Last modified on 22 October 2014, at 18:02
See also: lesť

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

c.1200, contracted from Middle English phrase les te "less that," from Old English phrase þy læs þe "whereby less that," from þy (instrumental case of demonstrative article þæt “that”) + læs (less) + þe (the). The þy was dropped and the remaining two words contracted into leste.[1]

PronunciationEdit

ConjunctionEdit

lest

  1. For fear that; that . . . not; in order that . . . not; in case.
    • 1967, Bob Dylan, “I Am a Lonesome Hobo” (song)[1], in John Wesley Harding (album): 
      Stay free from petty jealousies / Live by no man's code / And hold your judgment for yourself / Lest you wind up on this road
    • 2013 July 27, “Lunacy?”, The Economist, volume 408, number 8846: 
      Lest any astrologer reading this result get cocky, Dr Cajochen does not believe that what he has found is directly influenced by the Moon through, say, some tidal effect. What he thinks he has discovered is an additional hand on the body’s clock-face.
    He won't go outside, lest he be eaten by those ravenous eagles.
  2. That (without the negative particle); – after certain expressions denoting fear or apprehension.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, The Celebrity:
      Mr. Cooke at once began a tirade against the residents of Asquith for permitting a sandy and generally disgraceful condition of the roads. So roundly did he vituperate the inn management in particular, and with such a loud flow of words, that I trembled lest he should be heard on the veranda.

Usage notesEdit

The word lest is always followed by the subjunctive mood, usually in either the present or future tense.

For example: Lest they be captured, the soldiers fled from the battlefield.

The future subjunctive would simply employ the auxiliary word should.

SynonymsEdit

  • (for fear that): before (informal)

See alsoEdit

TranslationsEdit

AnagramsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ lest” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).

CzechEdit

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

lest f

  1. trick, ruse
  2. stratagem

DeclensionEdit

Derived termsEdit


DutchEdit

PronunciationEdit

VerbEdit

lest

  1. second- and third-person singular present indicative of lessen
  2. (archaic) plural imperative of lessen

FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Dutch last

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

lest m (plural lests)

  1. dead weight; ballast

Derived termsEdit

AnagramsEdit

External linksEdit


GermanEdit

VerbEdit

lest

  1. imperative plural of lesen

IcelandicEdit

NounEdit

lest f

  1. train (line of connected cars or carriages)

DeclensionEdit

Declension of lest
(singular) (plural)
(indefinite) (definite) (indefinite) (definite)
nominative lest lestin lestir lestirnar
accusative lest lestina lestir lestirnar
dative lest lestinni lestum lestunum
genitive lestar lestarinnar lesta lestanna


This Icelandic entry was created from the translations listed at train. It may be less reliable than other entries, and may be missing parts of speech or additional senses. Please also see lest in the Icelandic Wiktionary. This notice will be removed when the entry is checked. (more information) October 2009


Norwegian BokmålEdit

VerbEdit

lest

  1. past participle of lese