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[poo t] /pʊt/
verb (used with object), put, putting.
to move or place (anything) so as to get it into or out of a specific location or position:
to put a book on the shelf.
to bring into some relation, state, etc.:
to put everything in order.
to place in the charge or power of a person, institution, etc.:
to put a child in a special school.
to subject to the endurance or suffering of something:
to put convicted spies to death.
to set to a duty, task, action, etc.:
I put him to work setting the table.
to force or drive to some course or action:
to put an army to flight.
to render or translate, as into another language:
He put the novel into French.
to provide (words) with music as accompaniment; set:
to put a poem to music.
to assign or attribute:
You put a political interpretation on everything.
to set at a particular place, point, amount, etc., in a scale of estimation:
I'd put the distance at five miles.
to bet or wager:
to put two dollars on a horse.
to express or state:
To put it mildly, I don't understand.
to apply, as to a use or purpose:
to put one's knowledge to practical use.
to set, give, or make:
to put an end to an ancient custom.
to propose or submit for answer, consideration, deliberation, etc.:
to put a question before a committee.
to impose, as a burden, charge, or the like:
to put a tax on luxury articles.
to invest (often followed by in or into):
to put one's money in real estate; to put one's savings into securities.
to lay the blame of (usually followed by on, to, etc.):
He put my failure to lack of experience.
to throw or cast, especially with a forward motion of the hand when raised close to the shoulder:
to put the shot.
verb (used without object), put, putting.
to go, move, or proceed:
to put to sea.
Informal. to begin to travel:
to put for home.
to shoot out or grow, or send forth shoots or sprouts.
a throw or cast, especially one made with a forward motion of the hand when raised close to the shoulder.
Also called put option. Finance. an option that gives the right to sell a fixed amount of a particular stock at a predetermined price within a given time, purchased by a person who expects the stock to decline.
Compare call (def 52).
Verb phrases
put about,
  1. Nautical. to change direction, as on a course.
  2. to start (a rumor); circulate.
  3. to inconvenience; trouble.
  4. to disturb; worry.
  5. to turn in a different direction.
put across,
  1. to cause to be understood or received favorably:
    She put across her new idea. He puts himself across well.
  2. to do successfully; accomplish:
    to put a project across.
  3. to be successful in (a form of deception):
    It was obviously a lie, but he put it across.
put aside/by,
  1. to store up; save.
  2. Also, set aside. to put out of the way; place to one side:
    Put aside your books and come for a walk.
put away,
  1. to put in the designated place for storage:
    Put away the groceries as soon as you get home.
  2. to save, especially for later use:
    to put away a few dollars each week.
  3. to discard:
    Put away those childish notions.
  4. to drink or eat, especially in a large quantity; finish off:
    to put away a hearty supper after jogging.
  5. to confine in a jail or a mental institution:
    He was put away for four years.
  6. to put to death by humane means:
    The dog was so badly injured that the veterinarian had to put it away.
put down,
  1. to write down; register; record.
  2. to enter in a list, as of subscribers or contributors:
    Put me down for a $10 donation.
  3. to suppress; check; squelch:
    to put down a rebellion.
  4. to attribute; ascribe:
    We put your mistakes down to nervousness.
  5. to regard or categorize:
    He was put down as a chronic complainer.
  6. Informal. to criticize, especially in a contemptuous manner; disparage; belittle.
  7. Informal. to humble, humiliate, or embarrass.
  8. to pay as a deposit.
  9. to store for future use:
    to put down a case of wine.
  10. to dig or sink, as a well.
  11. to put (an animal) to death; put away.
  12. to land an aircraft or in an aircraft:
    We put down at Orly after six hours.
put forth,
  1. to bring out; bear; grow:
    The trees are putting forth new green shoots.
  2. to propose; present:
    No one has put forth a workable solution.
  3. to bring to public notice; publish:
    A new interpretation of the doctrine has been put forth.
  4. to exert; exercise:
    We will have to put forth our best efforts to win.
  5. to set out; depart:
    Dark clouds threatened as we put forth from the shore.
put forward,
  1. to propose; advance:
    I hesitated to put forward my plan.
  2. to nominate, promote, or support, as for a position:
    We put him forward for treasurer.
put in,
  1. Also, put into. Nautical. to enter a port or harbor, especially for shelter, repairs, or provisions.
