THE IDIOM CONNECTION
- to adjust one's speed so that you do not become too tiredWe tried to pace ourselves during the hike so that we did not become too tired.
pack a lot in
- to do a lot of activities in a short period of timeWe were able to pack a lot in during our holiday.
pack a punch/wallop
- to provide a burst of energy or power or excitementThe storm packed a wallop and did much damage to the boats.
pack it in
- to stop working (usually at the end of the day), to leave workWe decided to pack it in early and go home.
pack of lies
- a series of lies, a collection of lies, a completely false storyEverything that the man said was a pack of lies and nobody believed him.
The man's reputation was destroyed by a pack of lies.
pack them in
- to attract a lot of peopleThe new restaurant is able to pack them in with its new and exciting menu.
packed in like sardines
- to be packed somewhere very tightlyThe commuters on the train were packed in like sardines during the morning rush hour.
pad the bill
- to add false expenses to a billThe salesman often pads the bill when he goes on a business trip.
paddle one's own canoe
- to do something by oneselfI was forced to paddle my own canoe when the rest of the staff went away for a seminar.
pain in the neck/ass/butt
- an annoying or bothersome thing or personDealing with my neighbor is always a pain in the neck.
paint oneself into a corner
- to get into a bad situation that is difficult or impossible to get out ofMy friend has painted himself into a corner now that he has begun to fight with his supervisor.
paint (someone) with the same brush
- to say that someone or something has the same bad qualities as someone or something elseThe school teachers painted the young boy with the same brush as his friends.
The newspaper painted the president of the company with the same brush as the bad managers of the company.
paint the town red
- to go out and party and have a good timeWe decided to paint the town red after we passed our exams.
pal around (with someone)
- to be friends with someoneI have begun to pal around with a friend from my evening language class.
pale around the gills
- to look sickMy colleague was looking a little pale around the gills when he came to work today.
pale as a ghost
- extremely paleMy grandfather was as pale as a ghost when he entered the hospital.
pale as death
- extremely paleThe woman in the hospital waiting room was as pale as death.
palm (something) off on (someone) or palm off (something) on (someone)
- to deceive someone by a trick or a lie, to sell or give something to someone by tricking him or herThe man palmed off his old television set as one that was new and reliable.
- to end or finish favorably, to work out well"I hope that your plans to go back to school pan out."
paper over the cracks (in/of something)
- to try to hide the faults or difficulties of somethingOur boss tries to paper over the cracks in our office and will not deal with staff problems.
par for the course
- to be just what was expected, to be nothing unusualThat was par for the course. My coworker always comes late when there is much work to do.
paradise (on earth)
- a place on earth that is as lovely as paradiseThe resort in the mountains was paradise on earth.
part and parcel of (something)
- a necessary or important part of somethingThe house that we bought is part and parcel of a much larger piece of property.
part company (with someone)
- to leave someone, to depart from someoneThe two business partners decided to part company and begin their own businesses.
part with (something)
- to give away something although you would like to keep it, to sell something although you would like to keep itThe boy had to part with the car that he loved.
The man had to part with his book collection when he moved.
partake of (something)
- to eat or drink somethingI decided not to partake of the large dinner before the golf tournament.
partial to (someone or something)
- to favor or prefer someone or somethingOur boss is partial to the new person who recently began to work in our company.
particulars of (something)
- the specific details about somethingI have no knowledge of the particulars of my father's business dealings.
parting of the ways
- a point at which people separate and go their own waysI had a parting of the ways with my friend from high school.
- the official ideas of a group (usually political) that must be followed by all members of the groupThe members of the political party were forced to follow the party line on most issues.
- a happy or good time has come to an endThe party's over and I must now begin to work after my long holiday.
- to dieThe man's father passed away when he was 96 years old.
pass for/as (someone or something)
- to succeed in being accepted as someone or somethingThe young woman was trying to pass for a reporter when she went to the concert.
The man was passing as someone who knew more than he did.
- to pass a test or checkup, to measure up to a certain standardThe player was not able to pass muster and was not included on the team.
pass off (something) as (something else) or pass (something) off as (something else)
- to sell or give something by false claims, to offer something as genuine when it is notThe man passed off the watch as a diamond watch and received more money than it was worth.
- to dieMy grandmother passed on when she was 92 years old.
pass on (something) or pass (something) on
- to give away something that you do not use anymoreThe girl always passes on her old clothes to her younger sister.
My father always passes his newspaper on to his neighbor.
pass on (something or someone)
- to refuse an opportunity involving something or someoneI was very tired so I decided to pass on going to the restaurant with my friends.
The movie sounds fun but I am busy so I will pass on it.
pass oneself off as (someone or something) else
- to claim to be someone one is not, to pretend to be someone elseMy friend passed himself off as a reporter and was able to get into the concert free.
- to faintThree teenage girls passed out at the rock concert.
pass out (something) or pass (something) out
- to distribute somethingThe teacher passed out the exam papers before the test.
pass the buck
- to shift responsibility for something to someone elseOur supervisor always tries to pass the buck if someone tries to criticize his work.
pass the hat
- to attempt to collect money from a group of people for some project or special causeWe passed the hat in order to raise money to buy a movie projector.
pass the time
- to fill up time by doing somethingMy grandfather usually passes the time reading and working in his garden.
pass through (someone's) mind
- to think about something briefly, to remember something brieflyIt passed through my mind that I must go to the bank and get more money before my holiday.
passport to (something)
- something that allows something good to happenA university education is usually a passport to a better job.
past master at (something)
- someone who is extremely good or skillful at somethingThe chef is a past master at cooking with various kinds of sauces.
past (someone or something's) prime
- to be beyond the most useful or productive period of someone or somethingThe young skater is past her prime as a figure skater.
pat on the back
- praiseMy boss gave me a pat on the back when I finished the project.
patch up a relationship or patch a relationship up
- to repair a broken relationshipThe couple wanted to separate but they were able to patch up their relationship and now they are very happy together.
patch up (something) or patch (something) up
- to fix somethingI am trying to patch up my differences with my friend.
path of least resistance
- the easiest (but not always the best) way to do somethingI took the path of least resistance and quit the class rather than try to pass the course.
pave the way for (someone or something)
- to prepare someone or something for somethingThe new policy is designed to pave the way for more effective communication in the company.
pay a call on (someone)
- to visit someoneI went to the head office to pay a call on the accounting manager.
pay a king's ransom for (something)
- to pay a great deal of money for somethingMy friend paid a king's ransom for his new entertainment system.
pay an arm and a leg (for something)
- to pay much money for somethingI paid an arm and a leg for the new frames for my glasses.
pay as you go
- to pay costs as they occur or as you buy some goodsThe small businesses were forced to pay as they go when the bank began to look at their loans.
pay attention to (someone or something)
- to listen to someone with full attention, to look at something with full attentionThe man never pays attention to what his supervisor tells him.
