someone who has committed a crime or done something wrong, or to not punish them severely:

Instead of a prison sentence they were let off with a fine.
You won't be let off so lightly (= you will be punished more severely) the next time.

More examples

  • The police let him off with a warning.
  • I'll let you off if you apologize.
  • My Mum said I had to do all the ironing as a punishment, but I'm hoping she'll let me off.
  • Considering the severity of the crime, they were let off lightly.
  • I let him off because he seemed so sorry.

(Definition of “let sb off” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)