Language: Old English
Origin: putian


put S1 W1 past tense and past participle put, present participle putting [transitive]

move to place

[always + adverb/preposition] to move something to a particular place or position, especially using your hands [= place]:
He put the coffee on the table.
Where did you put the programmes?

change somebody's situation/feelings

[always + adverb/preposition] to change someone's situation or the way they feel:
Don't put yourself into a situation you can't handle.
put somebody in a good/bad etc mood (=make them feel happy/annoyed etc)
The long delay had put us all in a bad mood.
I don't want to put you in danger.
Pit closures have put thousands of miners out of a job (=made them lose their job).
put somebody in control/command/charge etc (=give someone authority over a group, activity, or organization)
His boss resigned and Murphy was put in charge.
Politics puts me to sleep.
A knee injury put him out of action for three months.

write/print something

to write or print something or to make a mark with a pen or pencil
put something in/on/under etc something
Put your name at the top of each answer sheet.
put something to something
He put his signature to the contract (=he signed it to show he agreed with it).


[always + adverb/preposition] to say or write something using words in a particular way
put something well/cleverly/simply etc
The question was well put.
So it was an accident, an 'act of God' if you want to put it like that.
When women joined the organization, it 'took on a new look,' as news reports put it.
It is hard to put into words (=express) how I feel now.
He's not very musical, to put it mildly (=he's not musical at all).
We get on each other's nerves, to put it bluntly (=to say exactly what I mean).
It's fairly risky. Or to put it another way (=say it in different words), don't try this at home.
The subject matter makes the painting a little, how shall I put it (=how can I say it politely?), undesirable for public display.

put a stop/an end to something

to stop an activity that is harmful or unacceptable:
We must put an end to their threats.

put something into action/effect/practice

to start using a plan, idea, knowledge etc:
James was keen to put some of the things he had learned into practice.


to ask a question or make a suggestion, especially to get someone's opinion or agreement
put a proposition/proposal/case etc to somebody
He put the proposal to his wife.
put something before somebody
The budget was put before the board of directors.
I put it to you that this proposal has to be considered.

put something right

to make a situation better, especially after someone has made a mistake or behaved badly:
He has a chance to put things right by admitting a mistake was made.

put somebody straight/right

also set somebody straight/right to tell someone the true facts when they have made a mistake that annoys you:
A young man was in here asking for 'Miss' Whalby, but I put him right on that one.

put something straight

to make something look clean and tidy:
It took us all weekend to put the garden straight.

make somebody/something do something

to make someone or something work or do something, or to use it:
a scheme to put unemployed people to work on government construction projects
If you have a spare room, put it to work for you - take in a lodger.
Computer games are being put to use in the classroom.
We put 15 rain jackets to the test (=we tested them).

have importance/quality

[always + adverb/preposition] to consider something as having a particular level of importance or quality
put somebody as/among/in etc something
A recent poll put Doctor Martens among the world's top thirty designer labels.
put somebody/something before somebody/something
Some companies put profit before safety.
put somebody/something first/second etc
The job's important to him, but he puts his family first.

send somebody somewhere

[always + adverb/preposition] to arrange for someone to go to a place, or to make them go there
put somebody in (something)
The company is putting in new management.
Pneumonia put him in the hospital for a week.
Put the boys to bed around eight o'clock.

put somebody on a train/plane etc

to take someone to a plane, train etc to start a journey:
I put her on the plane for London.

put paid to something

British English to spoil and end your hopes or plans completely:
A car accident put paid to his chances of taking part in the race.

