let

\ \ [OE] English has two distinct verbs let, of diametrically opposite meaning, but they are probably ultimately related. The one meaning ‘allow’ goes back to a prehistoric Germanic *lǣt- (source also of German lassen and Dutch laten) which, like the related late, is connected with a range of words denoting ‘slowness’ or ‘weariness’. It therefore appears that the underlying etymological meaning of let is ‘let go of something because one is too tired to hold on to it’. By the time the verb reached Old English this had developed to ‘leave behind’ and ‘omit to do’, senses now defunct, as well as to ‘allow’.
\ \ A close relative of the base *lǣt- was *lat-, direct ancestor of English late. From this was formed the Germanic verb *latjan, which gave English its other verb let, meaning ‘prevent’, now largely obsolete except as a noun, in the phrase without let or hindrance or as a tennis term.
\ \ Cf.LATE

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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