I have a question about the correctness of the phrase "put on" in this New York Times article:

“We’re going to put on term limits, which a lot of people aren’t happy about, but we’re putting on term limits,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday. “We’re doing a lot of things to clean up the system.”

"Put on term limits" probably means to have term limits in place. But, I cannot find a definition of "put on" that would fit this usage. Could it be a error in the article?

  • When people speak, they don't consult a dictionary first. However, this is an unremarkable use of the verb put, and since it comprises only a single syllable, it is prominent in this particular speaker's lexicon. Nov 16, 2016 at 21:28
  • @P.E.Dant - yes, the scare use of a dictionary appears to be a widespread problem.
    – user5267
    Nov 16, 2016 at 21:33
  • @AbsoluteBeginner Is there something frightening about the dictionary? I am baffled by your comment, but intrigued. Nov 16, 2016 at 21:35

1 Answer 1


To put on here means :

  • to impose as a burden or levy: to put a tax on cars.

(Collins Dictionary)

  • Trump is saying that they will impose term limits.
  • Another plausible meaning is putting term limits on an agenda (yet not necessarily passing that agenda – merely putting it up for a vote).
    – J.R.
    Nov 16, 2016 at 22:09

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