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put on - definition and synonyms

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phrasal verb [transitive]
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theyput on
he/she/itputs on
present participleputting on
past tenseput on
past participleput on
  1. 1
    to cover a part of your body with a piece of clothing or jewelry so that you are wearing it

    Dorothy put on her coat and went out.

    Kim had forgotten to put his watch on.

  2. 2
    to spread a cream, liquid, powder, or other substance on your skin or hair in order to make it softer, healthier, or more attractive

    Melanie was putting on her makeup in front of the mirror.

  3. 3
    put something on someone/something to cause something to affect someone or something

    I feel that too much responsibility is put on teachers.

  4. 4
    if you put on weight, you become fatter

    She put a lot of weight on after the children were born.

    I’ve put on five pounds in the last month.

  5. 5
    put something on someone/something to risk a particular amount of money by trying to guess the result of a race or competition

    I put $2 on Seattle Slew to win the Derby.

    Synonyms and related words
  6. 6
    to pretend to have a particular feeling or a particular way of speaking or behaving
    put on an act:

    I think he was just putting on an act to get sympathy.

    be putting it on:

    She’s not really upset – she’s just putting it on.

  7. 7
    to pass the telephone to someone so they can speak to the person you have been talking to

    Wait a minute, Mom – I’ll put Joe on.

  8. 8
    to start cooking something

    I’ll put the vegetables on in a minute.

  9. 9
    to organize an event, show, performance, etc.

    We’re putting on a concert to raise money for cancer research.

  10. 10
    to provide a bus, train, etc. for people to use

    They’re going to put on extra buses to take fans to the concert.

  11. 11
    to make a machine or piece of equipment start working, especially by pressing a switch

    I had forgotten to put the emergency brake on, so the car rolled back down the hill.

    1. a.
      to put a video, CD, etc. in a piece of equipment so that you can watch it or listen to it

      I’m going to put my new CD on.

      Shall we put some music on?

  12. 12
    put someone on something to say what medical treatment someone should have

    I was put on a low-fat diet.

    The doctor put him on a course of antibiotics.

  13. 13
    to show a particular level of skill or ability in doing something, especially in a competition

    The Packersoffense put on a dazzling performance throughout the second half of the game.

  14. 14
    put someone on something to make someone responsible for dealing with something

    I was put on cleanup.

  15. 15
    put something on something to record something in an account so that someone can pay for it later

    Can you put the drinks on my bill, please?

    We put the meal on our expense accounts.

  16. 16
    informal to try to make someone believe something that is not true
    put someone on:

    Don’t believe that. He’s putting you on!

  17. 17
    put something on something British to add an amount of money to the cost or value of something
See also main entry: put
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