- to produce good results and benefitsA good education will always pay dividends for a person.
- a profitable or useful discovery or venture, dirt in which much gold is foundThe company hit pay dirt when they published the new computer software.
pay for (something)
- to pay money for somethingI paid for dinner for my friends.
pay homage to (someone)
- to praise or respect or honor someoneThe entire country paid homage to their dead leader.
pay in advance
- to pay for something before it is received or deliveredI paid in advance for the frames for my pictures.
pay lip service to (someone or something)
- to support someone or something by words but not by actionsThe politician paid lip service to the proposal to build a new subway system but he did not really like the idea.
- to yield good resultsMy risks in starting the new business finally paid off.
pay off (something) or pay (something) off
- to pay for something completely and be free from a debtThe woman paid off her car loan so she now has some extra money to spend.
- the results of one`s work, a bribeThe young man expects to get a big pay-off from his university education when he begins to look for a job.
pay one's debt to society
- to serve a sentence for a crime (usually in prison)The young man spent several years in prison in order to pay his debt to society.
pay one's dues
- to earn one's right to something through hard work or sufferingThe young athlete paid his dues and became a member of the best team in the city.
pay one's last respects
- to attend the funeral of someoneOur family gathered to pay their last respects to our grandmother.
pay one's (own) way
- to pay the costs for something by oneselfThe young man was forced to pay his own way during college.
pay (someone) a back-handed compliment
- to give someone a false compliment that is really an insultThe woman paid her colleague a back-handed compliment when she told her what a good job she was doing.
pay (someone) a compliment
- to compliment someone, to give someone a complimentMy supervisor paid me a compliment for the work that I was doing.
pay (someone or something) a visit
- to visit someone or somethingI paid the tax office a visit to try and resolve my tax problem.
pay (someone) off or pay off (someone)
- to pay someone a bribeThe man tried to pay off the customs agent to quickly get his products into the country.
pay (someone) respect
- to have and show respect to someoneThe children refuse to pay their teacher respect.
pay the penalty/price (for something)
- to suffer the negative results of somethingThe company will pay a penalty for their bad business decisions.
pay the piper
- to face the results of one's actions, to be punished for somethingThe city government was forced to pay the piper after many years of bad management.
The student wasted most of the term playing. He was forced to pay the piper when the professor assigned much work at the end of the term.
pay through the nose (for something)
- to pay a lot of money for somethingMy uncle always pays through the nose when he buys a new car.
pay to (do something)
- to be beneficial to do somethingI decided that it would pay to buy a new car rather than fix my old car.
- to pay someone immediatelyMy friend asked me to pay up because he needed the money.
- the way people are ranked in relation to each otherThe pecking order in my company is very difficult for others to understand.
- someone who looks in the windows of strangersThe police arrested a peeping Tom near our apartment building last week.
peg away (at something)
- to keep working at something, to keep trying somethingMy friend has been pegging away at his job for many years now.
a penny for one`s thoughts
- the telling to others of what you are thinking about"A penny for your thoughts," the girl said as she saw her boyfriend looking out the window.
- a person who is very careful with his or her money - even very small amounts like a single pennyThe man is a penny pincher and will never spend any money.
a penny saved is a penny earned
- money saved through being thrifty is the same as money earned by workingA penny saved is a penny earned and trying not to spend a lot of money is as good as trying to earn money.
penny-wise and pound-foolish
- wise or careful in small things or purchases but not wise or careful about bigger things or purchasesThe man is penny-wise and pound-foolish and he wastes his money on things that he does not need.
people who live in glass houses should not throw stones
- you should not complain about other people if you yourself are not perfect"You should not criticize other people. Remember, people who live in glass houses should not throw stones."
pep (someone or something) up or pep up (someone or something)
- to make someone or something more active and energeticI drank a cup of coffee in order to pep myself up for my afternoon class.
- a speech to encourage people to try harder and not give upThe coach gave his team a pep talk after they lost three games last month.
- two people who appear to get along perfectlyOur neighors seem to be the perfect couple.
- to become energetic or happy after being sad or tiredMy sister began to perk up after she had a chance to rest after her long drive.
persist in (doing something)
- to continue to do something with determinationThe young child persisted in making noise that disturbed his father.
persist with (something)
- to continue with somethingI am going to persist with my demand that my boss transfer me to another department.
perspective on (something)
- a way of looking at a situation and determining what is importantMy friend has a different perspective on what recently happened in his company.
- to die down gradually, to grow less strongThe large crowd from the football game began to peter out and the streets around the stadium became quiet.
pick a fight with (someone)
- to start a fight with someone (usually on purpose)The man tried to pick a fight with his old friend.
pick a lock
- to open a lock without a keyThe robbers picked the lock and entered the store.
pick a quarrel with (someone)
- to start a quarrel with someone (usually on purpose)I do not like that woman because she likes to pick a quarrel with other people.
pick and choose
- to choose very carefully from a number of possibilitiesThe company will pick and choose the best people for the new project.
pick at (someone)
- to be very critical of someoneThe woman is always picking at her husband for very small things.
pick at (something)
- to eat only little bits of somethingThe boy is sick and will only pick at his food.
pick holes in (something)
- to find all the flaws and falsehoods in an argument, to criticize something severelyMy supervisor picked holes in my argument to buy a new computer for the office.
- food or a drink that one takes when one feels tired or lacks energyI stopped at the restaurant on my way home for a quick pick-me-up.
the pick of (something)
- the best of a groupThe members of the Olympic team are the pick of the best athletes in the country.
pick off (someone or something) or pick (someone or something) off
- to kill with a carefully aimed shot from a gun or other weaponThe police were easily able to pick off the man who was shooting the rifle.
pick on (someone)
- to do or say bad things to someoneThe boy always picked on his sister when they were children.
pick on someone your own size
- to abuse or bully someone who is big enough to fight backThe older boy should pick on someone his own size rather than fighting with the smaller boy.
pick one's way through (something)
- to work slowly through written materialI picked my way through the material that I had to study for the exam.
pick out (something) or pick (something) out
- to choose or select somethingI tried to pick out a nice necktie for my father.
pick over (something) or pick (something) over
- to sort through somethingThe customers picked over the best clothes at the department store sale.
pick (someone`s) brain
- to extract ideas or information from someone for one`s own useMy friend is always picking my brain to get new ideas for his business.
pick up a cold/influenza
- to acquire an illnessThe boy picked up a cold during the weekend.
pick up a radio wave etc.
- to catch or receive the sound of a radio etc.We could not pick up any radio stations when we were travelling through the mountains.
pick up a trail/scent
- to recognize the trail of a hunted person or animalThe tracking dogs were easily able to pick up the trail of the criminal.
pick up (someone) or pick (someone) up
- to take someone to the police station, to arrest someoneThe police picked up the man for drinking and driving.
pick up (someone) or pick (someone) up
- to take on passengers in a bus or car or train etc.The bus picked up my mother at six o`clock in the morning.
pick up (something) or pick (something) up
- to get or receive or claim or buy somethingI picked up my dry cleaning after I finished work yesterday.
