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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Alphabetical List - P

(page 13 : put in one's place - pyrrhic victory)

put in one's place If someone causes offence or irritation by speaking or behaving in an inappropriate manner, you put them in their place by letting them know that they are not as important as they seem to believe.
The new trainee is not in a position to criticize our methods.  He needs to be put in his place!
put in a good word If you put in a good word for someone, you say positive things in support of that person in order to help them.
If you apply for the job, I'll put in a good word for you.
put in the picture If you give somebody all the information necessary to enable them to fully understand a situation, you put them in the picture.
Some changes were made during your absence.  Let me put you in the picture.
put on the long finger If you put something on the long finger, you postpone it indefinitely.
She intends to go back to college, but she keeps putting it on the long finger.
put on the spot If you put someone on the spot, you put them in a difficult position, for example by asking difficult questions which they cannot avoid.
The reporter was put on the spot when he was asked to reveal his source.
put on your thinking cap If you tell someone to put their thinking cap on, you ask them to find an idea or solve a problem by thinking about it.
Now here's this week's quiz;  it's time to put your thinking caps on!
put out feelers Before doing something, if you try to discover what other people thnk about it by making discreet enquiries, you put out feelers.
The politician put out feelers to test public reaction to his proposals.
put out to pasture To say that someone has been put out to pasture means that they have been forced to retire or give up their responsibilities.
He's in good health and he feels it's too early to be put out to pasture.
put pants on one leg at a time To say that someone puts their pants on one leg at a time means that the person is a human being no different from enyone else.
Don't be scared to speak to him.  He puts his pants on one leg at a time just like the rest of us!
put shoulder to wheel If you put your shoulder to the wheel, you start putting a lot of effort into a difficult task.
We'll have to put our shoulders to the wheel to deliver the goods on time.
put that in your pipe and smoke it This expressions means that you have to accept what the speaker says, whether you like it or not.
I'm not going to buy you a scooter, so put that in your pipe and smoke it!
put the kibosh on If you do something to prevent a plan or activity from happening or developing, you put the kibosh on it.
The bank's refusal to grant him a loan put the kibosh on Jack's project.
put the squeeze on If you put the squeeze on someone, you put pressure on them to force them to do something.
Bob was reluctant to work with Ben until the boss put the squeeze on him.
put through one's paces If you put someone or something through their paces, you test their ability to do something by making them perform certain actions.
During the presentation, the new machine was put through its paces.
put two and two together A person who can put two and two together is capable of reaching the right conclusion based on the information they have.
Forget your explanation.  She won't believe you.  She can put two and two together!
put words in mouth If you claim that someone has said something, or suggest what they should say, you are putting words in their mouth.
You're putting words in my mouth. I did not say I saw Mr. Brown. I said I saw his car!
Pyrrhic victory A victory that is obtained at a tremendous cost, or causes such a great loss that it is not worth winning, is called a Pyrrhic victory.
It was a Pyrrhic victory.  The shop owner won the lawsuit but went bankrupt because of the legal expenses involved.
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