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- take in eagerly
He lapped up the praise that his boss gave him for the recently completed project.
- try suddenly to hit someone
He suddenly lashed out and hit the man who was sitting beside him.
- attack someone with words
They were walking along the beach when she suddenly lashed out in anger at her boyfriend.
last but not least
- in the last place but not the least important
Last but not least he came up to the front of the class to receive his report card.
- the last insult or mistake that one can endure and which then causes some reaction
The fourth time he came late was the last straw and we finally fired him.
- the last remark in an argument, the final say in deciding something
She always expects to have the last word when she and her husband go to the store to buy something important.
- not take seriously
He laughed off the attempt of his boss to tell him that he should try and come to work on time.
(not) lay a finger on someone
- not touch someone, not bother to do something (not even a little)
He was told by the police never to lay a finger on his wife again.
lay an egg
- fail to win the interest or favor of an audience
Although he was supposed to be a good magician, his performance was terrible and it laid an egg with the audience.
They are trying to lay away some money for their holiday next year.
- a plan in which one pays some money down and then pays the rest little by little and the store holds the article until the full price has been paid
He decided to buy the television set on the department store`s layaway plan.
lay down the law
- tell someone what to do using your power or influence
The new management plans to lay down the law to the workers regarding long lunch breaks.
lay eyes on
I have never laid eyes on a more beautiful dog in my life.
lay hands on something
- get hold of or find something
If I can lay my hands on a slide projector I will show you the pictures of my trip tonight.
lay hands on someone
- do violence to, harm, hurt
He said that if he ever lays hands on the person who stole his car he will take him directly to the police.
lay hold of
- get possession of
If I can lay hold of a car this weekend we can go for a drive.
- store up a supply of something, get and keep for future use
They are trying to lay in as much food as possible before winter comes.
lay (light) into
- attack physically, do (eat) something with energy
He laid into the steak as soon as the waiter brought it to his table.
lay (light) into
- attack with words
As soon as I came into work this morning she laid (lit) into me about my poor sales performance last month.
lay it on the line
- say plainly so that there can be no doubt, tell truthfully
The librarian finally had to lay it on the line and told everyone not to bring drinks into the library.
lay it on thick
- praise someone too much
He really began to lay it on thick when he met me at the party.
- hide, keep out of sight for awhile
He decided to lay low for awhile until his friend forgot that he had damaged his car.
lay off (someone)
- get rid of workers when business is bad
Six hundred workers at the automobile factory were recently laid off.
- stop bothering, leave alone
The players were told by the coach to lay off teasing the new player so that he could relax before the game.
- stop using or taking (drugs/cigarettes)
I was told by my doctor to lay off smoking or I would be very sick in the future.
lay one`s cards on the table
- let someone know one`s position and feelings openly, deal honestly about something
He decided to lay his cards on the table and tell his boss about the job offer from the other company.
- spend or pay some money
He will have to lay out a lot of money for his new apartment.
- plan something
They will lay out their plan for the new building at the next meeting.
- arrive in one place and wait some time before continuing a journey
We were told that we will have to lay over in London for nine hours before we go on to Kenya.
lay to rest
- get rid of, put away permanently, stop
They have been trying to lay to rest the rumors about the financial problems in the company.
- take out of active service, put in a boat dock or a garage
The weather was getting cold so they decided to lay up their boat for the winter.
- collect a supply of something, save for future use, store
They are trying to lay up some canned fruit for the winter.
- destroy and leave in ruins, wreck
The army troops laid waste to the enemy territory.
lead a dog`s life
- live a hard life, work hard and be treated unkindly
He says that he has been leading a dog`s life since he started his new job.
lead a merry chase
- delay or escape capture by someone, make a person work hard
He led the investigators on a merry chase before they finally arrested him.
lead by the nose
- have full control of, make or persuade someone to do anything you want
He isn`t very aggressive and always lets his boss lead him by the nose.
- begin, start, open
The golfer was the first to lead off in the tournament.
- insincerely encourage
I think he was leading me on when he told me about the new job.
lead the way
- go before and show how to go somewhere, guide
I had to lead the way because nobody else knew where the new office was located.
- pressure someone by blackmailing or threats of physical violence to make the person comply with a request
The gang decided to lean on the small shop owner to get him to sell his property.
learn the ropes
- learn how to do a job
He is a new employee and is still learning the ropes.
leave a bad taste in one`s mouth
- leave a bad impression, make one feel disgusted
The way that the company fired the workers left a bad taste in everyone`s mouth.
- don`t disturb someone
Please leave me alone so I can finish this essay.
