- a compound of whiting and linseed oil, of a doughlike consistency when fresh, used to secure windowpanes, patch woodwork defects, etc.
- any of various other compounds used for similar purposes.
- any of various substances for sealing the joints of tubes or pipes, composed of linseed oil with red lead, white lead, iron oxide, etc.
- a creamy mixture of lime and water, partially dried and mixed with sand and plaster of Paris to make a finish plaster coat.
- putty powder.
- any person or thing easily molded, influenced, etc.: We were putty in his hands.
- light brownish- or yellowish-gray.
- to secure, cover, etc., with putty.
- up to putty, Australian Slang. worthless or useless.
Origin of putty1
Examples from the Web for putty
David wants to win the family over, and everybody, except Anna, is putty in his hands.Dan Stevens Blows Up ‘Downton’: From Chubby-Cheeked Aristo to Lean, Mean American Psycho
September 19, 2014
When asked whether he was sexy she replies, "Everyone is putty around him… Look at him."New Set Of Harry Party Photos Hit Tumblr
January 23, 2014
Now he can just charge out there and do more of this, and in no time the nation will be putty in our hands!Michael Tomasky on the GOP’s Self-Delusion Syndrome
September 27, 2012
We must ruthlessly accommodate ourselves to a world that has shown, once again, that it is not putty in our hands.Let's End American Dominance
June 5, 2010
They are putty in the hands of the fears and forces that beset them from without.The Conquest of Fear
While the putty is drying the spray-hood or turtle-deck can be made.Boys' Book of Model Boats
Raymond Francis Yates
Be careful not to dig into a soft place in the compound with the putty knife.The Automobile Storage Battery
O. A. Witte
Chips was there the whole afternoon on his knees, messing with putty and red-lead.Chance
Know how and when to putty up nail holes and uneven surfaces.Boy Scouts Handbook
Boy Scouts of America
- a stiff paste made of whiting and linseed oil that is used to fix glass panes into frames and to fill cracks or holes in woodwork, etc
- any substance with a similar consistency, function, or appearance
- a mixture of lime and water with sand or plaster of Paris used on plaster as a finishing coat
- (as modifier)a putty knife
- See putty powder
- a person who is easily influenced or persuadedhe's putty in her hands
- a colour varying from a greyish-yellow to a greyish-brown or brownish-grey
- (as adjective)putty-coloured
- up to putty Australian informal worthless or useless
- (tr) to fix, fill, or coat with putty
Word Origin and History for putty
1630s, "type of plasterer's cement," from French potée "polishing powder" (12c.), originally "pot-full, contents of a pot," from Old French pot "container" (see pot (n.1)). Meaning "soft mixture for sealing window panes" first recorded 1706. Figurative use in reference to one easily influenced is from 1924. Putty knife attested from 1834.
1734, from putty (n.). Related: Puttied; puttying.