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put (an animal) down
To euthanize an animal, typically to prevent its suffering in old age or illness, or because it poses a threat to humans or other animals. We decided to put our dog down last week. He was in so much pain from cancer that we felt it would be cruel to let him struggle on. Animal control ended up having to put a bear down that had been found roaming the neighborhood for the third time this month.
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.
put down (an animal)
To end the life of an animal (generally through euthanasia) so as to prevent its suffering in old age or illness, or because it poses a threat to humans or other animals. We decided to put down our dog last week. He was in so much pain from cancer that we felt it would be cruel to let him struggle on. Animal control ended up having to put down the bear once it was spotted roaming the neighborhood for the third time in recent months.
A mocking, insulting, and disparaging comment or remark. 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.
put someone or something down
1. Go to set someone or something down.
2. Fig. to belittle or degrade someone or something. It's an old car, but that's no reason to put it down. You put down everything you don't understand!
put someone down (for something)
to put someone's name on a list of people who volunteer to do something or give an amount of money. Can I put you down for ten dollars? We're having a picnic, and you're invited. Everyone is bringing something. Can I put you down for potato salad?
put something down
1. Fig. to repress or put a stop to something such as a riot or rebellion. The army was called to put down the rebellion. The police used tear gas to put the riot down.
2. Go to set something down.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Write down; also, enter in a list. For example, Please put down my name for a free ticket, or Put me down as a subscriber. [Second half of 1500s]
2. Bring to an end, repress, as in They managed to put down the rebellion in a single day, or We've got to put down these rumors about a takeover. [c. 1300]
3. Kill a sick animal, as in The vet said the dog must be put down. [Mid-1500s] Also see put away, def. 5.
4. Belittle, disparage, criticize, as in Her husband was always putting her down. [c. 1400] Also see run down, def. 6.
5. Ascribe, attribute, as in We put her poor performance down to stage fright. [Late 1700s]
6. Regard, classify, as in We put her down as a hypochondriac. [Mid-1800s]
7. Pay a deposit, as in We put down $2,000 for the car.
8. Store for future use, as in David put down ten cases of this year's Chablis. [Mid-1800s]
9. Land in an aircraft; also, land an aircraft, as in What time will we put down at Heathrow? or She put the plane down exactly on the runway. [c. 1930]
10. Put a child to bed, as in The sitter said she'd put Brian down at 8:30. [Second half of 1900s]
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.
1. To set something on the surface of something: They put the boxes down on the floor. I put down my pen and looked up. We put a new carpet down.
2. To write down: I grabbed a piece of paper and quickly put down what she had just said. He put his address down on a slip of paper and handed it to me.
3. To assign someone to some task or obligation: We put John down to do the laundry and Mary to do the dishes. You can put me down for a $20 donation, and I'll send you a check next week.
4. To render something ineffective; repress something: We should put down any rumors that we might be leaving town. When the peasants organized a revolution, the dictator called in the army to put it down.
5. To criticize, berate, or insult someone or something: My boss is always putting me down for small mistakes. The teachers put down our knowledge of literature.
6. To kill some animal, especially a domesticated animal that is sick or suffering: We had to put down several cows that had gotten very ill. The vet put our dog down when it became too sick.
7. To put some child to bed: We put the baby down for a nap.
8. To land: The plane put down at O'Hare Airport.
9. To land some aircraft: The pilot put the plane down in a field.
10. To make some down payment: We just put down a deposit on a new house. If I put $100 down today, can I pay the rest next month?
11. put down to To attribute some event to some cause: They put the boating accident down to the captain's inexperience.
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.
n. an insult; an intentionally cruel and deflating insult. Another put-down like that and I’m going home.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.