put to it, be

be put to it

To be under strain, stress, or difficulty. Our entire team has been put to it to finish the project before the Christmas deadline. I need a vacation—I'm really put to it lately.
See also: put, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

put to it, be

Be confronted with a severe difficulty, as in I was put to it to finish this book on time. This usage is derived from the active sense of put to it, that is, "force or challenge someone to something." [c. 1600]
See also: put, to
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.
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