Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

put out - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theyput out
he/she/itputs out
present participleputting out
past tenseput out
past participleput out
  1. 1
    [transitive] to make something stop burning

    It took firefighters three hours to put out the blaze.

    Please put that cigarette out.

    1. a.
      to switch off a light

      Hannah put the light out and went to sleep.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to put something in a place where someone will see it, so that they can use it or have it

    I put out food for the birds in cold weather.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to place something outside your house

    We usually put the cat out at night.

    1. a.
      put the garbage/trash out to put waste outside your house so that it can be collected and taken away
    2. b.
      put the laundry/wash out to hang clothes outside to dry after you have washed them
  4. 4
    [transitive] [usually in negatives or questions] put someone out to cause problems or difficulties for someone by making them do something for you

    It would be great to stay with you, but I don’t want to put you out.

    1. a.
      put yourself out (for someone) to do something to help someone even if it causes problems or difficulties for you

      I don’t see why I should put myself out for him.

      put yourself out to do something:

      She really put herself out to get everything ready for us.

  5. 5
    [transitive] put someone out to make someone unconscious by giving them a drug, usually before a medical operation
  6. 6
    [transitive] to produce information for people to read, watch, or hear

    The police has put out a warning about an escaped prisoner.

    The band put out a statement denying rumors of a split.

    1. b.
      to publish a book, magazine, or newspaper, or produce a video or CD for sale

      a company that has put out several new titles this year

  7. 7
    [intransitive] impolite if you put out, you agree to have sex with someone
  8. 8
    [transitive] put someone out to defeat a player or team in a game or competition so that they can no longer take part in it

    He was put out in the first round at Wimbledon.

  9. 9
    [intransitive] if a ship puts out, it sails away from a port
  10. 10
    [transitive] to affect numbers or calculations in a way that makes them incorrect

    If you get one figure wrong it puts the whole calculation out.

  11. 11
    put your back/shoulder etc. out to injure your back/shoulder etc. by moving a bone out of its position in a joint
  12. 12
    put your hand/arm/foot out to move your hand/arm/foot forward from your body

    She put her hand out to stop herself from falling.

  13. 13
    put the word out informal to tell people about something

    Can you put the word out that the meeting has been canceled.

See also main entry: put
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a rainbow produced when water droplets in the air reflect light from the moon rather than the sun

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

platform capitalism

a way of doing business that involves recruiting large numbers of people who work for themselves using the company's platform, as used by companies such as Uber, Deliveroo and the like

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play