\ˈpu̇t \
put; putting

Definition of put 

(Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to place in a specified position or relationship : lay put the book on the table

b : to move in a specified direction

c(1) : to send (something, such as a weapon or missile) into or through something : thrust

(2) : to throw with an overhand pushing motion put the shot

d : to bring into a specified state or condition a reapportionment … that was put into effect at the September primariesCurrent Biography

e : to prescribe a specified regimen for usually used with on put her on medicationput him on a diet

2a : to cause to endure or suffer something : subject put traitors to death

b : impose, inflict put a special tax on luxuries

3a : to set before one for judgment or decision put the question

b : to call for a formal vote on put the motion

4a(1) : to convey into another form want to put my feelings into words

(2) : to translate into another language or style put the poem into English

(3) : adapt lyrics put to music

b : express, state putting it mildly

5a : to devote (oneself) to an activity or end put himself to winning back their confidence

b : apply put her mind to the problem

c : assign put them to work

d : to cause to perform an action : urge put the horse over the fence

e : impel, incite put them into a frenzy

6a : repose, rest puts his faith in reason

b : invest entry 1 sense 1 put her money in the company

7a : to give as an estimate put the time as about eleven

b : attach, attribute puts a high value on their friendship

c : impute put the blame on the partners

8 : bet, wager put $2 on the favorite

intransitive verb

1 : to start in motion : go especially : to leave in a hurry

2 of a ship : to take a specified course put down the river

put forth

1a : assert, propose

b : to make public : issue

2 : to bring into action : exert

3 : to produce or send out by growth put forth leaves

4 : to start out

put forward

: propose put forward a theory

put in mind

: remind

put one's finger on

: identify put his finger on the cause of the trouble

put one's foot down

: to take a firm stand

put one's foot in one's mouth

: to make a tactless or embarrassing blunder

put paid to
chiefly British

: to finish off : bring an end to

put the arm on or put the bite on

: to ask for money

put the finger on

: to inform on put the finger on … heroin pushers— Barrie Zwicker

put the make on

: to make sexual advances toward

put to bed

: to make the final preparations for printing (something, such as a newspaper)

put together

1 : to create as a unified whole : construct

2 : add, combine



Definition of put (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a throw made with an overhand pushing motion specifically : the act or an instance of putting the shot

2 : an option to sell a specified amount of a security (such as a stock) or commodity (such as wheat) at a fixed price at or within a specified time — compare call sense 3d



Definition of put (Entry 3 of 3)

: being in place : fixed, set stay put until I call

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Synonyms & Antonyms for put

Synonyms: Verb

assess, charge, exact, fine, impose, lay, levy

Antonyms: Verb


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Examples of put in a Sentence


Put the car in the garage. I put the keys on the table. He put his arms around her and held her tight. He fell and accidentally put his hand through a window. The illness put her in the hospital for three days. They put her in prison for forgery. Her parents decided to put her in a special school for deaf children. If she drove 55 mph for 20 minutes, that would put her about halfway there by now. Don't forget to put your signature on the check. He put his phone number on a napkin.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

To fill that gap, Britain, France and their allies would have to put more of their troops on the ground. The Economist, "The fight against Islamic State is moving to Africa," 14 July 2018 Raising the building — needed to put an end to flooding of the lower lever — or waterproofing it as is would cost between $800,000 and $850,000, according to Schenck. Steven Goode, Courant Community, "Riley Lumber Property Purchase In Sight," 14 July 2018 Trying to sneak a ball by Kerber is something akin to trying to put one past a brick wall. Howard Fendrich, BostonGlobe.com, "Angelique Kerber outplays Serena Williams, wins her first Wimbledon title," 14 July 2018 The Ariel’s interchangeable hipbelt and/or harness should mitigate that issue, allowing buyers to put a small or medium hipbelt on an extra-small pack. Kelly Bastone, Outside Online, "The Best Women’s Backpacking Packs," 13 July 2018 To put this in perspective, imagine if South Sudan, the world’s youngest country and one now engulfed in civil war, were to be in a Cup final in a decade or so. The Christian Science Monitor, "Why this World Cup final is like no other," 13 July 2018 The petition drive to put Mr. Liu on the ballot was first reported by the New York Post. New York Times, "John Liu Plots a Comeback Trail, Targeting a Renegade Democrat," 13 July 2018 Real-estate developers, wealthy investors, nonprofit groups and local officials are among those racing to put their mark on the program, which has few restrictions. Richard Rubin, WSJ, "New Hotel or Affordable Housing? Race Is On to Define ‘Opportunity Zones’," 13 July 2018 The iron dike invented by Mr. S. B. Driggs, of New York, seems to put an effectual barrier in the way of these destructive agents. Daniel C. Schlenoff, Scientific American, "“Foul Treachery” of Trotsky and Lenin in 1918; Phineas Gage’s Brain in 1868," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

