[ poot ]
See synonyms for: putputting on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),put, put·ting.
  1. to move or place (anything) so as to get it into or out of a specific location or position: I put the book on the shelf.

  2. to bring into some relation, state, etc.: After the work, they put everything in order and cleaned up after themselves.

  1. to place in the charge or power of a person, institution, etc.: The child welfare agency put her in foster care.

  2. to subject to the endurance or suffering of something: During the Cold War, convicted spies were put to death.

  3. to set to a duty, task, action, etc.: I put him to work setting the table.

  4. to force or drive to some course or action: A handful of archers put the whole army to flight.

  5. to render or translate, as into another language: He put the novel into French.

  6. to provide (words) with music as accompaniment; set: Donovan put Lewis Carroll’s famous poem “Jabberwocky” to music.

  7. to assign or attribute: You put a political interpretation on everything.

  8. to set at a particular place, point, amount, etc., in a scale of estimation: I'd put the distance at five miles.

  9. to bet or wager: They put two dollars on Saucy Lady, the gray mare.

  10. to express or state: To put it mildly, I don't understand.

  11. to apply, as to a use or purpose: During your internship you’ll put your knowledge to practical use.

  12. to set, give, or make: Let’s put an end to all this nonsense right now.

  13. to propose or submit for answer, consideration, deliberation, etc.: I promised to put this question before the committee.

  14. to impose, as a burden, charge, or the like: The government has put a tax on luxury articles.

  15. to invest (often followed by in or into): They put all their money into real estate.

  16. to lay the blame of (usually followed by on, to, etc.): He put my failure to lack of experience.

  17. to throw or cast, especially with a forward motion of the hand when raised close to the shoulder: In track and field, I was able to put the shot 35 feet.

verb (used without object),put, put·ting.
  1. to go, move, or proceed: to put to sea.

  2. Informal. to begin to travel: When the rain stopped, we put for home and got there by noon.

  1. to shoot out or grow, or send forth shoots or sprouts.

  1. a throw or cast, especially one made with a forward motion of the hand when raised close to the shoulder.

  2. Also called put op·tion. 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
  1. put about,

    • Nautical. to change direction, as on a course.

    • to start (a rumor); circulate.

    • to inconvenience; trouble.

    • to disturb; worry.

    • to turn in a different direction.

  2. put across,

    • to cause to be understood or received favorably: She put across her new idea.He puts himself across well.

    • to do successfully; accomplish: to put a project across.

    • to be successful in (a form of deception): It was obviously a lie, but he put it across.

  1. put aside / by

    • to store up; save: He put aside some dried fruit, water, and energy bars in anticipation of the predicted heavy snowfall.I have some money put by for a rainy day.

    • Also set aside. to put out of the way; place to one side: Put aside your books and come for a walk.

  2. put away,

    • to put in the designated place for storage: Put away the groceries as soon as you get home.

    • to save, especially for later use: to put away a few dollars each week.

    • to discard: Put away those childish notions.

    • to drink or eat, especially in a large quantity; finish off: to put away a hearty meal after jogging.

    • to confine in a jail or a mental institution: He was put away for four years.

    • to put (an animal) to death by humane means: The dog was so badly injured that the veterinarian had to put it away.

  3. put down,

    • to write down; register; record: I used to put down my thoughts in a personal journal, but now I publish them on my blog.

    • to enter in a list, as of subscribers or contributors: Put me down for a $10 donation.

    • to suppress; check; squelch: to put down a rebellion.

    • to attribute; ascribe: We put your mistakes down to nervousness.

    • to regard or categorize: He was put down as a chronic complainer.

    • to produce or execute (something) successfully; throw down: He was the only skater to put down a clean short program.

    • Informal. to criticize, especially in a contemptuous manner; disrespect: The team leader put down support staff and ignored their contributions.

    • Informal. to belittle, humiliate, or embarrass: Misogynists put down women to keep them subservient.

    • to pay as a deposit: The more money you put down, the less you’ll pay in interest.

    • to store for future use: to put down a case of wine.

    • to dig or sink, as a well.

    • to put (an animal) to death by humane means; put to sleep: The horse had to be put down after suffering a catastrophic racing injury on the track.

    • to land an aircraft or in an aircraft: We put down at Orly after six hours.

  4. put forth,

    • to bring out; bear; grow: The trees are putting forth new green shoots.

    • to propose; present: No one has put forth a workable solution.

    • to bring to public notice; publish: A new interpretation of the doctrine has been put forth.

    • to exert; exercise: We will have to put forth our best efforts to win.

    • to set out; depart: Dark clouds threatened as we put forth from the shore.

  5. put forward,

    • to propose; suggest: I hesitated to put forward my plan.

