put back

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put back

  1. (transitive) To return something to its original place.
    He carefully put the vase back on the shelf.
    • 1915, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price, chapterI:
      Serene, smiling, enigmatic, she faced him with no fear whatever showing in her dark eyes. [] She put back a truant curl from her forehead where it had sought egress to the world, and looked him full in the face now, drawing a deep breath which caused the round of her bosom to lift the lace at her throat.}}
  2. (intransitive, nautical, en) To turn back; to return.
  3. (transitive, en) To postpone an arranged event or appointment.
    The meeting has been put back to 5.00 pm.
  4. (transitive, idiomatic) To drink fast; to knock down alcohol.
    You'll need to put that drink back quickly; it's very nearly closing time.
    • 1988, Alan Hollinghurst, The Swimming Pool Library, Penguin Books, paperback edition, p.13
      Whisky he sipped at suspiciously, and still had not got an adult taste for; but wine he loved, and he put back champagne as if it were lager, with awful belches and chuckles after each glass.
  5. (transitive, idiomatic) To change the time in a time zone to an earlier time.
    Don't forget that this Sunday we put the clocks back an hour.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The object in all senses can come before or after the particle. If it is a pronoun, then it must come before the particle.