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1. To turn around; to reverse direction, course, or orientation. She put about in her row boat and began oaring to the other side of the lake. As soon as I saw the flashing lights of the police cars, I put about and got the heck out of there.
2. Of nautical vessels, to reverse the direction or course of something; to reverse the way something is facing or oriented. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "put" and "about." You should put about the boat at the dock so that we have an easier time getting out of the harbor. The light was beginning to fade, so we put the ship about and headed back for shore.
3. Of information or rumor, to spread and disseminate among people. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "put" and "about," though it is often used in passive constructions. I don't when it was we began putting about the ridiculous notion that women aren't as capable as men in this field, but it is high time that the idea ends. It has been put about since his election that he is not a legitimate citizen of this country, but that is simply not true. Self-styled health gurus have put it about for years that you can "detox" your body with a special diet, but it's a bunch of hogwash.
put it about
1. slang To have sexual intercourse with many different people. Primarily heard in UK. The singer has always had a reputation of putting it about, given his popularity with young women.
2. slang To spread information to many different sources, especially that which is not or may not be true. Primarily heard in UK. If Labour can keep putting it about that the Conservatives are favouring corporations and the wealthiest citizens, there's a good chance they could swing popular opinion back on their side.
put it (or yourself) aboutbe sexually promiscuous. British informal
put it aˈbout(British English, informal) have many sexual partners: He was a man who had always put it about.
1. To reverse direction: When the troops saw the enemy approaching, they put about and fled.
2. To cause something to reverse direction. Used chiefly of sailing vessels: The captain put the ship about and we sailed back home.
3. To spread some information or rumor: The boss put about the rumor that there was a major policy change for next year. Your story is inaccurate, and I wish you hadn't put it about without talking to me.