    • to present or promote (oneself or another) for a task, role, etc., or as having certain qualities or qualifications: We should put her forward for treasurer. He puts himself forward as an expert in combating antisemitism.

  6. put in,

    • Also put into. Nautical. to enter a port or harbor, especially for shelter, repairs, or provisions: Viking fleets often put in at Norman ports for provisions.

    • to interpose; intervene.

    • to spend (time) as indicated: She put in two hours at the piano almost every day for years.

  7. put in for, to apply for or request (something): I put in for a transfer to another department.

  8. put off,

    • to postpone; defer: I put off my yearly visit to the eye doctor for a month.

    • to confuse or perturb; disconcert; repel: We were put off by the book's abusive tone.

    • to get rid of by delay or evasion: She put him off, claiming to already have plans for the evening.

    • to lay aside; take off: She put off her shoes with a sigh of relief.

    • to start out, as on a voyage: We packed a picnic lunch and put off for the little island in the middle of the lake.

    • to launch (a boat) from shore or from another vessel: They began to put off the lifeboats as the fire spread.

  9. put on,

    • to clothe oneself with (an article of clothing).

    • to assume insincerely or falsely; pretend: She put on a smile and choked out a welcome.

    • to assume; adopt.

    • to inflict; impose.

    • to cause to be performed; produce; stage: The troupe put on a play by a little-known writer.

    • 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?

    • to act in a pretentious or ostentatious manner; exaggerate: All that putting on didn't impress anyone.

  10. put out. See entry at put out.

  11. put over,

    • to succeed in; accomplish: It will take an exceptional administrator to put over this reorganization.

    • to postpone; defer: Discussion of this point will be put over until new evidence is introduced.

  12. put through,

    • to complete successfully; execute: He was not able to put through his project.

    • to bring about; effect: The proposed revisions have not as yet been put through.

    • to make a telephone connection for: Put me through to Los Angeles.

    • to make (a telephone connection): Put a call through to Hong Kong.

    • to cause to undergo or endure: She's been put through a lot the past year.

  13. put up,

    • to construct; erect: The town is putting up a new civic center where the old library used to be.

    • to can (vegetables, fruits, etc.); preserve (jam, jelly, etc.): At the end of every summer they put up jars and jars of tomatoes from their garden.

    • to set or arrange (the hair).

    • to provide (money); contribute: A number of people put up $5,000 apiece, getting the fund-raiser off to a very good start.

    • to accommodate; lodge: Friends offered to put me up for the weekend, and I took them to a fancy restaurant as a thank-you.

    • to display; show.

    • to stake (money) to support a wager: He put up fifty bucks to get into the football pool.

    • to propose as a candidate; nominate: Someone is going to put him up for president.

    • to offer, especially for public sale: She put up several valuable pieces of art to raise money for the charity.

    • Archaic. to sheathe one's sword; stop fighting.

  14. put upon, to take unfair advantage of; impose upon: Some of the employees felt put upon when they were asked to work late.

  15. put up to, to provoke; prompt; incite: Someone put him up to calling us.

  16. put up with, to endure; tolerate; bear: I couldn't put up with the noise any longer.

Idioms about put

  1. put it to, Slang.

    • to overburden with work, blame, etc.: They really put it to him in officer-training school.

    • to take advantage of; cheat: That used car dealer put it to me good.

  2. 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.

  1. put to it, confronted with a problem; having difficulty: We were put to it to find the missing notebook.

  2. 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

First recorded before 1000; Middle English put(t)en “to push, thrust, put,” Old English putian (attested only in verbal noun putung “an impelling, inciting”); akin to pytan, potian “to push, goad”; cognate with Old Norse pota “to thrust, poke”

synonym study For put

1. Put, place, lay, set mean to bring or take an object (or cause it to go) to a certain location or position in order to leave it there. 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.

Other words for put

Other words from put

  • well-put, adjective

Words that may be confused with put

Words Nearby put

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use put in a sentence

  • He was voluble in his declarations that they would “put the screws” to Ollie on the charge of perjury.

    The Bondboy | George W. (George Washington) Ogden
  • Each day she resolved, "To-morrow I will tell Felipe;" and when to-morrow came, she put it off again.

    Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
  • This is the place where the Muscovite criminals are banished to, if they are not put to death.

  • Let them open their minds to us, let them put upon permanent record the significance of all their intrigues and manœuvres.

    The Salvaging Of Civilisation | H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
  • Before the spinet a bench was placed about four feet below the keys, and I was put upon the bench.

