verb past tense putpresent participle putting MOVE STH
1 (transitive always + adv/prep) to move something from one place or position into another, especially using your hands: put sth in/on/there etc: Put those bags on the table. | You should put your hand over your mouth when you cough. | I can't remember where I put my keys.
2 (transitive always + adv/prep) to change someone's situation: This was the shot that put Sampras into the semi-final. | put sb in an awkward position (=make someone's situation difficult or embarrassing): Paul's resignation has put us in an awkward position. | put sb out of a job/out of work (=make them lose their job): Pit closures have put thousands of miners out of a job. | put sb in a bad mood (=make them feel annoyed): The long delay had put us all in a bad mood.
3 put sb in command/charge/control to give someone authority over a group, activity, organization etc: Tom Pendlebury has been put in charge of the project.
4 (transitive always + adv/prep) to express something using words in a particular way: put sth well/cleverly/succinctly etc: I thought her arguments were quite cleverly put. | Well, since you put it like that, I can't really refuse. | as sb puts it (=used to repeat what someone else has said): Long-term planning is a waste of time because - as Keynes puts it - in the long term we're all dead. | put sth into words (=express a feeling or idea)
5 to put it bluntly spoken used to tell someone that you are going to say exactly what you think: To put it bluntly, Robert's just not good enough for the job.
6 to put it mildly spoken used to say that a situation is actually worse than the way you are describing it: We are, to put it mildly, in a mess.
7 how can I put it? spoken used when what you are going to say might sound unpleasant or impolite: Derek's - how shall I put it - not very attractive.
8 to put it another way used when trying to explain something in a different way and make it clearer: Money makes money. To put it another way, the greater the investment, the greater the profit.
9 (T) to ask a question, especially when you want to get someone's opinion about something: After the break, you will be able to put your questions to the panel. | put it to sb: I put it to you, Mr President, that these measures will not solve the problem of violent crime.
10 put a proposition/proposal/case to to tell someone or a group of people about something and ask them to agree to it or make a decision about it
11 (T) to add something: Put a little romance into your life. | Just put a little more expression into it.
12 (T) to make money available to be used in a business, or add it to something such as a bank account
13 (transitive always + adv/prep) to arrange for or order someone to go to a place for a particular purpose: put sb in/on etc: Putting troops into Rwanda is not an option.
14 put sb on a train/plane etc to take someone to a plane, train etc to start a journey
15 put sb straight/right to tell someone the true facts when they have made a mistake that annoys you: Let me put you straight on one thing, Andy's not a thief.
16 put sth straight to make something look clean and tidy: It took us all weekend to put the garden straight.
17 put sth right to make a situation better, especially after someone has made a mistake or behaved badly: I'll put it right at once.
18 put a stop to/put an end to to stop an activity that is harmful or unacceptable: There's too much money being wasted, and it's time we put a stop to it.
19 put paid to BrE to spoil and end your hopes or plans completely: A car accident put paid to his chances of taking part in the race.
20 (transitive always + adv/prep) to consider something as having a particular level of importance or quality: put sb as/among/in etc: I'd put Porto amongst the top ten European teams. | put sth first/before: The job's important to him, but he puts his family first.
21 put sth 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.
22 put pressure on
a) to make someone's situation difficult
b) to try to make someone do something
23 put energy/work/enthusiasm etc into to use a lot of energy etc when you are doing an activity: I hope the show's a success - they've put so much work into it.
24 put sth behind you to try to forget about an unpleasant event or experience and think about the future: The team must put Saturday's defeat behind them and concentrate on tonight's game.
25 THROW to throw a shot (=a heavy metal ball) in a sports competition
26 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!
27 (T) to write something or to make a mark with a pen or pencil: put sth in/on/under: Put your name at the top of each answer sheet.
—see also: put your finger on finger 1 (4), put your foot down foot 1 (10), put your foot in it foot 1 (12), put sth to good use use 2 (4), put your back into it back 2 (19) put about phrasal verb
1 (transitive put something about) BrE informal to give other people news or information, especially when it is unpleasant or untrue: put it about that: Someone's been putting it about that she's splitting up with her husband.
