Put Someone Off

Also: Put off someone

Meaning of Idiom ‘Put Someone Off’

1. To cause someone to dislike someone or something; to repel or repulse someone.

2. To persuade someone to delay acting; to discourage someone by making them wait, especially in order to avoid hurting their feelings. 1Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms]. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

Examples Of Use

“His bad attitude put off his coworkers causing them to complain to the boss about him.”

“Customers were put off by the lack of cleanliness of the restaurant.”

“His slovenly appearance put off prospective employers.”

“Oh, the smell in here is really putting me off my lunch.”

“He’s been asking me out every day but I keep putting him off.”

“We managed to put off the bank from foreclosing.” (Also possible: “We managed to get the bank to put off foreclosing.”)

Origin

The second meaning, above, is the earliest use of this idiom, dating from the early 1600s. The first meaning dates from around 1900.3Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms]. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.
2, 3. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.