However, in some people, constantly walking or standing barefoot on surfaces like hardwood floors, tile, or marble puts too much stress on structures of the feet, either causing or exacerbating pain over time. Nina Bahadur, SELF, "8 Shoe Mistakes That Could Definitely Be Causing Your Foot Pain," 18 Apr. 2018 That put unnecessary stress on his shoulder and made a bad situation worse. Stephen Holder, Indianapolis Star, "Andrew Luck's decision to play through injury has affected his road back to Colts," 9 Apr. 2018 And whereas the judicial system is designed, at least in theory, to treat people equally before the law, mandatory arbitration puts employees at a further disadvantage. The Economist, "Shut out by the small printThe problem with the craze for mandatory arbitration," 25 Jan. 2018 Remigino was still walking around in a daze when Parry O’Brien, the American who won the shot-put that day, shook him, lifted him on a shoulder and told him to get excited. New York Times, "Lindy Remigino, Olympic Champion Runner, Is Dead at 87," 12 July 2018 Seventh in the shot put (41-6.75) and eighth in the discus (128-6) at state. Dave Melton, Post-Tribune, "Introducing the 2018 Post-Tribune All-Area Girls Track Team," 27 June 2018 This put guns into the hands of people who shouldn’t have had them. Anthony Man, Sun-Sentinel.com, "South Florida Democrats split over whether Adam Putnam should stay or go over background check failure," 10 June 2018 The upside: Adebayo has found a way to draw defensive fouls with aggressive post moves and has been persistent in pounding the boards for put backs. Barry Jackson, miamiherald, "Mixed offensive results for Bam Adebayo in summer league," 10 July 2018 Asking a fan base that is spoiled rotten to come into the game and stay put will be the real test of the product, and the in-game experience. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "TCU selling fans beer while locking the door behind them | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 30 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

While neither team looked nearly as smooth in the quarter’s first few minutes, a Klay Thompson 2-pointer with 9:12 left put Golden State up by 9 points. Benjamin Hoffman And Marc Stein, New York Times, "N.B.A. Finals 2018: Warriors Roll Over Cavs in Game 2," 4 June 2018 Comcast Ventures, a unit of the company that invests into startups, put seed capital into Accolade after seeing Accolade’s results with Comcast employees, Spann said. Bob Fernandez, Philly.com, "Accolade, with 500 employees in Plymouth Meeting, seeks to boldly cut health costs for big companies," 12 July 2018 Symantec, the company that makes the Norton Security suite of antivirus products, released a report in 2017 that showed that 87 percent of respondents had at some point potentially put information at risk while using public Wi-Fi. Sebastian Modak, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Keep Your Data Safe While Traveling," 7 June 2018 Theft Shareen George, 26, of Todor Court, Burr Ridge, was charged at 12:24 p.m. March 8 with retail theft after a security officer at Walmart, 2189 75th St., saw her put merchandise into her purse and leave the store without paying. Kimberly Fornek, chicagotribune.com, "Police blotter: Darien woman charged with driving under influence of drugs, driving without headlights and in the wrong lane," 18 Mar. 2018 Battling the rain, Jenner looked put-together and chic with a crossbody bag and red nail polish. Samantha Leal, Marie Claire, "Caitlyn Jenner Goes Out in Knee-High Boots, Looks Amazing," 12 June 2015 Last week, Oakland’s mayor warned residents of an impending immigration raid — a move that Trump called disgraceful and said put law enforcement officers at risk. Washington Post, "Trump’s visit to California comes amid frayed relations," 12 Mar. 2018 With the vast amount of electrical grid and ground towers damaged, FEMA estimates put cell service availability at a mere 60 percent an entire month after the storm. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Project Loon team gave Puerto Rico connectivity—and assembled a helicopter," 18 Feb. 2018 Violence near the University of Virginia’s campus in August put schools nationwide on edge as students and staff feared that protests would turn violent at their colleges, too. Lindsay Ellis, Houston Chronicle, "Harvey, stabbings and protests: Navigating crisis key part of the college presidency, report finds," 8 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'put.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of put


12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1841, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for put


Middle English putten; akin to Old English putung instigation, Middle Dutch poten to plant

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Statistics for put

Last Updated

3 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for put

The first known use of put was in the 12th century

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More Definitions for put



Financial Definition of put

What It Is

A put is a financial term that refers to a put option, or a contract between the buyer and seller of a securities option allowing the buyer to force the seller (or the writer of the option contract) to buy the security. The term also means, in a generic sense, the option to make another party purchase something.