I picked up some milk after work.
pick up (something) or pick (something) up
- to learn something without formal studyI picked up a lot of French when I lived in France for a year.
pick up (something) or pick (something) up
- to take something that has fallen on the floor or ground and put it somewhere else"Could you please pick up my pen from the floor."
pick up (something) or pick (something) up
- to collect or gather somethingWe picked up some beautiful seashells on the beach.
pick up speed
- to increase the speed of somethingThe car picked up speed as it began to go down the hill.
pick up the check
- to pay the bill for someone elseI picked up the check at the restaurant.
pick up the tab
- to pay the bill for someone elseI picked up the tab for the dinner at the restaurant.
pick up where one left off
- to start again after an interruptionIt was getting late so we decided to stop work and pick up where we left off the next day.
- rejected, wornAll of the best shoes were picked over in the shoe sale.
picture of health
- a perfect example of healthThe man is feeling very well and is the picture of health.
picture of (something)
- the perfect example of somethingMy father was the picture of happiness when I saw him.
pie in the sky
- a goal or plan that is too optimistic, a future reward after deathThe boy's plans for his summer were pie in the sky. He would never complete them.
piece of cake
- easyThat job was a piece of cake. It was the easiest thing that I ever did.
piece of the action
- a share in a plan or a projectThe small company was able to get a piece of the action with the large building contract.
pig in a poke
- something accepted or bought without looking at it carefullyThe used bicycle that I bought was a pig in a poke. I do not know if I will like it.
- a small bank (sometimes in the shape of a pig) for saving coinsThe girl put all of her spare money into her piggy bank.
- sitting or being carried on one's back and shouldersThe man was carrying his child around the room piggyback style.
pile into (something)
- to climb into something roughlyThe teenagers piled into the old car after school.
pile out of (something)
- to get out of something roughlyThe passengers piled out of the bus when it arrived at the station.
- to accumulate, to put things on top of each otherI piled up the magazines on top of the small table.
pillar of strength/support
- someone who provides strong support for someone, a strong or powerful personThe man is a pillar of strength in his community.
pin one's hopes/faith on (someone or something)
- to put one's hope or trust or faith in someone or somethingI will not pin my hopes on getting a promotion next month.
pin (someone) down or pin down (someone)
- to keep someone from moving, to make someone stay in one place or positionThe wrestler won the match after he pinned his opponent down for almost a minute.
pin (someone) down or pin down (someone)
- to make someone tell the truth or make a commitmentI cannot pin my friend down as to when he will pay back the money that he owes me.
pin (something) on (someone)
- to place the blame for something on someoneMy friend tried to pin the blame for breaking the computer on me.
pinch-hit for (someone)
- to substitute for someoneThe best batter on the baseball team was asked to pinch-hit for the injured player.
- to be careful with money, to be thriftyMy friend is pinching pennies in order to save money for his vacation.
- a dismissal notice from a jobThe man received his pink slip yesterday and no longer has a job.
pins and needles
- a tingling feeling in one's arms and legs, a feeling of excitementI was on pins and needles all day as I waited to hear the results of the exam.
- to be quietThe teacher asked the children to pipe down in the classroom.
- an unrealistic planMy friend has a lot of pipe dreams about what he wants to do in the future.
- to speak louderWe asked the speaker to pipe up so that we could hear him.
pipe up with (something)
- to speak up and say somethingThe student piped up with a comment from the back of the class.
- very hotThe food from the kitchen was piping hot when the waiter brought it to the table.
- a small and unimportant personThe boy called his friend a pip-squeak which made the friend very angry.
pique (someone's) interest/curiosity
- arouse interest or curiosityThe conversation with the filmmaker piqued my interest and I began to watch his movies.
piss (someone) off or piss off (someone)
- to bother or annoy someone, to make someone angryMy supervisor pissed me off when he asked me to work late last night.
pit (someone or something) against (someone or something)
- to set one group or person against anotherThe fight over the new shopping center pit the property owners against the local businesses.
pitch a tent
- to put up a tentWe pitched the tent in a field beside a stream.
pitch an idea
- to make a proposal or suggestion about something (just as a baseball pitcher will pitch a ball in a baseball game)I will pitch my idea about a new project tomorrow.
- to be very blackIt was pitch-black when we left the restaurant to return home.
- to set up or arrange a campsiteWe stopped for the night next to a small river and pitched camp.
- very darkIt was pitch-dark when I took the garbage out to the garbage can.
- to give help or money for somethingMy friends pitched in and helped me finish the job quickly.
pitch (someone) a curve (ball)
- to surprise someone with an unexpected act or eventThe lawyer pitched the woman a curve when he began to ask questions unrelated to the court case.
place an order
- to submit an orderI recently placed an order for a new refridgerator.
- to recall someone's nameI could not place the woman at the meeting but I knew that I had met her before.
place the blame on (someone or something)
- to blame someone or somethingThe teacher placed the blame on the boys for breaking the flower vase.
plain and simple
- absolutely, without further complication or elaborationIt was plain and simple. I decided to buy the car and I did not want to talk about it further.
play a joke/trick on (someone)
- to do a joke or trick that affects someoneThe boy played a trick on his teacher.
play along with (someone or something)
- to agree to cooperate with someone's planI decided to play along with my friend and his plan to buy a horse.
play around/about with (someone or something)
- to engage in some play with someone or somethingThe boy was playing around with the dog when his mother entered the room.
play ball with (someone)
- to cooperate with someone, to join in an effort with others"If you play ball with the new manager things should go well for you."
play both ends (against the middle/center)
- to scheme in a way that makes two sides fight against each otherThe man was trying to play both ends against the middle when he tried to negotiate with the two departments in his company.
play by ear
- to play a musical instrument by remembering the tune and not by reading the musicAlthough the woman cannot read music she can play by ear and is a very good musician.
- a detailed description of an event (usually sports) as it is taking placeThe announcer gave a play-by-play description of the championship game.
play by the rules
- to follow the generally accepted rules of somethingThe team members refused to play by the rules so they were asked to leave the tournament.
play cat and mouse with (someone)
- to tease or fool someone or something by pretending to let them go free and then catching him or her or it againThe boxer was playing cat and mouse with his opponent although he could have won the match easily.
play down (someone or something) or play (someone or something) down
- to give less emphasis to someone or something, to make someone or something seem less importantThe politician played down the survey that showed that he was becoming less popular.
- to pretend to be ignorant about somethingI played dumb when my boss asked me if I knew anything about the problems with the printer.