2 put yourself about BrE informal to have sexual relationships with a lot of different people
3 (I, T) technical if a ship puts about or if you put it about, it changes direction
put across phrasal verb (T)
1 (put something across) to explain your ideas, beliefs, policies etc in a way that people can understand: The union representative put her argument across very effectively.
2 put yourself across to communicate effectively, so that people have a clear idea of your character, your ideas etc: Sue's never been very good at putting herself across at interviews.
put sth aside phrasal verb (T)
1 to try to stop thinking about a problem, quarrel, or disagreement, because you want to achieve something: The UN has called on the warring factions to put aside their differences.
2 to save money regularly, usually for a particular purpose: We're trying to put aside a few hundred dollars every month toward our vacation.
3 to put down something you are reading or working with, in order to start doing something else: Charles put aside his newspaper and got up to answer the door.
4 to keep a period of time free in order to be able to do something: Try to put aside an hour each day for exercise.
put sth at sth phrasal verb (T) to calculate and state an amount, someone's age etc, without trying to be very exact: Official estimates put the damage at over $10 million. put sb/sth away phrasal verb (T)
1 (put something away) to put something in the place where it is usually kept: Let me just put these files away.
2 (put someone away) informal to put someone in a prison or in a mental hospital: He was put away for five years for armed robbery.
3 (put something away) informal to eat or drink a lot: It's amazing the amount that child can put away.
4 (put something away) to save money: My Grandfather had put away over -50,000.
put back phrasal verb
1 (transitive put something back) to arrange for an event to start at a later time or date; postpone: The meeting has been put back to next Thursday.
2 (transitive 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.
3 put a clock/a watch back to make a clock or watch show an earlier time
—see also: put the clock back clock 1 (4) put sth by phrasal verb (T) 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
1 CRITICIZE (transitive put someone down) to keep criticizing someone in front of other people: I hate the way Dave puts me down the whole time. | put yourself down: “I don't stand a chance of getting the job.” “Don't be silly, you mustn't put yourself down.”
2 PAY (transitive put something down) to pay part of the total cost of something, so that you can pay the rest later: How much could you afford to put down on a house?
3 WRITE (transitive put something down) BrE to write something, especially a name or number on a piece of paper or on a list: I'll just put your phone number down in my book.
4 KILL (transitive put something down) to kill an animal without causing it pain, usually because it is old or ill: We had to have the dog put down.
5 put the phone down to put the receiver back onto the telephone when you have finished speaking to someone: put the phone down on sb (=to suddenly end a telephone conversation)
6 put down a revolution/revolt/rebellion etc to stop a revolution (2) etc by using force: Military police were called in to put down the riot.
7 STOP A VEHICLE (transitive put someone down) BrE to stop a vehicle so that passengers can get off at a particular place: Just put me down at the gate.
8 AIRCRAFT (I, T) if an aircraft puts down or if a pilot puts it down, it lands: The engine failed and the plane put down in the sea.
9 BABY (transitive put someone down) to put a baby in its bed: We try to put Amy down at six every evening.
10 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.
11 put down a motion/an amendment to suggest a subject, plan, change in the law etc for a parliament or committee to consider
put sb down as sth phrasal verb (T) to guess what someone is like or what they do, without having much information about them: They'd already put me down as a good-for-nothing young artist. put sb down for sth phrasal verb (T)
1 to put someone's name on a list so that they can take part in an activity, join an organization etc: We've put Simon's name down for nursery school.
2 put sb down for -5/-20 etc especially BrE to write someone's name on a list with an amount of money that they have promised to give
put sth down to sth phrasal verb (T)
1 to explain the reason for something, especially when you are only guessing: I put Jane's moodiness down to the stress she was under.
2 put it down to experience used to tell someone not to feel too upset by failure, but to learn something useful from it: Everyone gets rejected from time to time; put it down to experience.
put sth forth phrasal verb (T) put forth leaves/shoots/roots etc literary if a tree or bush puts forth leaves etc it begins to grow them put sb/sth forward phrasal verb (T)
1 to suggest a plan, proposal etc, especially in order to start discussions about something that needs to be decided: The working party has put forward a good case for moving to a new site. | the theories put forward by Dr. Kesner
2 to arrange for an event to start at an earlier time or date: The men's final has been put forward to 1:30.
