put out to pasture

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From the practice of putting draft animals too old to work in a pasture.


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put out to pasture (third-person singular simple present puts out to pasture, present participle putting out to pasture, simple past and past participle put out to pasture)

  1. (informal) To make someone retire, especially due to advancing age.
    Synonym: put out to grass
    They've put John out to pasture and replaced him with someone who's got half his experience.
    • 2021 April 20, Glenn Thrush, quoting George W. Bush, “George W. Bush calls the current G.O.P. ‘isolationist, protectionist’ and ‘nativist.’”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      “But I’m just an old guy they put out to pasture — a simple painter,” added the 43rd president, who said he published the book to “elevate” the discourse around immigration.
  2. (informal) To discontinue something.
    That version of the program has been put out to pasture.
    • 2012, Andrew Martin, Underground Overground: A passenger's history of the Tube, Profile Books, →ISBN, page 119:
      The other problem was that the electrical locomotives vibrated, [] The electrical locomotives were put out to pasture, the carriages were adapted, and Electrical Multiple Unit traction was introduced from 1903.
  3. Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see put out,‎ to,‎ pasture.


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