- to do something by the rulesThe politician was not playing fair during the election campaign.
play fast and loose with (someone or something)
- to act carelessly or thoughtlessly or irresponsiblyThe witness began to play fast and loose with the facts of his case and was criticized by the judge.
play first chair
- to be the leader of a section of instruments in an orchestra or a band, to act as a leaderThe woman plays first chair in an orchestra.
play footsie with (someone)
- to touch the feet of someone under the table while flirtingThe couple in the restaurant were playing footsie during dinner.
play footsie with (someone)
- to engage in some kind of collaboration in a political situationThe opposition party was playing footsie with the government in order to try and influence their policy.
play for keeps
- to do something that is permanent and a serious moveMy friend was playing for keeps when he refused to give the information to his boss.
play hard to get
- to be coy and shyThe young woman was playing hard to get but actually she wanted to go on a date with the young man.
play hardball with (someone)
- to behave in an extremely determined way to get what you want (hardball and softball are from the game of baseball)The owners of the football club decided to play hardball when they began negotiating with the star player.
- to stay away from school or work without permissionThe boy often plays hooky and does not go to school.
- to pretend to be innocent and not concerned about somethingThe little boy played innocent when the teacher asked him about the broken window.
play into (someone`s) hands
- to do something that gives someone else an advantageThe man walked out of the meeting in anger which only played into the hands of the other side.
play it by ear
- to decide to do something according to the situation"Let`s play it by ear and decide where to eat after we see the movie."
play it cool
- to act calm and not concernedI tried to play it cool when the policeman stopped me when I was driving my car.
play it safe
- to avoid taking a riskThe father always plays it safe when he goes swimming with his son.
- to settle a score between two teams or contestants by playing another game or matchOur team had to play off against the other team before we went to the championship.
play off (one group against another)
- to match opposing persons or forces or interests for one`s own gainNobody likes the supervisor because he is always trying to play off one group of workers against another.
play on/upon (something)
- to cause an effect on something, to influence somethingThe company played on the feelings of loneliness of some people to get them to buy more products.
a play on words
- a humorous use of a word to suggest a different meaningNewspaper headlines often use a play on words to give a different meaning to a sentence.
play one's cards close to one's chest
- to be extremely secretive and cautious about something (to hold playing cards close to your chest so the other players cannot see them)My boss always plays his cards close to his chest when he is negotiating with another company.
play one`s cards right
- to take advantage of one's opportunities"If you play your cards right you will probably get a promotion soon."
play one's trump card
- to use one's most powerful or effective strategy or deviceI played my trump card when I told my boss that I would quit if I did not get an increase in salary.
- to negotiate politically, to allow politics to control a situation where principle should prevailThe government leaders were playing politics with the tax issue.
- to pretend to be inactive or asleep or deadMy friend was playing possum and did not respond to the conversation around him.
play second fiddle to (someone)
- to be second in importance to someoneThe man has been playing second fiddle to his boss for many years and has finally decided to change jobs.
play (someone) for (something)
- to treat or handle someone as something elseMy supervisor was trying to play me for a fool but I could easily see what he was doing.
play (someone) off against (someone)
- to scheme in a manner that pits two of your opponents against each otherOur supervisor is always trying to play one group of employees off against another group.
play the devil's advocate
- to argue against something even if you may agree with itI was playing the devil's advocate when I asked my friend about his plan to change jobs.
play the field
- to date many different people, to avoid steady dates with the same personAfter my sister stopped dating her boyfriend she decided to play the field.
play the fool
- to act like a fool, to act in a silly mannerMy friend made me play the fool when he left me waiting in the supermarket for two hours.
play the market
- to invest in the stock marketMy father has been playing the market for many years now.
play to the gallery
- to perform in a manner that will get the strong approval of the audienceThe politician always plays to the gallery and tells his supporters what they want to hear.
play tricks on (someone)
- to trick or confuse someoneThe little boy likes to play tricks on his friends.
play up (someone or something) or play (someone or something) up
- to call attention to someone or something, to emphasize someone or somethingDuring the job interview I played up my experience with computers.
play up to (someone)
- to flatter or please someone in order to gain his or her favorThe man is always playing up to his boss so that he can get more free time.
play with fire
- to invite danger or trouble"You are playing with fire if you start that new project. You will lose money."
- to be tired or worn out, to be exhaustedI was played out last night so I went to bed early.
pleased as punch
- to be very pleased with oneselfI was pleased as punch when I learned about the money that I had won.
plenty of something
- much of somethingThere was plenty of food at the party.
the plot thickens
- things are becoming more complicated or interesting"The plot thickens," I thought as the situation at my company became more and more complicated.
plow into (someone or something)
- to crash into someone or something with forceThe truck plowed into the group of people waiting for the bus.
plow into (something)
- to attack or eat or do something vigorouslyWe plowed into the food as soon as the waiter brought it to our table.
plow through (something)
- to work through something with determinationI had much homework to do but I was able to plow through most of it by early evening.
pluck up one's courage
- to make oneself have courageThe young man plucked up his courage and asked the woman for a date.
plug a product
- to promote a productThe soccer star makes a lot of money when he agrees to plug a product.
plug away at (something)
- to continue working at something (usually in a serious and determined way)My friend has been plugging away at his job for several years now.
The boy is plugging away at his essay.
plug in (something) or plug (something) in
- to place a plug into a receptacleWe plugged in the coffee pot before the meeting began.
plug up (something) or plug (something) up
- to stop or fill up a hole or crack or gapWe used some special cement to plug up the leak in the bathtub.
- completely crazyThe man is plumb loco and everybody tries to stay away from him.
- the random but appropriate receiving of rewards or punishments by those who deserve themIt was poetic justice when the man lost the money that he had got illegally.
point of no return
- the halfway point, the point where it is too late to turn backWe reached the point of no return on our journey and decided that it would be impossible to turn back.
point of view
- one's way of thinking or one's opinion about somethingI find it difficult to understand my friend's point of view on many issues.
point out (someone or something) or point (someone or something) out
- to explain or call attention to someone or somethingMy teacher was very kind when she pointed out the mistakes that I had made.
point the finger at (someone)
- to blame someone for something, to identify someone as the guilty personI did not point the finger at anyone but I wanted to know who broke the computer.
- a remark clearly aimed at a particular person or thingThe manager made a pointed remark during the meeting in order to get everyone's attention.
poised for (something)
- to be ready and waiting for somethingThe army was poised for an attack early in the morning.
poised to do (something)
- to be ready to do somethingOur basketball team is poised to win its third championship this evening.
- to look or search for something or just look at thingsI was poking about in some antique stores last weekend.
poke fun at (someone)
- to joke about someone, to laugh at someone, to tease someoneThe woman is always poking fun at the way her husband plays golf.
poke one's nose into (something)
- to interfere with somethingI wish that my neighbor would not always poke her nose into my business.
- to be completely opposite, to be very different, to be far from making an agreementThe union and management were poles apart in their attempt to reach a contract agreement.
polish off (something) or polish (something) off
- to finish doing something quickly or completelyWe polished off the work early and went to the beach for the day.
polish the apple
- to try to win someone's favor by flattering him or herThe teacher does not like students who try to polish the apple with her.