I wouldn't put it past somebody (to do something)

spoken used to say that you think someone could easily do something wrong or illegal:
I wouldn't put it past him to use force.

put somebody to trouble/inconvenience

especially British English to make extra work or cause problems for someone

put it there

spoken used to tell someone to put their hand in yours, either as a greeting or after making an agreement with them:
$500? OK, it's a deal. Put it there!


to throw a shot (=a heavy metal ball) in a sports competition

➔ put your finger on something

at finger1 (4)

➔ put your foot down

at foot1 (13)

➔ put your foot in it

at foot1 (15)

➔ put the record straight

at record1 (10)

➔ put something to (good) use

at use2 (4)

➔ put your back into it

at back2 (19)

put about

phrasal verb

put something about

British English informal to give other people news or information, especially when it is unpleasant or untrue:
After he was fired, he put it about that he was fed up with working for such a large company.

put (something) about

technical if a ship puts about or if you put it about, it changes direction

put yourself about

British English informal to have sexual relationships with a lot of different people

put something ↔ across

phrasal verb
1 to explain your ideas, beliefs etc in a way that people can understand:
He was trying to put across a serious point.

put yourself across

British English to explain your ideas and opinions clearly so that people understand them and realize what sort of person you are:
Sue's never been very good at putting herself across at interviews.
3 to sing, play music, or act in a film or play in a clear, effective way:
She can really put a song across.

put something ↔ aside

phrasal verb
1 to try to stop thinking about a problem, argument, or disagreement, because you want to achieve something:
You must put aside your pride and apologise to him.
2 to save money regularly, usually for a particular purpose:
She put at least £30 a week aside for food.
3 to put down something you are reading or working with, in order to start doing something else:
He glanced at the note, put it aside and went on with the meeting.
4 to keep a period of time free in order to be able to do something:
If you're planning a trip to the museum, be sure to put aside at least an hour and a half.

put something at something

phrasal verb
to calculate or guess an amount, number, age etc, without being very exact:
Her fortune was put at £5.5 million.

put somebody/something away

phrasal verb

put something ↔ away

to put something in the place where it is usually kept:
He put his toys away every night.

put something ↔ away

to save money:
We're putting some money away for expenses.

put somebody away

informal to put someone in a prison or in a mental hospital:
If you are found guilty, the judge is going to put you away for life.

put something ↔ away

informal to eat or drink a lot:
It's amazing the amount that child can put away.

put something ↔ away

informal to score a goal, especially after other failed attempts:
He seized the opportunity to put the ball away.

put something ↔ away

American English informal to defeat your opponent in a sports competition:
Two plays later, Smith scored to put the game away.

put something back

phrasal verb

put somebody/something ↔ back

to put people or things in the place or situation they were in before:
She put the saucepan back on the stove.
Our win today put us back into third place in the league.

put something ↔ back

to arrange for an event to start at a later time or date [= postpone]
put something ↔ back to
The meeting has been put back to next Thursday.

put something ↔ back

to delay a process or activity by a number of weeks, months etc:
This fire could put back the opening date by several weeks.
4 to make someone or something have something that they used to have before:
The win put a smile back on his face.

put a clock/watch back

TMC British English to make a clock or watch show an earlier time [= set back American English]

➔ put the clock back

at clock1 (3)

put something behind you

phrasal verb
to try to forget about an unpleasant event or experience and think about the future:
She had dealt with the guilt years ago and put it behind her.

put something ↔ by

phrasal verb
to save money regularly in order to use it later:
We're trying to put a little by each month for a new car.

put down

phrasal verb


put something/somebody ↔ down

to put something or someone that you are holding or carrying onto a surface:
Put those heavy bags down for a minute.


put somebody ↔ down

to criticize someone and make them feel silly or stupid [= belittle]:
I hate the way Dave puts me down the whole time.
put yourself down
Stop putting yourself down.


put something ↔ down

to write something, especially a name or number, on a piece of paper or on a list [= write down]:
Put down your name and address.

put down a revolution/revolt/rebellion etc

to stop a revolution etc by using force:
The uprising was put down by the police and the army.


put something ↔ down

to pay part of the total cost of something, so that you can pay the rest later
put something ↔ down on
They put down a deposit on the goods until Christmas.


put somebody down

DHB to put a baby in its bed:
We try to put Amy down at six every evening.

put the phone down

TCT to put the receiver back onto the telephone when you have finished speaking to someone [= hang up]
put the phone down on
She put the phone down on me (=suddenly ended the conversation).


put something ↔ down

to kill an animal without causing it pain, usually because it is old or sick [= put something to sleep]:
We had to have the dog put down.

