put/set somebody to work

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put (one) to work

To give one a particular task to do. We're here to help, so just put us to work wherever you need us. Whenever I come home for a visit, my mom wastes no time putting me to work—last time, I had to vacuum the whole house!
See also: put, work
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

set someone or something to work

to start someone or something working; to cause someone or something to begin functioning. The captain set everyone to work repairing the tears in the fabric of the sails. We will set the machines to work at the regular time.
See also: set, work

set to work (on someone or something)

to begin working on someone or something. We have finished questioning Tom, so we will set to work on Fred. We set to work on dinner at noon.
See also: set, work
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

put/set somebody to ˈwork (on something)

make somebody start work (doing something): On his first day in the office they put him to work on some typing.
See also: put, set, somebody, work
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Your community will be a better place if your skills are put to work. There isn't a charity that won't be stronger if there's a CPA serving on its board of directors.
Will Fellows, the author of A Passion to Preserve, a book about gays and the preservation movement, states that "gay men are extraordinarily drawn to historic preservation." On vacation, he says, that passion can be put to work building "community relationships" and "fostering continuity in the midst of incessant change."
As you begin to digest the protein into amino acids, your muscles will appreciate and put to work these protein building blocks as you weight train and afterward.
At the age of eleven my grandmother Ida was put to work, standing on a stool in front of a washboard and tub she was otherwise too small to reach.
The creative ideas, the networking connections and leadership and legislative strategies you learn can be put to work immediately, both in your ASO and in other volunteer organizations.
Every morning hundreds of plant managers across Argentina begin their work day checking the fax machine to see how much energy the government will let them put to work. The draconian measure is necessary to prevent a total collapse of the electrical grid.
Then an array of other specially developed equipment is put to work to drain every drop of fuel, oil and water, deal with glass and strip out all useful parts for sale or reconditioning before the remaining shell is squeezed almost flat by a giant hydraulic crusher.
In the process, a huge portion of the savings of the people never enters the borrowing pool, where it can be put to work to fuel the free enterprise system.
And now, as chief executive of Marine Projects International, he is ready to put to work the 14,000 tonne Mayflower Resolution, the world's largest offshore wind farm installation vessel, which has been stranded at Teesport since its previous owners, Mayflower Energy, went into administration at the start of this month.
Once at the site, it was put to work screening out the dirt, leaving us with wood that could be recycled as mulch and dirt that was used for grading on site.
There prisoners were put to work in a huge underground factory, building V-2 rockets.
Adding to the challenge, due to the slow economy, many corporations have abundant cash on hand, just waiting to be put to work. In better economic times, this cash could be invested in a number of productive business uses, such as expanding inventory or upgrading equipment.
En route to a 2004 rendezvous with Saturn, the craft has already been put to work, verifying a key prediction of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity.
It is designed to achieve throughputs of up to 15 cycles a minute and has been put to work at its top speed by Sun Valley.
These 30 practices should be "put to work immediately," says Tommy C.