put down

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See also: putdown and put-down



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put down (third-person singular simple present puts down, present participle putting down, simple past and past participle put down)

  1. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see put,‎ down.
    Why don't you put down your briefcase and stay awhile?
    • 1922 October 26, Virginia Woolf, chapter 1, in Jacob’s Room, Richmond, London: [] Leonard & Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, →OCLC; republished London: The Hogarth Press, 1960, →OCLC:
      "There he is!" cried Mrs. Flanders, coming round the rock and covering the whole space of the beach in a few seconds. "What has he got hold of? Put it down, Jacob! Drop it this moment!
    • 1967, Sleigh, Barbara, Jessamy, 1993 edition, Sevenoaks, Kent: Bloomsbury, →ISBN, page 105:
      As she did so Fanny put down her book , stood up and stretched her arms, and at once Jessamy noticed a difference.
  2. (idiomatic) To insult, belittle, or demean.
    Antonyms: compliment, talk up
    They frequently put down their little sister for walking slowly.
  3. (of money as deposit) To pay.
    We put down a $1,000 deposit.
  4. To halt, eliminate, stop, or squelch, often by force.
    Synonyms: end, stop, eliminate, extinguish
    The government quickly put down the insurrection.
    • 22 March 2012, Scott Tobias, AV Club The Hunger Games[1]
      For the 75 years since a district rebellion was put down, The Games have existed as an assertion of the Capital’s power, a winner-take-all contest that touts heroism and sacrifice—participants are called “tributes”— while pitting the districts against each other.
    • 2017, BioWare, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →OCLC, PC, scene: Nexus: William Spender Codex entry:
      When the Nexus first arrived in Andromeda and an uprising arose among the desperate crew, it was William Spender who convinced clan leader Nakmor Morda to put down the mutineers. By all accounts, it did not go well.
  5. (euphemistic) To euthanize (an animal).
    Synonyms: put to sleep, euthanize
    Rex was in so much pain, they had to put him down.
    • 2016, Dog found buried alive in Redcar with nail in head[2], BBC:
      A couple walking in Kirkleatham Woods, Redcar, heard whimpering and found the terrier-type animal in a mound of earth at about midday. It was rushed to a vet but its injuries were so serious it had to be put down.
  6. (euphemistic) To execute (a person), especially extrajudicially.
    Synonyms: execute, down, eliminate
  7. To write (something).
    Put down the first thing you think of on this piece of paper.
  8. To terminate a call on (a telephone); to hang up.
    • 1992 June 24, Edwina Currie, Diary:
      Ray eventually called at 7pm and took the school’s side. He sounded imperious and distant and made me even angrier.

      I told him he sounded just like my father, and put the phone down on him.
    Antonym: pick up
    Synonym: hang up
    Don't put the phone down. I want a quick word with him, too.
  9. To add a name to a list.
    I've put myself down for the new Spanish conversation course.
  10. (UK) To make prices, or taxes, lower.
    BP are putting petrol and diesel down in what could be the start of a price war.
  11. (idiomatic) To place a baby somewhere to sleep.
    I had just put Mary down when you rang. So now she's crying again.
  12. (idiomatic) To give something as a reason for something else.
    She put her long life down to daily meditation.
  13. (aviation, idiomatic, of an aircraft) To land.
    The pilot managed to put down in a nearby farm field.
  14. (idiomatic) To drop someone off, or let them out of a vehicle.
    Antonym: pick up
    The taxi put him down outside the hotel.
  15. (idiomatic) To cease, temporarily or permanently, reading (a book).
    I was unable to put down The Stand: it was that exciting.


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put down (plural put downs)

  1. Alternative spelling of put-down