I couldn't put it down

spoken used to say that you found a book, game etc extremely interesting:
Once I'd started reading it I just couldn't put it down.


put (something) down

TTA if an aircraft puts down or if a pilot puts it down, it lands, especially because of an emergency:
The engine failed and the plane put down in the sea.

put down a motion/an amendment

to suggest a subject, plan, change in the law etc for a parliament or committee to consider

leave passenger

put somebody down

British EnglishTT to stop a vehicle so that passengers can get off at a particular place:
He asked the taxi to put him down at the end of the road.

put somebody down as something

phrasal verb
to guess what someone is like or what they do, without having much information about them:
I didn't think he was unfriendly. I put him down as shy.

put somebody down for something

phrasal verb
1 to put someone's name on a list so that they can take part in an activity, join an organization etc:
They put themselves down for a training course.

put somebody down for £5/£20 etc

especially British English to write someone's name on a list with an amount of money that they have promised to give

put something down to something

phrasal verb
1 to think that something is caused by something else:
I was having difficulty reading, which I put down to the poor light.

put it down to experience

to try not to feel too upset about failure, especially when you learn something useful from it:
Everyone gets rejected from time to time; put it down to experience.

put forth something

phrasal verb
1 to suggest an idea, explanation etc, especially one that other people later consider and discuss [= submit]:
Arguments were put forth for changing some of the rules of the game.

put forth leaves/shoots/roots etc

formal if a tree or bush puts forth leaves etc, it begins to grow them

put somebody/something ↔ forward

phrasal verb
1 to suggest a plan, proposal etc, for other people to consider or discuss [= propose]:
They put forward a number of suggestions.
2 to suggest formally that you or someone else should be considered for a particular job, membership of an organization etc:
Her name was put forward for the lead role in the play.
3 to arrange for an event to start at an earlier time or date
put somebody/something ↔ forward to
The men's final has been put forward to 1:30.

put a clock/watch forward

TMC British English to make a clock or watch show a later time [= set forward American English]

put in

phrasal verb

put something ↔ in

to fix a piece of equipment somewhere and connect it so that it is ready to be used [= instal]:
We decided to have a new bathroom put in.

put something ↔ in

to spend time or use energy working or practising something:
Dorothy had put in a lot of hard work during her six years as chairperson.

put in something

written to interrupt someone in order to say something:
'How old are you?' 'Sixteen.' 'I'm sixteen too,' put in Dixie.

put something ↔ in

to ask for something in an official way:
She put in an insurance claim.
We must put in an order by tonight.
put in for something
I put in for a pay increase.

put your faith/trust/confidence in somebody/something

to trust someone or something or believe that they can do something:
I'm putting my faith in the appeal judges.

put in something

to do something in a particular way, especially a performance in a play, film, race etc:
He put in a brilliant performance in the British Grand Prix.

put in an appearance

to go to a social event, meeting etc for a short time:
There was an hour yet before she needed to put in an appearance at the restaurant.
8TTW if a ship puts in, it enters a port

put something into something

phrasal verb
1 to make money available to be used for a particular purpose:
The government appears to be putting more money into education.
2 to use a lot of energy etc when you are doing an activity:
Candidates put a lot of time and effort into gaining qualifications.
3 to add a quality to something:
These simple recipes put more fun into eating.

put somebody/something off

phrasal verb

put something ↔ off

to delay doing something or to arrange to do something at a later time or date, especially because there is a problem or you do not want to do it now [= delay, procrastinate]:
The match has been put off until tomorrow because of bad weather.
put off doing something
I put off going to the doctor but I wish I hadn't.