3 put a clock/watch forward to make a clock or watch show a later time
4 put yourself/sb's name forward to suggest formally that you or someone else should be considered for a particular job, membership of an organization etc: We put Joe's name forward to serve on the local council.
put in phrasal verb
1 EQUIPMENT (transitive put something in) to fix a piece of equipment into your home so that it is ready to be used: We decided to have a new bathroom put in.
2 TIME/ENERGY (transitive put something in) to spend time or use energy working or practising something: You have to put in a lot of effort to learn a new language.
3 SAY STH (transitive put something in) to interrupt someone in order to say something: “I'm sure Daniel's the best man for the job.” Mrs Weevers put in.
4 put in a claim/request to officially make a claim or request: She put in a claim for damage to the photographs.
5 ELECT (transitive put someone in) to elect a politician or political party
6 put in an appearance to go to a social event, meeting etc for a short time: I don't really want to go to the party, but I'd better put in an appearance.
7 SHIP (I) if a ship puts in, it enters a port
put in for sth phrasal verb (T) to make a formal request for something: It's time you put in for a pay increase. put sb/sth off phrasal verb (T)
1 to arrange to do something at a later time or date, especially because there is a problem, difficulty etc: The meeting's been put off till next week. | put off doing sth: We'll have to put off going on vacation until you're better.
2 to delay meeting someone, paying someone etc because you do not want to do it until later: I just don't have the money right now - I'll have to put him off for another week. | I managed to put Ron off with a promise to pay him next week.
3 to delay doing something until later because you do not want to do it now: You really ought to write to her. You can't just keep putting it off.
4 to make you dislike something or not want to do something: The job sounded interesting but the idea of moving house again put me off. | Don't be put off by the title - it's a really good book. | put sb off (doing) sth: This lousy weather is enough to put anyone off camping.
5 to make it difficult for someone to do something, by preventing them from thinking clearly about what they are doing: The photographers put McEnroe off his game. | Stop giggling! You're putting me off.
6 to let someone leave a vehicle at a particular place: I'll put you off at the bottom of the street.
put sth on phrasal verb (T)
1 CLOTHES (put something on) to put a piece of clothing on your body: Put your coat on before you go outside. | I'll have to put my glasses on; I can't read the sign from here.
2 ON SKIN (put something on) to put make­up, cream etc on your skin: It takes Julie about half an hour to put her make-up on every morning.
3 LIGHT/HEAT ETC (put something on) to make a light or a piece of electrical or gas equipment start working by pressing or turning a button: Shall I put the kettle on?
4 MUSIC to put a record, tape or cd into a machine and start playing it
5 PRETEND (put something on) to pretend to have a certain feeling, opinion, way of speaking etc especially in order to get attention: Sheila's not really that upset; she's just putting it on. | He always puts on that posh voice when he's on the phone.
6 put on weight/12 lbs/4 kg etc to become fatter and heavier: Rosie's put on five kilos since she quit smoking.
7 PLAY/SHOW ETC (put something on) to arrange or perform a show, concert, play etc: We're putting on a concert to raise money for famine victims.
8 COOK (put something on) to start cooking something: Robbie will be home in ten minutes; I'd better put the potatoes on.
9 put on a bus/train/coach BrE to provide a bus or train in order to take people somewhere: British Rail will be putting on extra trains for football fans.
10 you're putting me on! spoken, especially AmE used to tell someone that you think they are joking: “They offered me a raise at work.” “You're putting me on! How much?”
11 ADD (put something on something) to add an amount of money or tax onto the cost of something: The new tax could put another ten cents on the price of gas.
12 RISK MONEY (put something on something) to risk an amount of money on the result of a game, race etc: We put -50 on Brazil to win the Cup.
13 put on a brake to make a vehicle stop or slow down by pressing a pedal or handle
put sb onto sb/sth phrasal verb (T) informal to give someone information about something interesting or useful that they did not know about:: Barbara put us onto this fantastic French restaurant in Baltimore. put out phrasal verb
1 put out a fire/cigarette etc to make a fire etc stop burning
—see fire 1
2 put out a light/lamp to make a light stop working by pressing or turning a button
3 feel/be put out to feel upset or offended: We were a little put out at not being invited to the wedding.
4 MAKE WORK (transitive put someone out) to make extra work or cause problems for someone: Will it put you out if I bring another guest?