    Gulliver's Travels | Jonathan Swift

British Dictionary definitions for put


/ (pʊt) /

verbputs, putting or put (mainly tr)
  1. to cause to be (in a position or place): to put a book on the table

  2. to cause to be (in a state, relation, etc): to put one's things in order

  1. (foll by to) to cause (a person) to experience the endurance or suffering (of): to put to death; to put to the sword

  2. to set or commit (to an action, task, or duty), esp by force: he put him to work

  3. to render, transform, or translate: to put into English

  4. to set (words) in a musical form (esp in the phrase put to music)

  5. (foll by at) to estimate: he put the distance at fifty miles

  6. (foll by to) to utilize (for the purpose of): he put his knowledge to good use

  7. (foll by to) to couple a female animal (with a male) for the purpose of breeding: the farmer put his heifer to the bull

  8. to state; express: to put it bluntly

  9. to set or make (an end or limit): he put an end to the proceedings

  10. 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

  11. to invest (money) in; give (support) to: he put five thousand pounds into the project

  12. to impart: to put zest into a party

  13. to throw or cast

  14. not know where to put oneself to feel awkward or embarrassed

  15. put paid to to destroy irrevocably and utterly: the manager's disfavour put paid to their hopes for promotion

  16. stay put to refuse to leave; keep one's position

  1. a throw or cast, esp in putting the shot

  2. Also called: put option stock exchange an option to sell a stated amount of securities at a specified price during a specified limited period: Compare call (def. 58)

Origin of put

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with put


In addition to the idioms beginning with put

  • put a bug in someone's ear
  • put across
  • put a damper on
  • put all one's eggs in one basket
  • put an end to
  • put an idea in one's head
  • put a premium on
  • put aside
  • put a spin on
  • put at ease
  • put at someone's disposal
  • put away
  • put back the clock
  • put behind one
  • put by
  • put down
  • put down roots
  • put forth
  • put forward
  • put hair on one's chest
  • put heads together
  • put ideas into someone's head
  • put in
  • put in a good word
  • put in an appearance
  • put in mind of
  • put in mothballs
  • put in one's place
  • put in one's two cents
  • put in order
  • put in the way of
  • put into effect
  • put into practice
  • put into words
  • put it mildly
  • put it to
  • put lead in one's pencil
  • put money on
  • put off
  • put on
  • put on a brave face
  • put on a brave front
  • put on airs
  • put on an act
  • put on a pedestal
  • put one in mind of
  • put one into the picture
  • put one off
  • put one off one's stride
  • put one out
  • put one's back into it
  • put one's back up
  • put one's best foot forward
  • put one's cards on the table
  • put oneself in someone's place
  • put oneself out
  • put one's face on
  • put one's feet up
  • put one's finger on
  • put one's foot down
  • put one's foot in it
  • put one's hand to
  • put one's head on the block
  • put one's house in order
  • put one's mind to
  • put one's money where one's mouth is
  • put one's nose out of joint
  • put one's oar in
  • put one's shoulder to the wheel
  • put on hold
  • put on ice
  • put on one's thinking cap
  • put on the dog
  • put on the feed bag
  • put on the map
  • put on the spot
  • put on weight
  • put our heads together
  • put out
  • put out feelers
  • put out of business
  • put out of one's mind
  • put out to grass
  • put over
  • put paid to
  • put right
  • put someone away
  • put someone down
  • put someone in his or her place
  • put someone on
  • put someone out of his or her misery
  • put someone right
  • put someone through his or her paces
  • put someone up
  • put someone up to
  • put someone wise
  • put that in your pipe and smoke it
  • put the arm on
  • put the blame on
  • put the cart before the horse
  • put the fear of God into
  • put the finger on
  • put the heat on
  • put their heads together
  • put the kibosh on
  • put the lid on
  • put the make on
  • put the screws on
  • put the skids on
  • put the skids under
  • put through
  • put through the wringer
  • put to bed
  • put to death
  • put to flight
  • put together
  • put to good use
  • put to it, be
  • put to rights
  • put to sea
  • put to shame
  • put to sleep
  • put to the test
  • put two and two together
  • put up
  • put upon, be
  • put up or shut up
  • put up with
  • put wise
  • put words in someone's mouth

also see:

  • (put) at ease
  • (put on a) brave face
  • cart before the horse, put
  • clamp down (put the clamps on)
  • flesh out (put flesh and bone on)
  • for (put in one's) two cents
  • (put on a) hair shirt
  • hard put
  • (put) in effect
  • (put) in the picture
  • lay (put) one's cards on the table
  • lay (put) one's hands on
  • lay (put) the blame on
  • (put someone's) nose out of joint
  • not put something past someone
  • (put) off the track
  • (put) on a pedestal
  • (put) out of business
  • pull (put over) a fast one
  • put one's head on the block
  • throw (put) off the scent

Also see underset.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.