Definition of put something on in US English:

put something on

phrasal verb

  • 1Place a garment, glasses, or jewelry on part of one's body.

    ‘Julie had put on a cotton dress’
    • ‘He just helped her put on her shoes.’
    • ‘The teacher turned around, putting his glasses on.’
    • ‘Katrina took her shower and put on her clothes in less than 10 minutes.’
    • ‘I finished putting my makeup on, and took a necklace from my jewellery box and put it on.’
    • ‘I pull my coat out of my locker put it on and throw my books in.’
    • ‘Anyhow, I have to put some clothes on to head off to work.’
    • ‘I still wish I could have been there when she put her dress on.’
    • ‘I tried to blend in, putting my hooded black sweatshirt on, and walking as fast as I could.’
    • ‘Next she unzipped the garment bag and casually put the dress on, without even looking in the mirror.’
    • ‘I put my glasses on and looked at the screen in front of me.’
    get dressed in, dress in, don, clothe oneself in, pull on, climb into, fling on, throw on, pour oneself into, slip into, change into, rig oneself out in
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    1. 1.1 Attach or apply something.
      ‘she put on fresh makeup’
  • 2Cause a device to operate.

    ‘shall I put the light on?’
    • ‘What did I do with conversation lulls before I could say ‘Shall I put the kettle on?’’
    • ‘She said: ‘If there is someone you trust you should be able to give them a key and ask them to put the lights on at night.’’
    • ‘It's got to the point where even if I put the bathroom light on they scream abuse at me.’
    • ‘My heart sinks as I reach over to put the light on.’
    • ‘I made a cup of tea and put the iron on.’
    • ‘An unmarked police car pulled up behind her and put his lights on.’
    • ‘He put a hand on it and found the switch, and put the light on.’
    • ‘Without putting the hall light on, I went to the door and found two lollipops, one broken, under my lounge window, and the other one still wrapped, by the front door.’
    • ‘He was woken by an intruder putting the lights on downstairs.’
    • ‘We now have to put lights on almost as soon as we get home from work as dusk descends.’
    switch on, turn on, flick on, power up
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    1. 2.1 Start cooking something.
      ‘she was moaning that he hadn't put the dinner on’
      • ‘It can be controlled over a mobile phone, so you can put the dinner on as you leave for home.’
      • ‘I get home and put supper on.’
      • ‘What say you and I put some dinner on, Rachel?’
      • ‘I think he'd put the dinner on and then slipped and the ladders had fallen on him.’
      • ‘He gets home at 6.00 normally and he plays with the kids while I put our tea on.’
    2. 2.2 Play recorded music or a video.
      • ‘Thankfully, the restaurant staff put some music on and drew the blinds, hiding us from passing commuters.’
      • ‘A thumping bass boomed over the speakers as the DJ put on a techno dance number.’
      • ‘We all went and gathered round the gramophone, and when we were settled the record was put on.’
      • ‘If I just wanted to listen to your music, I'd put the CD on.’
      • ‘He didn't talk much either; we just put some music on and sat in silence.’
      • ‘I wake up, shuffle out of bed, put some music on and meander down the small flight of stairs to the second floor of my house.’
      • ‘I put this album on, threw open my front door and watched the neighborhood dance party begin.’
      • ‘Soon she put the music on and turned up the volume full-blast.’
      • ‘While doing chores at home, put some music on and build up a sweat dancing.’
      • ‘I had the DJ put on slow music so that couples would dance.’
  • 3Organize or present a play, exhibition, or event.

