put up: Idiom Meaning and Origin

What does ‘put up’ mean?

The idiom "put up" means to tolerate or endure a difficult situation or person. It can also refer to providing accommodations for someone temporarily.

Idiom Explorer

Unlocking "Put Up's" Significance

The idiom "put up" is a versatile expression commonly used in American English. It has multiple meanings, some of which are more prevalent than others.

One common use of "put up" is as a verb phrase meaning to place or position something in an elevated or visible location. It can refer to physically placing an object on a wall, shelf, or other surface, or arranging or presenting something for public view. Examples of this usage include phrases like "put up a poster," "put up a photograph," or "put up a sign."

Additionally, "put up" can be used figuratively to describe enduring or tolerating a difficult or unpleasant situation. This meaning implies a level of patience or resilience. For instance, someone might use the phrase "put up with" to express the idea of tolerating someone's annoying behavior or enduring a challenging circumstance without complaint. Being able to put up with difficult situations is an important aspect of personal growth and maintaining harmonious relationships.

"Put up" also conveys the act of providing accommodations or lodging. In this context, it is typically used with the preposition "at" or "up." For example, one might say "I put up at a hotel" or "We put him up in our guest room." Offering a place to stay demonstrates hospitality and a willingness to help others. It can help foster connections and create a sense of community.

Furthermore, "put up" can mean erecting or constructing something, such as a building or a fence. It implies the process of assembling or building a structure. This usage can often be heard in conversations related to construction projects or home improvement. Being able to put up a structure requires skill, planning, and the ability to follow through with the necessary steps.

In addition to these idioms, "put up" can also convey engaging in a competitive or combative effort. This usage is often found in sports or military contexts, where it signifies the act of confronting or challenging an opponent. Whether it is on the playing field or in a battle, the determination to put up a fight and give it your all is a valuable trait. It shows resilience, determination, and the willingness to persevere in the face of adversity.

The idiom "put up" has a diverse range of meanings in American English. It can convey the actions of placing or positioning something, enduring or tolerating a difficult situation, providing accommodations, erecting or constructing something, or engaging in a competitive effort. This versatility makes it a frequently used expression in various contexts. As a well-informed audience, it is important to be aware of the different meanings and uses of idioms like "put up" to accurately understand and effectively communicate in everyday conversations.

Example usage

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

  • I need to put up some shelves in my living room.
  • We put up a tent in the backyard for the camping trip.
  • Can you put up with the noise from the construction site?

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