put an animal down
1. verb Literally, to place someone or something down on or into something. (In usages 1–12, a noun or pronoun can be used between "put" and "down.") You can put down those groceries on the table, thanks. I put the baby down in her playpen and then went to answer the phone.
2. verb To insult, mock, belittle, or disparage one. The boss is always putting me down in front of everyone in the office. It's really making my life miserable. Tommy, don't put your brother down like that—if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything.
3. verb To kill one. The marshal told the fugitive that he would put him down if he reached for his gun.
4. verb To euthanize an animal. We knew our poor dog was suffering, so we decided it was time to put her down.
5. verb To write something down. I know he put his phone number down somewhere. Let's put down some of these ideas on the whiteboard while we're brainstorming.
6. verb To assign someone a particular task or thing. No, no, I put Holly down to bring in napkins. You were supposed to pick up the cupcakes!
7. verb To note one's commitment to do, give, or receive something. Oh, I'd be happy to donate! Please put me down for $20. A: "When do you guys want to work at the fair?" B: "Put us down for the four o'clock shift."
8. verb To pay some partial amount of money for an item that one will fully pay for over time or at a later time. How quickly you pay off the loan depends on much can you put down each month? I'll hold it for you if you can put $500 down right now.
9. verb To deem something to be the cause of something else. We put David's erratic behavior down to sleep deprivation.
10. verb To quash, eliminate, or put an end to something, especially through force or violence. They sent thousands of soldiers to put down the upstart rebellion. Everyone believes the company hired armed thugs to come put the employee strike down by force.
11. verb To put a young child in a particular place (such as a bed or crib) so they can sleep. The baby's getting cranky—it's time to put her down for her nap. Tom is upstairs putting down the kids for the night.
12. verb To land an aircraft. The pilot sure put the plane down smoothly. I'm just looking for a good place to put down the hot-air balloon.
13. verb Of an aircraft or its pilot, to land. When are we supposed to put down in Chicago?
14. verb To stop engaging with some piece of media or technology that requires the use of one's hands. I really wish you would put the video games down and go outside for a while. The book was so thrilling that I just couldn't put it down. We have a hard time getting our kids to put down their phones.
15. verb To allow someone to disembark from a vehicle. You can put me down at the front gate. I don't mind walking the rest of the way to the manor. The shuttle put down its passengers at the airport.
16. verb To reduce the cost of something. The government has been offering subsidies to put down the price of grain for farmers, millers, and bakers. The tech company has really focused on putting the cost down for their newest product to make it affordable to a wider range of consumers.
17. noun A mocking, insulting, and disparaging comment or remark. The phrase is usually hyphenated when used as a noun. Enough with the put-downs, Tommy—if you don't have anything nice to say about your brother's performance, don't say anything at all. All the little put-downs my boss makes have worn my self-confidence away to nothing.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
put an animal down
Euph. to take the life of an animal mercifully. We put down our old dog last year. It's kind to put fatally ill animals down.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.