put to bed: Idiom Meaning and Origin

What does ‘put to bed’ mean?

The idiom "put to bed" means to complete or finish something, especially a task or project, and to make it ready for the next stage or for use. It often refers to the finalization or completion of work.

Idiom Explorer


The idiom “put to bed” is a commonly used expression in everyday conversations. It is a phrasal verb that consists of the verb “put” and the prepositional phrase “to bed.” This construction gives the idiom a specific meaning that goes beyond its literal interpretation. The main meaning of “put to bed” is to complete or finish something, often a task or a project. It signifies the act of finalizing or concluding an activity, as if tucking it into bed and ensuring its completion or resolution. It is a versatile expression that conveys the notions of completion, closure, and tranquility.

Put the book on the bed.

One related idiom that shares a similar meaning with “put to bed” is “put an end to.” When something is “put to bed,” it brings an end to its existence or relevance, providing closure. Similarly, “put an end to” denotes the act of stopping or concluding something, putting it to rest. Both idioms imply the notion of finality and resolution, emphasizing the completion of a process or the termination of something.

Another related idiom that can be associated with “put to bed” is “lay to rest.” Like “put to bed,” “lay to rest” suggests the act of calming or soothing a person or situation. It implies providing a sense of resolution or tranquility, as if laying an agitated situation or a troubled individual to rest. Both idioms convey the idea of bringing peace and closure to a situation or person.

While the exact origins of the idiom “put to bed” remain uncertain, its usage and meaning have become deeply ingrained in the English language. It is a commonly understood expression that captures the essence of resolving or finalizing something. Whether it is used to signify the completion of a task or to bring a sense of calm to a situation, “put to bed” is a versatile idiom that invites further exploration and interpretation.

Example usage

Examples of how the idiom *put to bed* can be used in a sentence:

  1. He put the baby to bed after reading a bedtime story.
  2. I need to put this project to bed before the deadline.
  3. She finally put her worries to bed and enjoyed a peaceful night's sleep.

More "Sleep" idioms