How Do You Spell LEST?

Pronunciation: [lˈɛst] (IPA)

The word "lest" is spelled with the letters L-E-S-T. It is pronounced /lɛst/ with a short "e" sound in the first syllable and a "st" consonant cluster at the end. "Lest" means "in order to prevent any possibility that something will happen" and is often used in formal or literary contexts. While the spelling of "lest" may seem straightforward, its use and meaning may require context and familiarity with the English language.

LEST Meaning and Definition

  1. Lest is a conjunction and adverb that is used in formal or literary contexts to introduce the possibility of something that should be avoided or prevented. It is often used in expressions conveying a sense of caution or concern.

    As a conjunction, lest introduces a clause that expresses a potential negative outcome that one wants to avoid. It is generally followed by a verb phrase in the subjunctive mood, indicating a hypothetical or non-factual condition. For example, "He studied diligently lest he fail the exam" implies that the individual is studying hard to prevent the possibility of failing the exam.

    As an adverb, lest is used to express the purpose or intention behind an action, with the aim of avoiding an undesirable consequence. It can be considered synonymous with "in order to avoid" or "for fear that." For instance, "She left early, lest she missed her flight" suggests that the person left early with the intention of avoiding the risk of missing the flight.

    Overall, lest serves as a cautionary term, indicating a desired outcome or precautionary measure to prevent something undesirable from happening. It is commonly used in formal speech, legal writings, or literature to express concerns, potential dangers, or to emphasize the importance of taking preventative action.

  2. For fear that; that ... not.

    Etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language. By Stormonth, James, Phelp, P. H. Published 1874.

Top Common Misspellings for LEST *

* The statistics data for these misspellings percentages are collected from over 15,411,110 spell check sessions on from Jan 2010 - Jun 2012.

Other Common Misspellings for LEST

Etymology of LEST

The word "lest" can be traced back to the Old English word "gelǣstan", which means "to please" or "to be satisfactory". Over time, it evolved into the Middle English word "lesten", which meant "to please" or "to grant". Eventually, the meaning of "lesten" transformed to convey a sense of caution or fear, leading to the use of "lest" as a conjunction or adverb meaning "in order to prevent any possibility that". The word has its origins in Germanic languages and is related to the Dutch word "lest" and the German word "lest", both meaning "readiness" or "preparedness".

Idioms with the word LEST

  • Judge not, lest ye be judged. The idiom "Judge not, lest ye be judged" is based on a biblical verse from Matthew 7:1-2 in the New Testament. It is a cautionary phrase advising against criticizing or condemning others, as doing so may lead to being criticized or condemned in return. It suggests that one should refrain from passing judgment on others' actions, behaviors, or choices without understanding the full context or having personal flaws of their own. It emphasizes the concept of empathy and refraining from being overly critical of others.

Similar spelling words for LEST


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