- to payIt is time for my friend to pony up and pay for the exercise equipment that he bought from me.
- to be worn out, to be exhaustedWe spent all day painting the house so we were pooped out when we arrived home.
pop the question
- to ask someone to marry youThe man finally popped the question to his girlfriend after they had been dating for two years.
- to appear suddenly or unexpectedlyI had not seen my friend for a year but suddenly he popped up for a visit last week.
pose a question
- to ask a questionThe professor decided to pose a question to his audience.
pose as (someone)
- to pretend to be someoneThe man was posing as a reporter in order to get information about the company.
possessed by (something)
- to be under the control of something, to be obsessed with somethingThe woman was possessed by her desire to be the best actress on the movie set.
possessed of (something)
- to have somethingThe man is possessed of the ability to clearly understand and repeat what others say.
postage and handling
- the charges for handling and sending something by mailWe bought some books over the Internet but the postage and handling was very expensive.
pot calling the kettle black
- a person who is criticizing someone else may be as guilty as the person who he or she criticizesIt was like the pot calling the kettle black when the woman who is always late for work criticized her coworker for also being late.
pound out (something) or pound (something) out
- to type something on a typewriter, to play a song on a pianoI spent several hours trying to pound out an essay on my computer.
pound the beat
- to walk a routeThe policeman has been pounding the beat for many years now.
pound the pavement
- to look for a jobThe man has been pounding the pavement for a few months now but he still has not found a job.
pour cold water on (something)
- to discourage somethingMy boss poured cold water on my idea to change the time of our coffee break.
pour it on thick
- to flatter someone greatlyThe man has been pouring it on thick but the woman still does not like him.
pour money down the drain
- to waste moneyThe city is pouring money down the drain with the new subway line.
pour oil on troubled waters
- to calm down a quarrel, to say something to lessen anger and bring peace to a situationThe teachers tried to pour oil on troubled waters when they saw the fight among the students.
- to come out in great number or quantity, to stream out of a placeAfter the football game, thousands of fans poured out of the stadium.
pour out one's heart to (someone)
- to tell everything about something to someoneThe girl poured out her heart to her mother when her mother returned home from work.
- very heavy rainI went outside in the pouring rain and became very wet.
power behind the throne
- the person who controls the person who seems to be in charge of somethingThe general is the power behind the throne in the small country and he has much influence.
powers that be
- the people who are in authorityThe powers that be have decided that the summer festival will not be held this year.
praise (someone or something) to the skies
- to give someone or something much praiseThe teachers praised the principal to the skies for the new policies at the school.
preach to the choir/converted
- to praise or speak to those who already agree with you, to recommend something to someone who is already in favor of itI was preaching to the converted when I told my friend about the new car.
Telling the conservationists about the need to preserve green space is preaching to the choir.
- very few, very littleI had precious little time to prepare for my final exam.
There were precious few people at the concert.
prelude to (something)
- an event that comes before and signals another eventThe strong wind was a prelude to the large storm that would soon follow.
press one`s luck
- to depend too much on luck, to expect to continue to be luckyMy uncle is pressing his luck if he thinks that he will continue to make a lot of money on the stock market.
pressed for time
- to not have enough timeMy boss was pressed for time so I did not have a chance to speak to him.
pretty state of affairs
- an unpleasant state of affairsThe mess in the kitchen was a pretty state of affairs which the woman had to return to.
prevail upon (someone)
- to ask or beg someone (for a favor)I had to prevail upon my friend to lend me some money for my holiday.
prey on/upon (someone)
- to cheat or rob someoneCriminals often prey on people who are the weakest members of society.
prey on/upon (something)
- to catch something for food, to kill and eat somethingCats usually prey on mice and small birds for food.
prick up one's ears
- to listen more closely (like an animal moving its ears to hear better)I pricked up my ears and listened to what the speaker was saying.
pride and joy
- someone or something that one is very proud ofThe little boy is the pride and joy of his parents.
pride oneself on/in (something)
- to take special pride in somethingMy father prides himself on the fact that he is never absent from work.
- the force or person that starts somethingThe group of executives were the prime movers behind the decision to close the factory in our city.
privy to something
- to be uniquely knowledgeable about somethingI was not privy to the decision of my friend to suddenly quit his job.
promise (someone) the moon
- to promise something that is impossibleBefore the election the politicians promised everybody the moon but after they were elected they began to talk differently.
prone to (something)
- to be likely to do somethingOur manager is prone to saying very strange things.
proof is in the pudding/proof of the pudding is in the eating
- you can only find out if an idea or plan is good by seeing what the results of trying it will beThe proof is in the pudding and if our plan is good then many people will support it. If it is not good then people will not support it.
propose a toast
- to make a toast before drinkingWe proposed a toast to our friend who was going away to study for a year.
prove to be (someone or something)
- to be shown or discovered to be someone or somethingThe problem with the computer proved to be much easier to fix than we had thought.
provided that (something is so)
- on the condition that something is soWe plan to go hiking this weekend provided that the weather is good.
psych (someone) out or psych out (someone)
- to find out the real motives or intentions of someoneI tried to psych out the salesman to see how much he would sell the car for.
- to be confused and disorientedThe young man was totally psyched out when the robber entered his apartment.
psyched up (for something)
- to be mentally alert for something, to be ready to do somethingOur team was psyched up for the game but they lost anyway.
publish or perish
- university professors often have to publish books or articles in journals or they will not be successful in their jobs at the universityThe professor was forced to publish or perish if he wanted to advance in his university career.
pull a boner
- to do something stupid or sillyI pulled a boner when I sent the E-mail message to the wrong person.
pull a fast one on (someone)
- to cheat or deceive someoneThey pulled a fast one on me when they sold me the broken stereo.
pull a gun/knife on (someone)
- to bring out a gun or knife quickly so that you can use it against someoneThe robber pulled a knife on the woman in the street.
pull a stunt/trick on (someone)
- to deceive someoneIf the boy pulls a stunt like he did last weekend he will be in much trouble with his parents.
pull down (someone) or pull (someone) down
- to humiliate someoneThe scandal pulled down the politician from his position in the government.
pull down (something) or pull (something) down
- to demolish somethingThe city will pull down the old office building rather than rebuild it.
pull down (something) or pull (something) down
- to lower or reduce the amount of something (a school grade etc.)The difficult chemistry course pulled down my grades during the fall semester.
pull one's punches
- to hold back in one's criticism, for a boxer to hit with light punchesThe manager was pulling his punches when he began to criticize his workers.
pull one`s weight
- to do one`s fair share of the work"If everyone pulls their weight we can quickly finish and go home."
pull oneself together
- to become emotionally stabilizedThe woman tried to pull herself together after learning about her boyfriend's accident.
pull oneself up by one's bootstraps
- to improve oneself or achieve something through one's own effortsThe boy pulled himself up by his bootstraps and went back and finished university.
pull out all the stops
- to use all of one's energy and effort to achieve somethingMy mother pulled out all the stops to prepare a great birthday party for me.
