be put to it

be put to it

To be under strain, stress, or difficulty. Our entire team has been put to it to finish the project before the Christmas deadline. I need a vacation—I'm really put to it lately.
See also: put, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

put to it

strained or exhausted. Man, I'm really put to it! What a day! John was put to it to get there on time.
See also: put, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

put to it, be

Be confronted with a severe difficulty, as in I was put to it to finish this book on time. This usage is derived from the active sense of put to it, that is, "force or challenge someone to something." [c. 1600]
See also: put, to
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

put to it

mod. in trouble or difficulty; hard up (for something such as money). (As if one’s back were put to the wall.) Sorry, I can’t lend you anything. I’m a bit put to it this month.
See also: put, to
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

put to it

To cause extreme difficulty for: We were put to it to finish the book on time.
See also: put, to
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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