5 put yourself out to make an effort to do something that will help someone: Fred rarely puts himself out on other people's behalf.
6 (transitive put something out) to put something outside the house: Remember to put the cat out before you go to bed. | put the rubbish/garbage out (=put dirty or unwanted things outside your house to be taken away) | put the washing out (=put clothes outside to dry)
7 put your tongue out to push your tongue out of your mouth, especially as a rude sign to someone
8 put your back/knee/shoulder etc out to injure part of your body, especially by stretching it too much: I put my knee out playing tennis yesterday.
9 put your hand/foot/arm out to stretch your hand etc forward: Jimmy put his foot out and tripped me up.
10 MAKE UNCONSCIOUS (transitive put someone out) to make someone unconscious before a medical operation
11 put out information/statistics/a statement etc to produce information etc for people to read or listen to: The police department has put out a statement apologizing for its officers' conduct.
12 PRODUCE STH to produce radio signals, print magazines, broadcast programmes etc
13 put out feelers/antennae to try to discover information or opinions by listening to people or watching what is happening: It might be worth putting feelers out to see if there are any jobs going in Paul's school.
14 SHIP (I) if a ship puts out, it starts to sail
15 HAVE SEX (I) AmE slang if a woman puts out, she has sex with a man
16 (transitive put someone out) to end a batter 's innings in baseball by, for example, catching the ball that they have hit
put sth over phrasal verb (T)
1 to communicate an idea or feeling: The course is designed to help you put over your ideas more effectively.
2 put one over on informal to deceive someone into believing something untrue or accepting something this is useless: They think they've found a way to put one over on the welfare office.
put through phrasal verb (T)
1 (put someone/something through) to connect someone to someone else on the telephone: One moment please, I'm just trying to put you through.
2 put sb through school/college/university to pay for someone to study at school or college: Andrew's parents insisted on putting him through medical school.
3 (put someone through something) to make someone do something unpleasant or difficult: We put all new recruits through a rigorous week-long training programme. | put sb through it: They really put me through it at that job interview.
4 (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 sth to sb phrasal verb (T)
1 to ask someone a question or make a suggestion to them: Can I put a question to the speaker?
2 to offer a group of people something such as a proposal or plan which they can accept or reject: The latest offer will be put to the negotiating committee this afternoon. | put sth to the vote (=get people to vote on it): Let's put the motion to the vote.
3 put sb to trouble/inconvenience etc (usually in questions and negatives) to make someone do something that will cause them trouble or inconvenience
4 put your name/signature to to sign a letter, document etc saying that you agree with what is written in it
put sth together phrasal verb (T)
1 to prepare or produce something by collecting pieces of information, ideas etc: We're putting together an anthology of war poetry. | It took all morning to put the proposal together.
2 to make a machine, model etc by joining all the different parts: I can't work out how to put this table together.
3 more ... than the rest put together used when comparing two sets of people or things to say that one set contains more than the total of all the other sets: Italy scored more points than the rest of the group put together.
put up phrasal verb
1 BUILD (transitive put something up) to build a wall, fence, or tall building: They're putting up several new office blocks in the centre of town.
2 ON A WALL (transitive put something up) to put a picture, notice etc on a wall so that people can see it: The exam results will be put up on Friday afternoon.
3 INCREASE (transitive put something up) to increase the cost or value of something: Our landlord keeps threatening to put the rent up.
4 LET SB STAY (transitive put someone up) to let someone stay in your house and give them meals: They agreed to put two foreign students up over the summer.
5 STAY SOMEWHERE (intransitive always + adv/prep) especially BrE to stay in a place for a short time
(+ at/in/with): We can put up at a hotel for the night.
6 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.
7 put up money/$3 million/-50 to give an amount of money for a particular purpose: An anonymous donor put up $50,000 for the new science lab.
8 ELECTIONS (transitive put someone up) to suggest someone as a suitable person to be elected to a position: They're putting Tom Sackville up as a candidate in the next elections.
9 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 sb up to sth phrasal verb (T) to encourage someone to do something stupid or dangerous: It's not like Martha to play practical jokes; someone must have put her up to it. put up with sb/sth phrasal verb (T) to accept an unpleasant situation or person without complaining: I don't know how you put up with their constant quarrelling. | You see what I have to put up with!

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.


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