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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. To kill one. The marshal told the fugitive that he would put him down if he reached for his gun.
4. 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. 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 or suppress something. The authoritarian government was quick to put down any threat against it. We need to put this strike down as soon as possible.
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. 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.
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.
n. an insult; an intentionally cruel and deflating insult. Another put-down like that and I’m going home.