- leave something somewhere
I left my coat behind in the restaurant.
leave hanging (in the air)
- leave undecided or unsettled
Whether or not they will be leaving next year was left hanging in the air at the end of the meeting.
leave (someone) holding the bag
- leave someone else to take the blame
He left me holding the bag when he ran away from the accident.
leave in the lurch
- desert or leave alone and in trouble, refuse to help or support someone
He left me in the lurch when he didn`t come over to help me although he had promised to earlier in the day.
leave no stone unturned
- try in every way, do everything possible
The police left no stone unturned when they were looking for the little girl who was lost.
He told me about the accident but he left out some of the main points.
leave (let) well enough alone
- be satisfied with something that is good enough
You should let well enough alone and be happy with your work schedule the way it is.
- an ambiguous compliment interpreted as offensive
He gave her a left-handed compliment when he said that her dyed hair looked nice.
- someone who performs messenger services, an errand boy
He was working as a leg man for the motion picture company.
leg to stand on
- a firm foundation of facts, facts to support one`s claims
She doesn`t have a leg to stand on as far as her excuses for not finishing her work goes.
- physical work
He was forced to do all of the leg work preparing for the meeting because his assistant was sick.
- certainly not
I don`t have enough money to go to a movie let alone go on a holiday.
let bygones be bygones
- forget about problems that happened in the past
We need to let bygones be bygones and forget about our past differences.
- fail to do as well as expected, disappoint
He let down his parents when he failed the university entrance exams.
let down easy
- refuse or say no to someone in a pleasant way
I will talk to her tomorrow and try and let her down easy about her not getting the promotion.
let down one`s hair
- relax, act freely and naturally
Everybody at the party let down their hair and had a good time.
let (something) go
- pay no attention to, neglect
She seems to be letting her appearance go since she lost her job.
- allow something to pass, do nothing about something
Although I was angry at his remark I decided to let it go.
- discharge from a job, fire
The company has decided to let go several hundred workers in order to become profitable again.
let go of
He let go of the rope and the suitcase fell from the bus.
let grass grow under one`s feet
- be idle, be lazy, waste time
He is always working hard and is not the type of person to let grass grow under his feet.
let (someone) have it
- hit someone hard
He really let the other man have it when they got into a fight on the bus.
let it all hang out
- not to disguise anything, let the truth be known
She decided to let it all hang out and told her boss about the mistakes she had made with the new sales account.
let it lay
- forget it, leave it alone
You should let it lay and stop worrying about what she did to you last year.
let it rip
- become involved and make the most of something, really try to win
He let it rip and set off from the shore in the motorboat.
- set free, give up one`s hold on something, release something being held
They decided to let loose the injured bird that they had found in the park.
let (someone) know
- tell, inform
Let me know when you are ready to go to the movie.
- discharge (a gun), explode
The children let off many firecrackers during the festival.
let off steam
- get rid of your extra energy or strong feelings by doing some activity
He was very angry at first but he has let off a lot of steam and has calmed down now.
let (someone) off the hook
- excuse someone from a penalty or promise
He let me off the hook and I didn`t have to stay after work and help clean the office.
- reveal, inform
Please don`t let on that you saw me at the movie last night.
- try to make people believe something, pretend
He tried to let on that he didn`t want the job but actually he does.
- allow to go out or escape
I let out our dog this morning and he hasn`t come home yet.
- allow to be known, tell
They let out the details of the restructuring plan late last night so we haven`t had time to talk about them yet.
- make longer or looser (clothes), allow a rope to slip out little by little
I had to go to the tailors to have them let out my sports jacket.
- dismiss or be dismissed (from class or practice etc.)
Everyone was let out from class early yesterday because of the bad weather.
let (something) ride
- continue without changing a situation
We should forget about his recent problems at work and just let the whole matter ride.
let sleeping dogs lie
- don`t make trouble if you don`t have to
You should let sleeping dogs lie and not worry about what she said to you last summer.
let the cat out of the bag
- reveal a secret
Don`t let the cat out of the bag about the surprise party for the boss.
let the chips fall where they may
- don`t worry about the results of your actions
I am not going to worry about whether or not the company will go broke or not. I will let the chips fall where they may.
- become less or weaker, become slower or stop
The rain finally let up around noon so we were able to go back outside.
- do less or go slower or stop, stop working too hard
He was told by his doctor to let up on his work schedule or he will become sick in the future.
lie in state
- after death a famous person lies in a state of honor (in an open coffin) so the public can see their body
The President lay in state for three days after his death.
lie in wait
- watch from hiding in order to attack or surprise someone
The police decided to lie in wait for the bank robbers to appear at the bank.
- stay quietly out of sight, try not to attract attention
He is very angry at you so I think that you should lie low for a few days until he calms down.
life of Riley
- a soft easy life, pleasant way of living
He has been living the life of Riley since he retired from his job last year.
lift a finger (hand)
- do something, do one`s share, help
Although he is a nice person he will never lift a finger to help anyone else.
- suddenly look pleased and happy
As soon as I told him about our summer holiday plans his face lit up and he started smiling.
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