off the hook


let someone off the hook,
also, get someone off the hook


  • free of a difficult situation
  • let off from blame or trouble
  • no longer have to deal with unpleasant circumstances
  • escape or released from a tough situation

Example Sentences

  1. Since it was his first offence, and a minor one at that, he was let off the hook with just a warning.
  2. He was charged with leaking confidential information, but I got him off the hook by vouching for his integrity.
  3. The legal system had become so corrupt that the hardened criminal was repeatedly got off the hook by the powers who were behind him.
  4. All evidence of the robbery pointed to him, but he got himself off the hook by somehow proving that he was out of town during the incident.
  5. Charges of deceit and falsehood had been slapped on him, but he was confident of getting off the hook because of his connections with powerful people.
  6. I really did not want to attend that meeting. Thankfully another urgent matter came up and I got off the hook as had to attend to it.
  7. Though we are letting you off the hook this time, you’d better be careful, you won’t be so lucky next time.


The phrase alludes to a fish freeing itself from a fishhook, thus avoiding being caught. It originated in the mid 1800s.

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