put down unkind talk

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put down
2. To put a stop to; check.
She had patiently put down unkind talk by living a good life.
(American idioms)

As far as I understand, this 'putting down' had been happening for a long time. Does 'by living a good life' mean 'by no paying attention to unkind talk that also had been lasting for a long time? ' ? Or is the 'unkind talk' something she tried to forget (by living a good life)?

Thank you.
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    Senior Member
    American English
    Your last answer seems to be the one intended, but I don't find the example sentence very good or idiomatic. I've never heard "put down" used that way.

    Put down can also mean to kill when referring to animals -- "We had our dog put down -- it was bothering the cat." :eek: That definition actually works here, but I don't think it's what was intended.


    Senior Member
    British English
    VikNikSor could try something like She silenced unkind talk.
    A put-down is a cutting reply which puts someone in his place.
    John Smith: I'm having my second novel published. That means I'm a novelist like Charles Dickens.
    Graham Brown: No, it means you're a novelist like John Smith.
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