put to sleep
  1. (transitive) To cause (someone) to sleep.
    • 1897, Edward Bellamy, Equality (Bellamy), Preface,
      When even the silence and seclusion of this retreat failed to bring slumber, he sometimes called in a professional mesmerizer to put him into a hypnotic sleep, from which Sawyer knew how to arouse him at a fixed time. This habit, as well as the existence of the underground chamber, were secrets known only to Sawyer and the hypnotist who rendered his services. On the night of May 30, 1887, West sent for the latter, and was put to sleep as usual.
  2. (transitive) To help (someone) to bed.
    • 1916, Stratemeyer Syndicate, Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue on Grandpa's Farm, Chapter XXV: Grandpa's Horses,
      Grandpa Brown rode off with Mr. and Mrs. Kendall; and Bunny and Sue were given a good dinner and put to sleep that afternoon, for they were tired, sleepy and hungry.
  3. (transitive, figuratively) To render dormant.
    • 1787, Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Edward Carrington,
      Our jealousy is only put to sleep by the unlimited confidence we all repose in the person to whom we all look as our president.
    • 1872 August, Benjamin Ward Richardson, The Physiology of Sleep, Popular Science Monthly, Volume 1
      This is in accord with facts, for I can by cold put to sleep special parts of the nervous mass without putting other parts to sleep.
    • 1935, John of the Cross, Edgar Allison Peers (translator), '''', Book 1, Chapter I,
      For there is no going forth from the pains and afflictions of the secret places of the desires until these be mortified and put to sleep.
  4. (transitive, euphemistic) To kill an animal painlessly, often with an injection; to euthanize.
    • 1885 August, Benjamin Ward Richardson, Measures of Vital Tenacity, Popular Science Monthly, Volume 27
      In one instance where a large number of dogs were put to sleep in the lethal chamber, one was found in deepest sleep, but still breathing, side by side and partly covered by another that was not only dead but cold and rigid.
  5. (informal) To give a general anesthetic prior to surgery.
Synonyms Translations Translations
  • German: einschläfern
  • Italian: mandare al mattatoio
  • Russian: усыпля́ть

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