put someone through his or her paces

put (one) through (one's) paces

To thoroughly test or examine one so as to evaluate one's worth, ability, or functionality. I hope you're prepared for a lot of testing at your interview—the company really puts applicants through their paces, to make sure they can handle the stress of the job.
See also: pace, put, through

put someone through his or her paces

Test thoroughly to see what someone can do, as in We put the new programmer though her paces, and she passed with flying colors. The idiom can refer to things as well, as in When we put the electrical system through its paces, we blew a fuse. The expression alludes to testing a horse's ability in the various paces (trot, canter, and gallop). Its use referring to horses dates from the late 1700s; its figurative use was first recorded in 1871.
See also: pace, put, someone, through
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