  2. to interpose; intervene.
  3. to spend (time) as indicated.
put in for, to apply for or request (something):
I put in for a transfer to another department.
put off,
  1. to postpone; defer.
  2. to confuse or perturb; disconcert; repel:
    We were put off by the book's abusive tone.
  3. to get rid of by delay or evasion.
  4. to lay aside; take off.
  5. to start out, as on a voyage.
  6. to launch (a boat) from shore or from another vessel:
    They began to put off the lifeboats as the fire spread.
put on,
  1. to clothe oneself with (an article of clothing).
  2. to assume insincerely or falsely; pretend.
  3. to assume; adopt.
  4. to inflict; impose.
  5. to cause to be performed; produce; stage.
  6. Informal. to tease (a person), especially by pretending the truth of something that is untrue:
    You can't be serious—you're putting me on, aren't you?
  7. to act in a pretentious or ostentatious manner; exaggerate:
    All that putting on didn't impress anyone.
put out,
  1. to extinguish, as a fire.
  2. to confuse; embarrass.
  3. to be vexed or annoyed:
    He was put out when I missed our appointment.
  4. to subject to inconvenience.
  5. Baseball, Softball, Cricket. to cause to be removed from an opportunity to reach base or score; retire.
  6. to publish.
  7. to go out to sea.
  8. to manufacture; prepare; produce.
  9. to exert; apply:
    They were putting out their best efforts.
  10. Slang: Vulgar. (of a woman) to engage in coitus.
put over,
  1. to succeed in; accomplish:
    It will take an exceptional administrator to put over this reorganization.
  2. to postpone; defer:
    Discussion of this point will be put over until new evidence is introduced.
put through,
  1. to complete successfully; execute:
    He was not able to put through his project.
  2. to bring about; effect:
    The proposed revisions have not as yet been put through.
  3. to make a telephone connection for:
    Put me through to Los Angeles.
  4. to make (a telephone connection):
    Put a call through to Hong Kong.
  5. to cause to undergo or endure:
    She's been put through a lot the past year.
put up,
  1. to construct; erect.
  2. to can (vegetables, fruits, etc.); preserve (jam, jelly, etc.).
  3. to set or arrange (the hair).
  4. to provide (money); contribute.
  5. to accommodate; lodge.
  6. to display; show.
  7. to stake (money) to support a wager.
  8. to propose as a candidate; nominate:
    Someone is going to put him up for president.
  9. to offer, especially for public sale.
  10. Archaic. to sheathe one's sword; stop fighting.
put upon, to take unfair advantage of; impose upon:
Some of the employees felt put upon when they were asked to work late.
put up to, to provoke; prompt; incite:
Someone put him up to calling us.
put up with, to endure; tolerate; bear:
I couldn't put up with the noise any longer.
put it to, Slang.
  1. to overburden with work, blame, etc.:
    They really put it to him in officer-training school.
  2. to take advantage of; cheat:
    That used car dealer put it to me good.
put oneself out, to take pains; go to trouble or expense:
She has certainly put herself out to see that everyone is comfortable.
put something over on, to take advantage of; deceive:
He suspected that his friend had put something over on him, but he had no proof.
put to it, to be confronted with a problem; have difficulty:
We were put to it to find the missing notebook.
stay put, Informal. to remain in the same position; refuse to move:
The baby wouldn't stay put, and kept trying to climb out of the playpen.
Origin of put
before 1000; Middle English put(t)en to push, thrust, put, Old English *putian (as verbal noun putung an impelling, inciting); akin to pytan, potian to push, goad, cognate with Old Norse pota to thrust, poke
Related forms
well-put, adjective
Can be confused
put, putt.
16. levy, inflict.
Synonym Study
1. Put, place, lay, set mean to bring or take an object (or cause it to go) to a certain location or position, there to leave it. Put is the general word: to put the dishes on the table; to put one's hair up. Place is a more formal word, suggesting precision of movement or definiteness of location: He placed his hand on the Bible. Lay, meaning originally to cause to lie, and set, meaning originally to cause to sit, are used particularly to stress the position in which an object is put: lay usually suggests putting an object rather carefully into a horizontal position: to lay a pattern out on the floor. Set usually means to place upright: to set a child on a horse. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for put forth
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Thus in the season of the waning days the might of England put forth on to the waters.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • I now put forth my whole speed, and while thus running could distinguish no sound.