put somebody ↔ off

British English to make you dislike something or not want to do something:
Don't let the restaurant's decor put you off - the food is really good.
put somebody off (doing) something
Don't let your failures put you off trying harder.

put somebody off

to make someone wait because you do not want to meet them, pay them etc until later [= stall]:
When he calls, put him off as long as you can.

put somebody off (something)

British English to make it difficult for someone to pay attention to what they are doing by talking, making a noise, moving etc:
It puts me off when you watch me all the time.

put somebody off (something)

British English to let someone leave a vehicle at a particular place:
I'll put you off at the supermarket.

put somebody/something on

phrasal verb


put something ↔ on

DCC to put a piece of clothing on your body [≠ take off]:
He took off his uniform and put on a sweater and trousers.
I'll have to put my glasses on; I can't read the sign from here.

on skin

put something ↔ on

to put make-up, cream etc on your skin:
I've got to put this cream on twice a day.

affect/influence something

put something on something

to do something that affects or influences someone or something else:
The government put a limit on imports of textiles.
Pat was putting pressure on him to leave his wife.

start equipment

put something ↔ on

to make a light or a piece of equipment start working by pressing or turning a button or switch [= switch on, turn on]:
He got up and put on the light.
Shall I put the kettle on?


put something ↔ on

APM to put a record, tape, or CD into a machine and start playing it:
She put on some music while they ate.


put something ↔ on

to pretend to have a particular feeling, opinion, way of speaking etc especially in order to get attention:
Sheila's not really that upset; she's just putting it on.
Leaving the court, the families all tried to put on a brave face (=not show that they were sad or worried).

put on weight/12 lbs/4 kg etc

to become fatter and heavier [= gain]:
Rosie's put on five kilos since she quit smoking.

event/concert/play etc

put something ↔ on

to arrange for a concert, play etc to take place, or to perform in it:
One summer the children put on a play.

show what you can do

put something ↔ on

to show what you are able to do or what power you have:
The team need to put on another world-class performance.


put something ↔ on

to start cooking something:
Shall I put the pasta on now?

provide something

put something ↔ on

British EnglishTT to provide a service for people, especially a special one:
BA is putting on extra flights to cover the Christmas rush.

you're putting me on!

spoken especially American English used to tell someone that you think they are joking:
He wouldn't do that - you're putting me on.

risk money

put something on something

to risk an amount of money on the result of a game, race etc [= bet]:
We put £50 on Brazil to win the Cup.


put something on something

to add an amount of money or tax onto the cost of something:
Can smokers really complain if more tax is put on cigarettes?


put somebody ↔ on

to give someone the telephone so that they can talk to someone who is telephoning:
Can you put Janet on?

put somebody onto somebody/something

phrasal verb
British English informal to give someone information about something interesting or useful that they did not know about:
Jo put us onto this fantastic French restaurant.

put out

phrasal verb

fire/cigarette etc

put something ↔ out

to make a fire etc stop burning [= extinguish]:
The rescue services are still trying to put out the fires.


put something ↔ out

to make a light stop working by pressing or turning a button or switch [= switch off]

make available

put something ↔ out

to put things where people can find and use them:
The girls helped her to put out the cups and plates.

feel/be put out

to feel upset or offended:
We were a little put out at not being invited to the wedding.

make extra work

put somebody out

to make extra work or cause problems for someone:
Mary can't come to dinner tonight. She hopes it won't put you out.

put yourself out

to make an effort to do something that will help someone:
They had put themselves out to entertain her during her visit.

take outside

put something ↔ out

to take something outside your house and leave it there:
Remember to put the cat out before you go to bed.
put the rubbish/garbage etc out (=put unwanted things outside your house to be taken away)
put the washing out (=put clothes outside to dry)

put your tongue out

to push your tongue out of your mouth, especially as a rude sign to someone

put your hand/foot/arm out

to move your hand etc forward and away from your body:
He put out his hand toward her.

make unconscious

put somebody out

to make someone unconscious before a medical operation

put your back out

MI to injure your back

produce something

put something ↔ out

TC to broadcast or produce something for people to read or listen to:
They put out a half-hour programme on young refugees.

put out feelers

to try to discover information or opinions by listening to people or watching what is happening:
He had already put out feelers with local employers but they hadn't been interested.


