from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Pretended; feigned.
  • noun A deceptive outward appearance.
  • noun The act of teasing or misleading someone, especially for amusement.
  • noun Something, such as a prank, intended as a hoax or joke; a spoof.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A deception, hoax, or practical joke.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a composition that imitates or misrepresents somebody's style, usually in a humorous way
  • noun a ludicrous or grotesque act done for fun and amusement
  • noun something intended to deceive; deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • And either was the hit-and-run Albert Pujols "put-on himself" in the 7th inning of Game Five, a key move that led to Allen Craig getting thrown out.

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  • As noted in my last post, Authorers are gaining traction, right up there with Birthers and Truthers, after Bill Ayers 'put-on about ghostwriting Barack Obama's Dreams for my Father was taken as gospel by a colony of right-wing gulls.

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  • So too with the apparent shambling of his act: it is just that, a put-on.

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  • An American with a put-on Australian accent, a sea-nymph, was listening to us—he said she was rubbing up on him during the story, but I couldn't see it because she was on his other side.

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  • Gerwig's Rose is quirky with a capital "Q", but her performance is not a put-on or a sketch comedy act.

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  • In fact, the austerity has always been a bit of a put-on.

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  • I feel like they're being uber-respectful to dance music, and it's not a put-on and it's not some kind of post-ironicism or something.

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  • So too with the apparent shambling of his act: it is just that, a put-on.

    In praise of… Stewart Lee | Editorial 2011

  • If "Gris-Gris" at times flirts with schtick, the album's closer, an eight-minute incantation called "I Walk on Gilded Splinters," boils off any taint of put-on with its sinister groove, its seething invective and its backing female vocals filled with Creole curses.

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  • She was dismissive of anyone she considered to be unimportant or – worse – uninteresting, and her "eccentricity" was more of a put-on than she cared to admit.

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