    Green Mansions W. H. Hudson
  • In my contrition I had put forth my hand as I moved toward him.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • And she would have fallen had it not been that Mme. Delaherche put forth her arm to sustain her.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • You may remoue them before they put forth shankes, a good Pot-hearbe.

    A New Orchard And Garden William Lawson
  • When I came to him, and they told him of it, he put forth his hand to me, which I took.

    King Philip

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott
  • He put forth a hand to touch her arm, and she drew it back as if his fingers were of fire.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
British Dictionary definitions for put forth

put forth

verb (transitive, adverb) (formal)
to present; propose
(of a plant) to produce or bear (leaves, branches, shoots, etc)


verb (mainly transitive) puts, putting, put
to cause to be (in a position or place): to put a book on the table
to cause to be (in a state, relation, etc): to put one's things in order
(foll by to) to cause (a person) to experience the endurance or suffering (of): to put to death, to put to the sword
to set or commit (to an action, task, or duty), esp by force: he put him to work
to render, transform, or translate: to put into English
to set (words) in a musical form (esp in the phrase put to music)
(foll by at) to estimate: he put the distance at fifty miles
(foll by to) to utilize (for the purpose of): he put his knowledge to good use
(foll by to) to couple a female animal (with a male) for the purpose of breeding: the farmer put his heifer to the bull
to state; express: to put it bluntly
to set or make (an end or limit): he put an end to the proceedings
to present for consideration in anticipation of an answer or vote; propose: he put the question to the committee, I put it to you that one day you will all die
to invest (money) in; give (support) to: he put five thousand pounds into the project
to impart: to put zest into a party
to throw or cast
not know where to put oneself, to feel awkward or embarrassed
put paid to, to destroy irrevocably and utterly: the manager's disfavour put paid to their hopes for promotion
stay put, to refuse to leave; keep one's position
a throw or cast, esp in putting the shot
(stock exchange) Also called put option. an option to sell a stated amount of securities at a specified price during a specified limited period Compare call (sense 58)
Word Origin
C12 puten to push; related to Old English potian to push, Norwegian, Icelandic pota to poke
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for put forth



late Old English *putian, implied in putung "instigation, an urging," literally "a putting;" related to pytan "put out, thrust out" (of eyes), probably from a Germanic stem that also produced Danish putte "to put," Swedish dialectal putta; Middle Dutch pote "scion, plant," Dutch poten "to plant," Old Norse pota "to poke."

Meaning "act of casting a heavy stone overhead" (as a trial of strength) is attested from c.1300. Obsolete past tense form putted is attested 14c.-15c. To put down "end by force or authority" (a rebellion, etc.) is from c.1300. Adjective phrase put out "angry, upset" is first recorded 1887; to put out, of a woman, "to offer oneself for sex" is from 1947. To put upon (someone) "play a trick on, impose on" is from 1690s. To put up with "tolerate, accept" (1755) was originally to put up, as in "to pocket." To put (someone) on "deceive" is from 1958.



c.1300, "act of throwing a weight overhand as a test of strength," from put (v.). General meaning "act of putting" is from early 15c. Also cf. putt (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for put forth



To proffer or do the sex act; lay: With men buyers, you get them put and you can sell them the Brooklyn Bridge

Related Terms

know what one can do with something, tell someone what to do with something

[1930s+; a shortening of put out]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with put forth

put forth

Grow, as in This bush puts forth new shoots each spring. [ First half of 1500s ]
Bring to bear, exert, as in We'll have to put forth a great deal more effort. [ c. 1400 ]
Also,set forth. Offer for consideration, as in She put forth at least three new ideas. [ Mid-1300s ]
Bring to notice, publish, as in The appendix puts forth a fresh analysis of events. [ Mid-1500s ]
See set forth


also see under:
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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