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put (something) by
1. To position something next to something else. I put the note by his computer so that he would be sure to see it. Thanks, Bill, you can put those by the front door.
2. To save, preserve, or reserve something for future use. You should always put a chunk of money by in case you ever run into trouble down the line. A: "There's way too much food." B: "Well, let's put some by, and we can have it for dinner this weekend."
3. To attempt to carry something through by deceptive or surreptitious means in order not to draw someone's attention. You can't put anything by my dad—he's like a bloodhound whenever we try to get away with anything! They tried to put the embezzlement scheme by the watchful eyes of the auditors.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
put something byand lay something by
to reserve a portion of something; to preserve and store something, such as food. I put some money by for a rainy day. I laid some eggs by for our use tomorrow.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To place something at the side of something else: We put the plates by the cake.
2. To save something for later use: The family put by the extra wrapping paper for next year.
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.