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be put through the wringer

To be subjected to some ordeal, difficulty, trial, or punishment; to undergo an unpleasant experience. Between my mother's bout with cancer, Jenny losing her job, and the bank threatening to foreclose on the house, our family has really been put through the wringer this year. Jake wasn't a great fit for the military, and he was constantly being put through the wringer for disobedience.
See also: put, wringer

put someone or something through (to someone)

to put someone's telephone call through to someone. Will you please put me through to the international operator? Please put my call through.
See also: put

put someone through something

to cause someone to have to endure something. The doctor said he hated to put me through all these tests, but that it was medically necessary.
See also: put

put someone through the wringer

Fig. to give someone a difficult time; to interrogate someone thoroughly. (Alludes to putting something through an old-fashioned clothes wringer.) The lawyer really put the witness through the wringer! The teacher put the students through the wringer.
See also: put, wringer

put somebody through something

1. to force someone to experience something unpleasant in order to help them His teacher put him through six months of writing essays every day to improve his skills.
2. to unintentionally cause someone to experience something painful Elaine put her daughter through a kind of hell when she divorced the child's father.
See also: put

put somebody/yourself through something

to pay for someone or for yourself to go to school I ended up putting my granddaughter through school. My father wasn't well and couldn't work, so all of us kids put ourselves through college.
See also: put

put somebody/something through

also put through somebody/something
to arrange for a telephone call to be made to a place or person The international operator put me through to London. Passengers could put through calls on their cell phones.
See also: put

through the wringer

experiencing something very difficult or unpleasant Our tech people have been putting the new servers through the wringer. Mr. Gold went through the wringer to get immigration papers for his parents.
Usage notes: usually used with put or go, as in the examples
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of wringer (a device that presses water from clothing that has been washed)
See also: wringer

put somebody through the wringer

to make someone have a very difficult or unpleasant experience
Usage notes: In the past, a wringer was a machine used for pressing water out of clothes.
They really put me through the wringer in my interview.
See also: put, wringer

put through

1. Bring to a successful conclusion, as in We put through a number of new laws. [Mid-1800s]
2. Make a telephone connection, as in Please put me through to the doctor. [Late 1800s]
3. Cause to undergo, especially something difficult or troublesome, as in He put me through a lot during this last year. The related expression, put someone through the wringer, means "to give someone a hard time," as in The lawyer put the witness through the wringer. The wringer alluded to is the old-fashioned clothes wringer, in which clothes are pressed between two rollers to extract moisture. [First half of 1900s]
See also: put


put through

1. To cause something to pass from one side of a boundary, threshold, or opening to the other: I put the thread through the eye of the needle.
2. To bring something to completion: They put the project through on time.
3. To cause someone or something to complete a process, especially a process of approval: Congress has recently put through a number of new laws. I had to work two jobs to put my child through college.
4. To cause someone or something to undergo or experience something unpleasant or difficult: They put me through a lot of trouble. We put all our products through a series of tests.
5. To connect some telephone call or caller: Can you put the call through to my office? The operator put me through on the office line.
See also: put

put (someone) through the wringer

To subject to a severe trial or ordeal.
See also: put, wringer