not put (something) past (one)

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not put (something) past (one)

1. To believe one is capable of doing something unsavory, immoral, illicit, selfish, etc. He's a very charming guy, but I wouldn't put it past him to stab me in the back if it meant advancing his career. I should know by now not to put such vile treachery past the likes of him.
2. To be unable to swindle, fool, or deceive one. My grandmother might be 85, but you still can't put a thing past her! That sleazy used car salesman couldn't put his bogus little scam past me.
See also: not, past, put
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

not put something past someone

Consider someone capable of doing something, especially something bad. For example, I wouldn't put it past him to tell a lie or two. This expression uses past in the sense of "beyond." [Late 1800s]
See also: not, past, put, someone, something
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.

wouldn't put it past someone

If you say that you wouldn't put it past someone to do something bad, you mean that you would not be surprised if they did it. He wouldn't put it past Caitlin to have stopped work and gone home for the night, even though she knew how important it was.
See also: past, put, someone
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

not put it past someone

believe someone to be psychologically capable of doing something, especially something you consider wrong or rash.
See also: not, past, put, someone
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

put past

v.
To believe some action, especially an extreme action, to be of a kind that someone would not do. Often used negatively: I wouldn't put it past those kids to try to climb to the top of the flagpole. Would you put murder past these thugs?
See also: past, put
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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