[ noun poot-on, -awn; adjective poot-on, -awn ]
/ noun ˈpʊtˌɒn, -ˌɔn; adjective ˈpʊtˈɒn, -ˈɔn /
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noun Informal.
an act or instance of putting someone on.
a prank or pretense, especially one perpetrated or assumed in mock seriousness; hoax; spoof.
affected manner or behavior; pretentiousness.
assumed, feigned, pretended, or disguised: a put-on manner that didn't fool anyone.
In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
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Origin of put-on

1855–60; adj., noun use of verb phrase put (someone) on
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use put-on in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for put-on

put on

verb (tr, mainly adverb)
noun put-on slang, mainly US and Canadian
a hoax or piece of mockery
an affected manner or mode of behaviour
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-on

put on


Clothe oneself with, as in I put on my socks. [Mid-1400s]


Apply, activate, as in He put on the brakes. [Mid-1700s]


Assume affectedly, pretend to, as in He put on a British accent. This idiom is sometimes put as put it on, as in He's not really asleep; he's putting it on. [Late 1600s; late 1800s]


put someone on. Tease or mislead another, as in I don't believe you! You're putting me on. [Slang; mid-1900s]


Add to, gain, as in Please put this on our bill, or I've put on some weight.


Cause to be performed, produce, as in I hear they're putting on Shakespeare this summer. [Late 1800s]

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