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See also: lesť

Contents

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

c. 1200, contracted from Middle English les te (less that), from Old English 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 (music), “I Am a Lonesome Hobo”, in John Wesley Harding[1]:
      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?”, in 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, in 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)

TranslationsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ lest” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2017.

AnagramsEdit


CzechEdit

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

lest f

  1. trick, ruse
  2. stratagem

DeclensionEdit

Derived termsEdit


DutchEdit

FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from Dutch last (load, burden).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

lest m (plural lests)

  1. dead weight; ballast

Derived termsEdit

Further readingEdit

AnagramsEdit


GermanEdit

IcelandicEdit

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

lest f (genitive singular lestar, nominative plural lestir)

  1. train (line of connected cars or carriages)
  2. cargo hold (place on a ship, used for storage of cargo during a voyage)
  3. train, file (Connected sequence of people or things)

DeclensionEdit


Norwegian BokmålEdit

VerbEdit

lest

  1. past participle of lese