\ ˈpu̇t How to pronounce put (audio) \
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 onput 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
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 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



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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Examples of put in a Sentence

Verb 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 The latest announcement extends closures put into place at the onset of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s regional stay-at-home framework in early December, which explicitly bans camping in areas under lockdown. Gregory Thomas, SFChronicle.com, "National forest campgrounds in Tahoe and across the Sierra Nevada will remain closed through Jan. 29," 7 Jan. 2021 Environmental groups and many others, including some Alaska tribes, fear drilling will compound global warming and put precious wildlife at risk, including polar bears and the Porcupine caribou herd. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "What will happen at the first-ever ANWR oil lease sale? Here’s what we know.," 5 Jan. 2021 Vikings 37, Lions 35 Justin Jefferson recorded 133 yards receiving, which put him at 1,400 for the season. New York Times, "What We Learned From Week 17 of the N.F.L. Season," 3 Jan. 2021 Research suggests that nature sounds—birdsong, rainfall, and so on—help put human minds at ease. Rachel Feltman, Popular Science, "To take the most relaxing bath ever, add some healthy tips," 3 Jan. 2021 Montgomery was initially set to be put to death in Terre Haute, Indiana, on Dec. 8. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Appeals court vacates order delaying female prisoner's execution," 1 Jan. 2021 After engineers regained control of Three Mile Island, Mr. Thornburgh led President Jimmy Carter and first lady Rosalynn Carter on a tour of the facility to help put a jittery public at ease. Washington Post, "Richard L. Thornburgh, former Pennsylvania governor and U.S. attorney general, dies at 88," 31 Dec. 2020 The species continues to be put at risk by ship strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, habitat degradation and other threats. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "Scientists Eavesdrop on New Population of Blue Whales Singing in the Indian Ocean," 30 Dec. 2020 Willie Francis, 17, was supposed to be put to death in Louisiana on May 3, 1946 but the electric chair was improperly set up, sending painful — but not fatal — currents through this body. NBC News, "Ohio inmate who survived execution attempt dies in prison of probable Covid-19," 30 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun He’s James Urbaniak, who plays Julie’s put-upon NPR-nerd boyfriend on Difficult People. Jessica Goldstein, Vulture, "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Recap: Reality Bites," 31 Dec. 2020 In the Second World War, Bugs became every put-upon G.I.’s totem and hero. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "The Mixed-Up Masters of Early Animation," 21 Dec. 2020 Throughout his losing campaign, Trump put gun rights on the front burner, often using the divisive issue in an attempt to excite voters. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "FBI posts decline in Black Friday gun checks; still the fourth-largest one-day total ever," 30 Nov. 2020 The sophomore from Philadelphia soared over a La Salle defender for a one-handed put-back dunk, drawing a raucous response from his teammates on the bench. Daniel Oyefusi, baltimoresun.com, "Eric Ayala’s career-high 23 points lead Maryland over La Salle, 84-71, ending two-game losing streak," 22 Dec. 2020 Bueckers made 8 of 11 shots, everything from a put-back that opened the scoring, to a drive for a twisting layup that beat the halftime buzzer, to a soft pull-up jumper in the lane and a 17-footer. Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Mike Anthony: Paige Bueckers shows how she will lead UConn, and eventually delight fans at Gampel Pavilion, with dazzling debut," 13 Dec. 2020 Purdue’s Mason Gillis scored on a put-back with 4 seconds left to get back within 2, but McGusty closed it out by hitting two free throws. David Furones, sun-sentinel.com, "Without Chris Lykes, Hurricanes rally past Purdue in ACC/Big Ten Challenge," 8 Dec. 2020 The game ultimately tilted in UCLA's favor on a trio of 3-pointers by junior guard Lindsey Corsaro, the last of which at 1:08 put the Bruins ahead 61-57. Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic, "ASU women rally from 17-point deficit, take No. 9 UCLA to the wire in narrow loss," 6 Dec. 2020 Ohio State’s secondary put together a better day as a whole picking off both Rocky Lombardi and Payton Thorne. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Justin Fields returned to Heisman Trophy form in Ohio State win over MSU: Post Game Time Decisions," 5 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective An active lifestyle requires earphones that are comfortable and stay put. Jennifer Manfrin, chicagotribune.com, "28 best deals to beat the holiday rush," 6 Dec. 2020 Governors across the United States are urging people to stay put, instead of bringing extended family and friends together for a few hours of gratitude and feasting. Kendra Nordin Beato, The Christian Science Monitor, "Mini pumpkin pies can help Thanksgiving 2020 feel right," 23 Nov. 2020 Cities, especially big ones like Houston or New Orleans, need several days to evacuate safely, and a few miles difference in track can drive decisions about whether to leave or stay put. Alejandra Borunda, National Geographic, "Hurricane path forecasts have much improved. Are they as good as they can get?," 23 Oct. 2020 Stretch or elastic waistbands are highly flexible and stay put. Sian Babish, chicagotribune.com, "The best women’s wetsuit pant," 3 Oct. 2020 Dan Dundon and Tim McDevitt volunteered to stay put, hoping to use the fire engine and water resources to protect the resort. Jake Thomas, oregonlive, "Residents recount terrifying descent of wildfire into Santiam Canyon: ‘It was like hot lava'," 18 Sep. 2020 But while studio-style bikes are pretty much designed to stay put, Exerpeutic offers shockingly sturdy devices that fold up for easy storage. Popular Science, "The best stationary bikes to help you crush cardio training at home," 7 July 2020 So that was kind of a put two and two together kind of situation. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "Q&A: Former Longhorn Nate Boyer on social activism at Texas," 30 June 2020 Though such fires can travel some distance under the surface, and so do not have to reappear where last seen, most stay put. The Economist, "The fires within the deep Have Siberian fires been smouldering underground all winter?," 4 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for put

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for put

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Put.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/put. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for put


\ ˈpu̇t How to pronounce put (audio) \
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

Nglish: Translation of put for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of put for Arabic Speakers

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