Put someone out of his or her misery

Kill a wounded or suffering animal or person, as in When a horse breaks a leg, there is nothing to do but put it out of its misery. [ Late 1700s ]
End someone’s feeling of suspense, as in Tell them who won the tournament; put them out of their misery. [ c. 1920 ]
Both usages employ put out of in the sense of “extricate” or “free from.”


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  • Put someone out

    verb phrase To impose upon; cause inconvenience (1940s+)

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    see: put right

  • Put someone through his or her paces

    Test thoroughly to see what someone can do, as in We put the new programmer though her paces, and she passed with flying colors. The idiom can refer to things as well, as in When we put the electrical system through its paces, we blew a fuse. The expression alludes to testing a horse’s ability […]

  • Putamen

    [pyoo-tey-min] /pyuˈteɪ mɪn/ noun, plural putamina [pyoo-tam-uh-nuh] /pyuˈtæm ə nə/ (Show IPA) 1. Botany. a hard or stony endocarp, as a peach stone. 2. a shell membrane. /pjuːˈteɪmɛn/ noun (pl) -tamina (-ˈtæmɪnə) 1. the hard endocarp or stone of fruits such as the peach, plum, and cherry putamen pu·ta·men (pyōō-tā’mən) n. The outer, larger, and […]

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