put through

Idioms & Phrases

put through

  1. Bring to a successful conclusion, as in We put through a number of new laws. [Mid-1800s]

  2. Make a telephone connection, as in Please put me through to the doctor. [Late 1800s]

  3. Cause to undergo, especially something difficult or troublesome, as in He put me through a lot during this last year. The related expression, put someone through the wringer, means "to give someone a hard time," as in The lawyer put the witness through the wringer. The wringer alluded to is the old-fashioned clothes wringer, in which clothes are pressed between two rollers to extract moisture. [First half of 1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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