    • ‘We want the community to be active in organising events and putting future shows on for residents.’
    • ‘While the liner was being escorted into the harbor by a tow boat, a fountain display, folk dancing and music shows were put on for the visitors.’
    • ‘The opening is to coincide with Oxford Art Week, and an exhibition will be put on.’
    • ‘Lots of kids came out and the guy putting on the show was super nice.’
    • ‘I have been putting events on for 28 years and have never had any incidents at all.’
    • ‘It was so successful that we are thinking of putting it on as an annual event.’
    • ‘It makes a difference when an exhibition is put on in lovely surroundings.’
    • ‘I hope that training courses are put on to ensure they can continue in viable and financially rewarding employment elsewhere.’
    • ‘If the exhibition had been put on in Britain or America the importance of Florence as a factor in the evolution of the Pre-Raphaelite movement would probably have been more thoroughly explored.’
    • ‘The performance was put on for year seven and eight pupils at Castle View School.’
    organize, stage, mount, present, produce
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    1. 3.1 Provide a public transportation service.
      ‘so many people wanted to visit this spot that an extra flight had to be put on’
      • ‘You would think that by now they could figure out to put extra buses on during the festive period.’
      • ‘We'll put coaches on to get you there and back.’
      • ‘Why can't they put a skeleton service on, at least then we would know where we were.’
      • ‘They should have put more trains on.’
      provide, lay on, supply, furnish, make available, run
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  • 4Increase in body weight; become heavier by a specified amount.

    ‘she's given up her diet and put on 20 lbs’
    • ‘The fish are still putting weight on and are eating the bulk of the free offerings going in our waters.’
    • ‘Six years ago she began to get tired and put weight on around her abdomen.’
    • ‘In fact, 90 per cent of dieters put the weight back on later.’
    • ‘I've worked way too hard to put the weight back on.’
    • ‘But they are then afraid to give up for fear of putting the weight back on.’
    • ‘His back is feeling good at the moment, so simply putting the weight back on is not an option.’
    • ‘I've put about ten pounds of the weight I lost back on.’
    • ‘People who lose pounds on an ordinary diet often put the weight back on once they come off the diet.’
    • ‘My eldest daughter is ten, my middle daughter is nearly eight and they both often stand on the scales and see if they have put weight on or not!’
    • ‘No matter what I eat - and I do eat a lot - I never put much weight on at all.’
    1. 4.1 Add a specified amount to (the cost of something)
      ‘the news put 12 cents on the share price’
      • ‘However, I was disappointed that Mr Brown put a penny on a pint of beer and 4p on a bottle of wine.’
      • ‘That's substantially more today than you get by putting an extra penny on income tax.’
      • ‘The situation could be resolved by the publishers simply putting a penny on the cost of each paper or magazine to cover delivery to the outlets.’
  • 5Assume a particular expression, accent, etc.

    ‘he put on a lugubrious look’
    • ‘Trying to save face as much as possible, I put a fake smile on and sauntered over to him, planting a quick kiss on his surprised lips.’
    • ‘And putting the accent on again, he said, ‘You no crazy at me, you no crazy.’’
    • ‘Theresa, with some effort, puts a calm expression on, and gets up.’
    • ‘Tina put on her fake sad look.’
    • ‘Mark put a fake smile on as Kelly tried to calm down.’
    feign, fake, sham, simulate, affect, assume
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    1. 5.1 Behave deceptively.
      ‘she doesn't feel she has to put on an act’
      • ‘Was he just putting all of this on to get me to be his girlfriend?’
      • ‘Most of us, surely, are suspicious of people who seem to be putting on an act.’
      • ‘He's just putting it on, and talking complete rubbish.’
      • ‘They assumed that she was just putting it on to evade detention.’
      • ‘Both women are too intelligent to put on an act to catch a man.’
      pretend, put on an act, play-act, make believe, fake it, go through the motions
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  • 6Bet a specified amount of money on.

    ‘he put $1,000 on the horse to win’
    • ‘I didn't have a clue what I was doing, so I just put 20 dollars on a random horse.’
    • ‘My dad put 10p each way on the horse for me that year to keep me quiet I think.’
    • ‘I won't be putting any money on him to go on and win the title.’
    • ‘If you put 100 pounds on India winning, you could walk way with a cool 100,000 pounds.’
    • ‘Obviously I'm not putting any money on them myself, but they are all dead certs.’
    bet, gamble, stake, wager, place, lay, risk, chance, hazard
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