Defer indefinitely or for a very long time, as in We’ve put the plans for a new library in mothballs. This expression alludes to storing woolen clothing or other items with marble-size balls of naphthalene or camphor to prevent them from being damaged by moths. [ 1940s ]
- Put in order
Arrange in proper sequence; see in order , def. 1; also put one’s house in order
- Put into effect
see: in effect , def. 2.
- Put in the way of
1. Also, put in one’s way. 2. Obstruct or impede, as in The police put a traffic barrier in the way of northbound motorists, or I don’t want to put anything in the way of your advancement. [ c. 1500 ] 3. See in one’s way , def. 2.
- Put into practice
Also, put in practice. Carry out in action, as in It’s time we put these new ideas into practice. Shakespeare used this idiom in Two Gentlemen of Verona (3:2): “Thy advice, this night, I’ll put in practice.” [ Mid-1500s ]