put off

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

  1. (transitive) To procrastinate.
    Don't put off your homework to the last minute.
    Don't put your homework off to the last minute.
    Don't put it off to the last minute.
    Don't put it off.
  2. (transitive) To delay (a task, event, etc.).
    The storm put off the game by a week.
    The storm put the game off by a week.
    I'm too busy to see Mr Smith today. I'll have to put him off.
  3. (transitive) To distract; to disturb the concentration of.
    Please be quiet. I'm trying to concentrate and you're putting me off.
  4. (transitive) To cause to dislike; to discourage (from doing).
    Almost drowning put him off swimming.
  5. (transitive) To emit; to give off (an odor, smoke, etc.).
    This type of firewood puts off a strong smell.
  6. (transitive, archaic) To take off (something worn).
    to put off a mask

Usage notes[edit]

  • The object in all senses can come before or after the particle, except that personal pronouns nearly always precede the particle.

Derived terms[edit]



put off (comparative more put off, superlative most put off)

  1. offended, repulsed
    The guest was quite put off by an odor.
  2. daunted or fazed
    All but the most dedicated were put off by the huge task.

See also[edit]