put on


1. add or apply something, activate something






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put on clothes/a light switch, put some music on

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Put on' is one of the most versatile phrasal verbs and it has many different uses in English. To 'put on something to wear' means to wear something or to dress somebody in something, such as 'putting on your coat' if it's cold outside; or to 'put on pyjamas' before going to bed. If you 'put on on a film', 'put on music', or some other form of entertainment, it means you make it play for your entertainment. You might like to 'put on the news' in the evening to hear what is happening in the world, or 'put on some music' while you're cooking. You can put something mechanical or electrical on by switching it on and causing it to activate or begin to work. With people and animals, you can use 'put on' when you are speaking about gaining weight or muscle. If you apply something to the skin as a bandage or a cream, you can say you 'put it on'. Some people 'put on' a face mask every week; other people need to 'put on' cream any time they are in the sun. If you 'put on' a particular voice or behaviour, it means you impersonate someone or act in a particular way. You can 'put on a voice' to play a trick on your friend over the phone, or 'put on a serious voice' when you are explaining something to your children, so they know that it is important. You always use 'put on' on to talk about activating the brakes or the handbrake in a vehicle. If you don't 'put the handbrake on' when you park your car, it might roll away. You can 'put on events', meaning to host a gathering or a party. You can use 'put on' to say you are going to host a dinner or begin making food. You can 'put on a pizza' to feed your friends when they visit, 'put on a 4-course dinner' for someone's birthday, or 'put on breakfast' when you wake upIf you 'put money on something', it means you make a bet. If you 'put someone on the phone', it means to hand them the phone so they can talk. A doctor or medical professional might 'put you on' a particular drug or they might even 'put you on a diet' to help your illness. If you 'put someone on' a particular task or duty, it means to make them responsible for it. You can also 'put something on' a tab or put something on a bill or an account in order to pay for it later.

Check Icon Social Examples (Basic)

  1. Claire put on her make-up before putting on her favourite dress. She wanted to look her best for the big event that the fashion industry puts on every year.
  2. I find myself putting on weight every Christmas from all the food I eat. That's why I'm always on a diet in January!
  3. I like to put the CD player on in the car when I'm going for a long drive.
  4. Frank always puts on a funny accent to make people laugh. He is a very talented mimic.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Basic)

  1. I can put you on to one of our customer success managers so they can help your team with onboarding.
  2. We should put on an event so we can meet more potential clients.
  3. We didn't get the investment we were hoping for so we have to put on the breaks for the moment.

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