- to drive to the side of the road and stopI was very tired so I pulled over to the side of the road to rest.
pull over (someone) or pull (someone) over
- to force a car to drive to the side of the road and stop (often used when talking about the police)The police pulled over the man because he had been drinking and driving.
pull rank on (someone)
- to assert one`s superior position or authority on someone of lower rank in order to get a privilege or favorThe navy officer pulled rank on the other officers and could stay in the best room in the hotel.
pull (some) strings
- to secretly use influence and powerOur boss was able to pull some strings and get his son a job for the summer.
pull (someone`s) leg
- to trick or fool someone in a playful way, to try to trick or joke with someone by saying something that is not trueThe man was pulling his friend's leg when he said that he had won much money.
pull (someone's) tooth out or pull out (someone's) tooth
- to take someone's tooth out (usually done by a dentist)I went to the dentist so he could pull my tooth out.
pull (something) off or pull off (something)
- to accomplish something remarkableMy friend is lucky that he pulled off the new business venture with no problems.
pull (something) out of a hat
- to get something as if by magic, to invent or imagine somethingThe team was able to pull victory out of a hat and win the tournament.
pull (something) to pieces
- to find serious fault with something, to criticize something very severelyThe politician tried hard to pull the proposal to pieces.
pull (something) together or pull together (something)
- to organize something, to arrange somethingWe were able to pull everything together and the convention was a great success.
pull the pin
- to quit a job, to end a project or program or relationshipMy friend suddenly decided to pull the pin and quit his job.
pull the plug
- to quit a job, to end a project or program or relationshipThe cashier suddenly decided to pull the plug and is no longer working here.
pull the plug on (someone or something)
- to terminate or stop someone or somethingThe company pulled the plug on the salesman after they learned about his illegal sales activities.
pull the rug out from under (someone)
- to spoil someone`s plans, to withdraw support for someoneOur boss pulled the rug out from under our plans to open a bigger office.
pull the wool over (someone`s) eyes
- to deceive or fool someone"Don`t let that man pull the wool over your eyes with his excuses."
pull through (something)
- to recover from an illness or misfortuneIt looked like my uncle was going to die but he pulled through and is now doing very well.
pull up one`s socks or pull one's socks up
- to make a greater effort than before to do something"You had better pull up your socks or you will not be able to continue working here."
pull up stakes
- to move to another locationWe have decided to pull up stakes and move to London.
punch a hole in (something)
- to make a hole in somethingI used a hole puncher to punch a hole in the sheet of paper.
punch a hole in an argument
- to weaken or destroy an idea or belief by proving that parts of it are wrongThe news reporter was able to easily punch a hole in the argument of the politician.
punch above one's weight
- to fight at a level that is above what would be expected of youThe boxer will be punching above his weight if he agrees to the match with the stronger boxer.
The small country punches above its weight in most international conferences.
- strong feelings of love (infatuation) between school-age children or teenagersThe two teenagers thought that their love was the greatest in the world. Other people thought that it was only puppy love.
pure and simple
- absolutely, without further complicationIt was pure and simple. I did not want to go away for the weekend.
push a product
- to promote a productThe soap company is now pushing their new product.
- to start, to leaveThe boat pushed off from the dock and started out to sea.
push one's luck
- to expect to continue to escape bad luck or a negative situationThe woman was pushing her luck to continue to bother her neighbors with her loud music. Someone was going to complain someday.
push (someone) around or push around (someone)
- to make someone do what you want in an unpleasant and unfriendly wayThe sales manager is always pushing around his salespeople.
The little boy likes to push the other children around in the school grounds.
push the panic button
- to become very frightened or excited at a time of danger or worryThe man thought that his wallet had been stolen so he pushed the panic button and told everyone that it was missing.
push up daisies
- to be dead and buriedMy uncle has been pushing up daisies for several years now.
put a bee in (someone's) bonnet
- to give someone an idea (about something)I put a bee in my friend's bonnet with my plans to go to Germany to study.
put a cap on (something)
- to put a limit on somethingThe university was forced to put a cap on the number of new students that they could accept.
put a damper on (something)
- to discourage something, to spoil a person`s funThe death of the company president put a damper on the anniversary celebrations.
put a hold on (something)
- to place a restriction on something to show that it is reserved or delayedI put a hold on several books at the library.
put a product on the map
- to make a product known to the publicWe hope that our new advertising campaign will put our product on the map.
put a sock in it
- to stop talking, to be quietThe man told his friend to put a sock in it.
The teacher told the children to put a sock in it.
put a spin on (something)
- to interpret an event to make it seem favorable to oneselfThe politician tried to put a spin on the bad publicity that she had recently been receiving.
put a stop/end to (something)
- to bring something to an endThe company is trying to put an end to the personal use of computers during office hours.
put across (something) or put (something) across
- to make oneself understood, to communicate somethingThe speaker spends much effort trying to clearly put across what he wants to say.
put all one`s eggs in one basket
- to place all one`s efforts or interests or hopes in a single person or thingYou should not put all your eggs in one basket and invest all of your money in the stock market.
put an end to (something)
- to cause something to end, to terminate something in a clear mannerThe police put an end to the loud party in the public park.
put an issue to bed
- to resolve a topic of discussionWe talked for three hours about the problem but we finally put the issue to bed.
put away (an animal) or put (an animal) away
- to put an animal to death, to kill an animalWe put away our dog because he tried to bite the small girl next door.
put away (something) or put (something) away
- to put something in its proper place, to remove something from sightThe little boy put away his toys.
put down (an airplane) or put (an airplane) down
- to land an aircraftThe pilot put down the airplane very gently when they reached the airport.
put down (an animal) or put (an animal) down
- to take the life of an animal that is sufferingThe farmer decided to put down the sick horse.
put down (someone) or put (someone) down
- to criticize someone, to make someone feel badThe boy is always putting down his girlfriend in front of his friends.
put down (something) or put (something) down
- to stop something by force, to crush somethingThe soldiers easily put down the rebellion by the rebel army.
put down (something) or put (something) down
- to write a record of something, to write down somethingThe company told the man to put down his request for a transfer in writing.
put forth (an idea/plan/suggestion)
- to propose something, to suggest somethingOur teacher put forth a very good idea about the exams.
put forth (something)
- to show or display something, to produce somethingThe girl put forth much effort in order to do well on her exam.
put ideas into (someone's) head
- to suggest something (often bad) to someoneMy mother was angry because I was putting ideas into my sister's head.
put in a good word for (someone) or put a good word for (someone) in
- to say something in support of someoneI put in a good word for my friend when I was meeting with my boss and supervisor.
put in an appearance or put an appearance in
- to appear somewhere for a short timeI put in an appearance at the party although I was very tired.
put in for (something)
- to apply for somethingI put in for a transfer to another department of our company.
