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[noun poo t-on, -awn; adjective poo t-on, -awn] /noun ˈpʊtˌɒn, -ˌɔn; adjective ˈpʊtˈɒn, -ˈɔn/

noun, Informal.
an act or instance of putting someone on.
a prank or pretense, especially one perpetrated or assumed in mock seriousness; hoax; spoof.
affected manner or behavior; pretentiousness.
assumed, feigned, pretended, or disguised:
a put-on manner that didn’t fool anyone.

“ruse, deception,” 1937, from earlier adjectival meaning “assumed, feigned” (1620s), a figurative extension of the notion of putting on costumes or disguises; from put (v.) + on (adv.). The expression put (someone) on “play a trick on” seems to be a back-formation from the noun.


Feigned; affected: his put-on machismo (1621+)



Read Also:

  • Put on a brave front

    see: brave front

  • Put on an act

    verb phrase To behave misleadingly, esp pretentiously; SHOOT someone A LINE (1934+) Pretend, especially in order to deceive; also, show off. For example, We were afraid Charlie had hurt himself, but he was just putting on an act, or We know you’re a good swimmer—stop putting on an act. [ c. 1930 ]

  • Put one in mind of

    Remind one, as in You put me in mind of your grandmother . This idiom was first recorded in 1530. For a synonym see call to mind

  • Put one into the picture

    see: in the picture

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