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put down

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Definition of the verb put down

What does put down mean as a doing phrase?


  1. cause to sit or seat or be in a settled position or place
  2. put in a horizontal position
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Theme] [Destination, locative adverb]I put the book here/there | I spooned the sauce there
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Theme] [Locative Preposition] [Destination]I put the book on/under/near the table
      [Agent - being] [Verb] on / upon [Destination] [Theme]They put upon me a brilliant, red helm

      Verbs of Putting (with the same syntax): place, put, set, stick.

    • lexical domain: Contact - verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging
    • synonyms of put down: lay / repose
    • more generic words: lay / place / pose / position / put / set = put into a certain place or abstract location
    • more specific terms:
    • cause: lie
  3. cause to come to the ground
  4. reduce in worth or character, usually verbally
  5. remove (cargo, people, etc.) from and leave
  6. put (an animal) to death
    • example: the sick cat had to be put down
    • lexical domain: Contact - verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging
    • synonym of put down: destroy
    • more generic word: kill = cause to die
  7. put down in writing; of texts, musical compositions, etc.
  8. make a record of; set down in permanent form

Alternative definition of the verb put down


  1. &lit, put, down
  2. [idiomatic] To insult, belittle, or demean.
  3. [context: of money as deposit] To pay.
  4. To halt, eliminate, stop, or squelch, often by force.
  5. [euphemistic] To euthanize (an animal).
  6. To write (something).
  7. [context: of a telephone] To replace the receiver and terminate a call; to hang up.
  8. To add a name to a list.
  9. To make prices, or taxes, lower.
  10. [idiomatic] To place a baby somewhere to sleep.
  11. [idiomatic, of an aircraft] To land.
  12. [idiomatic] To drop someone off, or let them out of a vehicle.
  13. [idiomatic] To cease, temporarily or permanently, reading (a book).

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for put down

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Google previewEnglish-Cayuga/Cayuga-English Dictionary (2002)

by Frances Froman, Carrie Joan Dyck, Alfred Keye, Lottie Keye

put see: put away, put back, put down, put in, put on, put s.o. ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for put down

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Usage statistics about put down

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb put down:


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put down

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Small photo of Prayed inscription on the rock and put down on the mountain for bring the wish to the heaven by wind at Zanskar Valley, Jummu and Kashmir, IndiaSmall photo of Put down the flooringSmall photo of Shallots are used as spices and garden mixes in cooking / background can be put down.Small photo of Put down a broom on the footpath.Small photo of A foot put down on sand beside the beachSmall photo of put down - cube with letters, sign with wooden cubes More...

Video language resources about put down

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Quotes about put down

To put down an ideogram of a table so that people will recognize it as a table is not the work of a painter, but to sense it for a moment as a magic carpet with a leg hanging down at each corner is the beginning of a painter's imagination. (Frank Auerbach)
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