TTW if a ship puts out, it starts to sail

have sex

American English informal if a woman puts out, she has sex with a man


put somebody out

DSB to prevent a baseball player from running around the bases, for example, by catching the ball that they have hit

put something ↔ over

phrasal verb
1 British English to succeed in telling other people your ideas, opinions, feelings, etc:
The advert puts over the message clearly and simply: nuclear power is clean.

put one/something over on somebody

informal to deceive someone into believing something that is not true or that is useless:
Nobody could put one over on him.

put through

phrasal verb

put somebody/something ↔ through

TCT to connect someone to someone else on the telephone
put somebody/something ↔ through to
Could you put me through to Eddie?

put somebody through school/college/university

SE to pay for someone to study at school, college etc:
She worked as a waitress and put herself through school.

put somebody through something

to make someone do or experience something difficult or unpleasant:
The soldiers were put through eight weeks of basic training.
They really put me through it at the interview.

put something ↔ through

to do what is necessary in order to get a plan or suggestion accepted or approved:
Production will start up again when these changes have been put through.

put something ↔ together

phrasal verb
1 to prepare or produce something by collecting pieces of information, ideas etc:
It took all morning to put the proposal together.
2 to form people or things into a group:
We are currently putting together a sales and marketing team.
3 to make a machine, model etc by joining all the different parts [= assemble]:
I can't work out how to put this table together.

more ... than the rest/the others/everything else put together

used to say that one amount is greater than the total of a set of amounts:
Paul seemed to have more money than the rest of us put together.

put something towards something

phrasal verb
to use some money in order to pay part of the cost of something:
Alec put the money towards a trip to Australia.

put somebody under

phrasal verb
if a doctor puts you under, they give you drugs to make you unconscious before surgery

put up

phrasal verb


put something ↔ up

TBC to build something such as a wall, fence, building etc [= erect]:
They're putting up several new office blocks in the centre of town.

for people to see

put something ↔ up

to put a picture, notice etc on a wall so that people can see it:
Can I put up some posters?
The shops have started to put up Christmas decorations.

attach something

put something ↔ up

to attach a shelf, cupboard etc to a wall:
My Dad put up five shelves.


put something ↔ up

British English to increase the cost or value of something [= raise]:
Most big stores admit they daren't put prices up for fear of losing their customers.


put something ↔ up

to raise something to a higher position:
I put up my hand and asked to leave the room.
Philip put his hood up because it was raining.

let somebody stay

put somebody up

to let someone stay in your house and give them meals:
I was hoping Kenny could put me up for a few days.

stay somewhere

British English to stay in a place for a short time
put up at/in/with
We can put up at a hotel for the night.

put up a fight/struggle/resistance

to show great determination to oppose something or get out of a difficult situation:
Gina put up a real fight to overcome the disease.
The rebels have put up fierce resistance.

put up something

to give an amount of money for a particular purpose:
The paper put up a reward for information on the murder.

make available

put something up

to make something or someone available for a particular purpose
put something up for
They put their house up for sale.

put up a proposal/argument/case etc

to explain a suggestion or idea so that other people can think about it or discuss it:
If you can put up a good enough case, the board will provide the finance.


put somebody ↔ up

to suggest someone as a suitable person to be elected to a position:
I was put up for the committee.

put up or shut up

spoken informal used to tell someone that they should either do what needs to be done or stop talking about it

put somebody up to something

phrasal verb
to encourage someone to do something stupid or dangerous:
'Did Shirley put you up to this?' 'No, it was my own idea.'

put up with somebody/something

phrasal verb
to accept an unpleasant situation or person without complaining:
She put up with his violent temper.

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