How It Works

In options trading, a buyer may purchase a short position (i.e., the expectation that the price will go down) on a security. This position gives the buyer the right to sell the underlying security at an agreed-upon price (i.e. the strike price) by a certain date. If the market price falls below the strike price, as expected, the buyer can decide to exercise his or her right to sell at that price and the writer of the option contract has the obligation to buy the security at the strike price. With the exercise of the put, the trader makes the difference between the cost of the security in the market (i.e., a lower price than the option strike price) and the sale of the option to the put writer (i.e., at the strike price).

For example, if a trader purchases a put option contract for Company XYZ for $1 (i.e., $.01/share for a 100-share contract) with a strike price of $10 per share, the trader can sell the shares at $10 before the end of the option period. If Company XYZ's share price drops to $8 per share, the trader can buy the shares on the open market and sell the put option at $10 per share (the strike price on the put option contract). Taking into account the put price of $.01/share, the trader will earn a profit of $1.99 per share.

In a generic context, to put something means to force the purchase of something. For example, you might buy a piece of real estate, and the seller might negotiate the right to put a second parcel to you at a later date if land prices do not increase by then.

Why It Matters

The ability to put an asset is essentially like having an insurance policy. If prices aren’t great later, at least you can force someone to take the asset off your hands for a set price. Alternatively, puts can also be risky. If someone has the right to put something to you later, you run the risk of having to buy something down the road that you didn’t plan on buying. Investors will often purchase a put option on shares they already own to act as a hedge against the decline in the share price. Puts and calls are the key types of options trading.

Source: Investing Answers


\ˈpu̇t \
put; putting

Kids Definition of put

1 : to place in or move into a particular position She put the book on a table. Put your hand up.

2 : to bring into a specified state or condition The charity puts the money to good use. He put the room in order.

3 : to cause to undergo something Our class puts them to shame.

4 : to give expression to I can't put my fear into words. This book puts the idea clearly.

5 : to devote to or urge to an activity They can improve if they put their minds to it. The coach is putting us to work.

6 : to think of as worthy of : attribute The candidate puts a high value on peace.

7 : to begin a voyage The ship put to sea.

put away

: to take in food and drink She put away a big dinner.

put down

1 : to bring to an end by force Police put down the riot.

put forward

: propose sense 1 The committee put forward a new plan.

put in

1 : to ask for She put in for a job.

2 : to spend time in a place or activity I put in two hours of work.

put off

: to hold back to a later time : defer I put off my appointment.

put on

1 : to dress in He put a new jacket on.

2 : pretend sense 2 She put on a show of anger.

3 : produce entry 1 sense 4 The senior class put on a play.

put out

1 : extinguish sense 1 Be sure to put out the light.

2 : irritate sense 1, annoy I was put out by their behavior.

3 : make entry 1 sense 1 The factory puts out tires.

4 : to cause to be out (in baseball)

5 : to make use of The team put out a real effort.

put together

1 : to create as a whole : construct

2 : to consider as a single unit “… Mr. Rice taught me more than all my other teachers put together.”— Katherine Paterson, Jacob Have I Loved

put up

1 : build entry 1 sense 1 The town plans to put up a new school.

2 : to make (as food) ready for later use I put vegetables up for the winter.

3 : to give or get shelter and often food They often put tourists up.

4 : to make by action or effort They put up a good fight.

put up to

: to urge or cause to do something wrong or unexpected Those kids put me up to the prank.

put up with

: to stand for : tolerate I won't put up with any more of his nonsense.



Legal Definition of put 

: put option at option 3

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More from Merriam-Webster on put

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for put

Spanish Central: Translation of put

Nglish: Translation of put for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of put for Arabic Speakers

Comments on put

What made you want to look up put? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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