One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Kill an animal, especially an old, sick, or badly injured one, painlessly (used euphemistically).
put down, destroy, put out of its miseryView synonyms
- ‘It can be very distressing to put an animal to sleep when it bounds into the room wagging its tail.’
- ‘In it she claimed that she had ‘found a cure for things the vet put your animal to sleep for.’’
- ‘There have been rumours that we put animals to sleep once we cannot house them.’
- ‘‘Unfortunately the arrow had hit the small intestine of the animal and the vet decided to put it to sleep,’ he said.’
- ‘Sixteen animals were put to sleep because of their injuries, and three animals were believed to be the victims of deliberate attacks.’
- ‘Okay, I know with an animal they put them to sleep if they are suffering.’
- ‘Even when it involves visiting farms, making house calls or putting a terminally-ill animal to sleep, ‘it's what we are there for’.’
- ‘To say categorically that it is crueler to put any cat to sleep rather than send it outdoors is a rash overgeneralization.’
- ‘My Mother half-heartedly thought about putting both dogs to sleep at the same time to save the male dog the pain, but knows she can't very well put down a completely healthy dog!’
- ‘She had been given the dogs by a pet shop who said that if she couldn't find a home for them, to put them to sleep.’
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