put in one`s two cents
- to give one`s opinionThe girl likes to put in her two cents when she has a chance.
put in (something) or put (something) in
- to submit somethingI plan to put in my job application next Monday.
put in (something) or put (something) in
- to plant flowers or plants or vegetablesWe will put in some roses in our garden this year.
put in (something) or put (something) in
- to add to what has already been saidSuddenly, my friend put in that he was tired and wanted to go home.
put in (somewhere)
- to stop at a port on a journey by waterThe ship put in at several ports during the cruise.
put in time
- to spend time doing somethingThe man put in much time fixing up his house and now it looks very beautiful.
put off (someone or something) or put (someone or something) off
- to cause a bad feeling for someone, to repel someoneThe girl put off the other members of her class by complaining all of the time.
put off (something) or put (something) off
- to postpone or delay somethingWe put off the game because of the rain.
put on a brave face
- to try to appear happy when faced with a bad situationMy friend put on a brave face even though he had lost his job.
put on a performance/play
- to produce or arrange a play or other performanceMy sister helped to put on the school play.
put on airs
- to act superior to othersThe girl was accused of putting on airs by her friends.
put on an act
- to pretend that something is different than it really isThe girl was putting on an act when she said that she no longer loved her boyfriend.
put on clothes
- to get into and wear a piece of clothingI put on my sweater before I went outside.
put on one`s thinking cap
- to think hard and long about somethingI will put on my thinking cap and try and decide what to do about the problem.
put on the dog
- to dress or entertain in an extravagant mannerThe couple put on the dog for the visit of their old college friend.
put on the feed bag
- to eat a mealI put on the feed bag as soon as I got home last night.
put on weight or put weight on
- to gain weightMy friend has been putting on weight since he stopped working.
put one through one's paces
- to make someone demonstrate what he or she can doThe coach put the team through its paces as they prepared for the championship game.
put one's best foot forward
- to try and make a good impression on other people, to act one's bestI tried to put my best foot forward during the job interview.
put one`s cards on the table
- to be frank, to tell everythingI put my cards on the table and told my boss about my plans for next year.
put one's clothes in mothballs
- to put something in storage with mothballsThe woman plans to put her coat in mothballs for the winter.
put one's dibs on (something)
- to lay a claim to somethingI put my dibs on the most comfortable chair when I went to my friend's house.
put one`s finger on (something)
- to locate something precisely, to remember something exactlyI was unable to put my finger on the exact date of my friend's arrival.
put one`s foot down
- to object strongly to something, to take firm actionOur boss put his foot down and did not allow any more money to be spent on entertainment.
put one's foot in one's mouth
- to say something that is the wrong thing to say in a situationI put my foot in my mouth and said that I did not like fish just before my friend served me fish for dinner.
put one's head on the block for (someone or something)
- to take great risks for someone or somethingOur supervisor was always willing to put his head on the block for any member of the staff.
put one's heads together
- to discuss or talk about something with someone or a group of people and try to solve a problemWe put our heads together to try and find a solution to the problem.
put one`s house in order
- to organize one`s own private affairsMy friend should put his house in order before he tells others what to do.
put one's mind to (something)
- to give one's complete attention to somethingThe boy can do anything if he puts his mind to it.
put one's money where one's mouth is
- to stop always saying that you will do something but to actually do itThe man always talks about helping other people but he never does anything. He should put his money where his mouth is and do something.
put one's nose to the grindstone
- to keep busy doing one's workI put my nose to the grindstone and worked all weekend on my history essay.
put one's shoulder to the wheel
- to get busy and start workingI put my shoulder to the wheel and tried to finish my work so that I could go home early.
put one's thinking cap on or put on one's thinking cap
- to start thinking in a serious mannerI put my thinking cap on and tried to think of a name for the student newspaper.
put one's toe in the water
- to slowly start to do something new to see if you like it or to see if other people will approve of itI plan to put my toe in the water to see if the new job is suitable for me.
put one's two cents (worth) in
- to add one's comments to (something)I tried to put my two cents in at the meeting but nobody would listen to me.
put oneself in (someone) else's place/position
- to allow oneself to see or experience something from someone else's point of viewIt was difficult to put myself in the woman's place after she had lost her only child.
put our/your heads together
- to confer about something, to discuss somethingWe put our heads together to think of a new name for the football team.
put out a fire or a light
- to make a flame or light stop burning, to extinguish a flame or fireThe citizens were able to put out the fire before the fire department arrived.
put out (about/by/that something)
- to be inconvenienced or irritated about somethingMy friend was put out that her sister did not call her when she was in town.
put out (some) feelers or put (some) feelers out
- to attempt to find out something without being too obvious about itI put out some feelers to see if it would be easy to find another job.
put out (something) or put (something) out
- to produce or make somethingThe company decided to put out a newsletter for the employees.
The band will put out another record soon.
put pressure on (someone)
- to try to get someone to do something, to make demands on someoneThe company put pressure on the manager to change his decision.
put some teeth into (something)
- to increase the power of somethingThe government plans to put some teeth into the new laws against property crime.
put (someone or something) at (someone's) disposal
- to make someone or something available to someoneI put myself at my friend's disposal when he visited me last summer.
put (someone) away or put away (someone)
- to put someone in a mental institution or hospitalThe man was doing much damage to himself so the police put him away in a mental institution.
put (someone) down as (something bad)
- to judge that someone is bad or undesirable in some wayThe store clerk immediately put the young man down as someone who may steal something in the store.
put (someone) down for (something) or put down (someone) for (something)
- to put someone's name on a list of people who volunteer to do something or give money for something or wait for somethingThe salesman put me down for one of the new cars that will soon arrive at the car dealership.
put (someone) in his or her place
- to scold someone for rude or bad behavior, to rebuke someoneOur teacher was very angry and put the student in his place for his rude remark.
put (someone) in the picture
- to tell someone what the situation about something isThe supervisor has decided to put me in the picture about the new policy at work.
put (someone) off or put off (someone)
- to make someone feel uneasy, to avoid responding to someoneHe put me off with his complaints about our company.
put (someone) on or put on (someone)
- to fool or joke with someone, to tease someoneI think that my friend is putting me on. I do not believe that he will move to Italy.
put (someone) on a pedestal
- to respect or admire or worship a personMy father used to put my mother on a pedestal when I was young.
put (someone) on hold
- to leave someone waiting during a telephone callI phoned the bank and the receptionist put me on hold.
put (someone) on the spot
- to ask someone embarrassing questionsThe teacher put me on the spot with her questions during the class.
put (someone) out or put out (someone)
- to inconvenience or bother someoneI do not want to put my aunt out so I plan to stay in a hotel when I visit her.
put (someone or something) out of one`s head or mind
- to try not to think about someone or somethingMy friend has been trying to put his girlfriend out of his mind since they stopped seeing each other.
put (someone or something) out to pasture or put out (someone or something) to pasture
- to retire someone or somethingWe decided to put our old horse out to pasture and stop riding him.
put (someone) through (to someone)
- to transfer someone to someone else's telephoneI waited a few minutes before they put me through to the manager.
put (someone or something) through (something)
- to cause someone or something to succeed or passThe young man worked hard to put himself through university.
