Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.
1. To move, place, or set someone or something in a particular direction or position. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "put" and "to." Let's put the television to the right of the fireplace. If we put the satellite dish to the north, we might get a better signal.
2. To cause, direct, or compel something to be answered, considered, or decided by someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "put" and "to." I put the question to the senator, but he refused to answer me. I think it best that we put this matter to the board before anything is decided.
3. To instruct, assign, or command someone to do or undertake something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "put" and "to." We're putting the kids to work on the farm this summer. I heard they put you to organizing the storage closet. Let me know if you need a hand.
4. To cause someone to enter into a certain state or condition. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "put" and "to." Wow, that movie was boring—it nearly put me to sleep! The neighborhood is going to start putting people to shame who don't pick up their pets' litter.
5. To identify something as or associate something with something else. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "put" and "to." If I had to put a number to it, I would reckon the car is worth about $8,000. I knew I couldn't put my real name to such a terrible film, so I used a pseudonym instead.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. To place something in some direction: Put those books to the left of the shelf.
2. To cause something to be considered or evaluated by someone or by some means: The committee put the matter to a vote. Several questions were put to me, and I couldn't answer any of them.
3. To make a formal or strong claim to someone that something is true, especially in a court of law: I put it to you that you were not, in fact, at home when the fire broke out.
4. To add something to, or associate something with, something else: I can't put my name to this poor proposal. She remembered his face, but couldn't put a name to it.
5. To have someone perform some task: The company put the new employee to work immediately.
6. To head for shore. Used of boats and ships: The ship put to and was home in four hours.
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.