The city government put the new law through quickly.
put (someone) through the wringer
- to cause a lot of stress for someoneThe man put his wife through the wringer during their long divorce.
put (someone) to bed
- to help or make someone (often a child) go to bedWe put our child to bed early last night.
put (someone) to shame
- to be much better than someone else, to embarrass someoneThe school project of my neighbor's child put our child to shame.
put (someone or something) to sleep
- to cause someone to sleep or die through drugs or anesthesiaThe doctor put the woman to sleep before the operation began.
put (someone or something) to the test
- to see what someone or something can achieve or doI put my boss to the test when I asked him to replace our sales manager at work.
put (someone) up or put up (someone)
- to provide lodging for someoneI usually put my friend up when he comes to visit.
put (someone) up to (something)
- to persuade or cause someone to do somethingThe young boy's friend put him up to cheat on the examination.
put (something) above (something)
- to regard something as more important than something elseThe man puts his family above everything else
put (something) down in black and white
- to write something on paper, to write the details of something down on paper, to write down the terms of an agreement/contractI had to put my proposal down in black and white.
put (something) down to (something)
- to explain something as being caused by something elseThe police put the accident down to the bad road conditions at the time.
put (something) forward or put forward (something)
- to state or advance an ideaI put my idea forward at the meeting to see if anyone was interested in it.
put (something) in mothballs
- to put something in storageThe government decided to put the old ferry in mothballs.
put (something) into practice
- to start using a plan or ideaI think that our supervisor should put some of his ideas into practice.
put (something) into print
- to have something printed and publishedIt was difficult to get the company to put the policy into print.
put (something) into words
- to find a way to express a feeling with wordsIt was difficult to put my sadness at my aunt's death into words.
put (something) on hold
- to postpone something, to stop the progress of somethingWe decided to put the weekend trip on hold.
put (something) on ice
- to delay or postpone somethingThe city put the plans for the new stadium on ice as they tried to get more money for the project.
put (something) on paper
- to write something downI put my ideas for the new business on paper.
put (something) on the back burner
- to delay or postpone somethingWe have put our plans for a holiday on the back burner while we do some repairs to our house.
put (something) on the front burner
- to make something a priorityWe must put the plans for the new office on the front burner.
put (something) on the line
- to speak very firmly and directly about somethingI put my reputation on the line when I supported my friend and his business proposal.
put (something) on the map
- to make something known and popularWe are trying to put our new restaurant on the map.
put (something) on the table
- to make something the topic of discussionWe put the issue of the new schedule on the table for discussion.
put (something) over on (someone)
- to fool or trick someoneThe man was trying to put something over on his boss when he said that he was sick and could not come to work.
put (something) past (someone)
- to be surprised by what someone does (usually used in the negative)I would not put it past my friend to try and change jobs for the second time this year.
put (something) plainly
- to state something firmly and clearlyMy supervisor put his ideas plainly when we gathered for the monthly meeting.
put (something) straight
- to clarify somethingI tried to put our communication problems straight when I met my friend last evening.
put (something) to good use
- to be able to use something effectivelyWe were able to put the new computer to good use when we bought it.
put (something) to rest
- to put an end to a rumor, to finish dealing with a problem and forget about itI want to put the rumor to rest that I will soon leave my company.
put (something) together or put together (something)
- to consider some facts about something and arrive at a conclusionThe police were able to put the boy's story together after they interviewed him.
put (somewhere) on the map
- to make a place well-knownThe new museum has put our city on the map.
put the bite on (someone)
- to ask someone for money or favorsThe man is always trying to put the bite on his friends to collect money for charity.
put the blame on (someone)
- to blame someoneThe teacher put the blame on the young boys for breaking the school desks.
put the brakes on (something)
- to stop or slow down somethingThe city wants to put the brakes on spending more money.
The company plans to put the brakes on their recent plans.
put the cart before the horse
- to do things in the wrong or usual orderI think that my friend is putting the cart before the horse to talk about remodeling the house before he buys it.
put the finger on (someone)
- to accuse someone, to identify someone as the one who did somethingThe woman put the finger on the young man and said that he took the DVD player.
put the heat/squeeze on (someone)
- to put pressure on someoneThe hospital is putting the heat on the insurance company to make them pay the insurance money.
The bank put the squeeze on the man to make him pay back his loan.
put the kibosh on (something)
- to put an end to somethingI put the kibosh on my friend's idea to change our travel plans.
put the record straight
- to correct any false ideas by giving the true factsThe politician tried to put the record straight about the scandal.
put the screws to (someone)
- to try to force someone to do or say what you wantThe police put the screws to the criminal to try and get some information from him.
put the words into (someone`s) mouth
- to say or suggest something for someone else, to speak for someone else without his or her permissionMy friend always wants to put the words into my mouth before I have a chance to speak.
put two and two together
- to understand or figure something out after learning all the factsI put two and two together and realized why my boss was absent last month.
put up a good fight/struggle
- to try hard, to struggle hardOur team put up a good fight but we were unable to win the game.
put up a brave/good front
- to pretend to be happy, to fool people about one`s feelingsMy friend always puts up a good front but actually he is very unhappy.
put up at a hotel/motel
- to stay at a hotel or motelWe decided to put up at a hotel and continue driving the next day.
put up money for (something)
- to provide money for somethingThe telephone company put up much money for the new science center.
put up or shut up
- to prove or do something or stop saying it, to bet money on what one says or stop saying itThe politician was forced to put up or shut up over his plans to build a new convention center.
put up (something) or put (something) up
- to build a building/sign/fence/wallThey are putting up some new apartments near our house.
put up with (someone or something)
- to patiently accept or endure someone or somethingThe man makes a great effort to put up with his wife`s complaints.
put upon by (someone)
- to be taken advantage ofI am always put upon by my boss to do more work than the other members of the staff.
put words in/into (someone`s) mouth
- to say or suggest something for someone else, to speak for someone else without his or her permissionThe man always puts words into his wife's mouth which makes her angry.
putty in (someone's) hands
- to be easily influenced by someone elseThe children are like putty in the hands of the new teacher.
puzzle (something) out or puzzle out (something)
- to try to figure something outWe spent much time trying to puzzle out a solution to our problem.
- a pyramid scheme is a business model where people get money for enrolling other people into the scheme - the people at the top of the pyramid will make much money because the people at the bottom of the pyramid are investing money in the scheme - pyramid schemes are usually illegal and eventually collapse and destroy themselves because they do not provide a service or make a productSeveral people went to jail because of the illegal pyramid scheme.
Many people lost money when the pyramid scheme that they had invested in collapsed.