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[get] /gɛt/
verb (used with object), got or (Archaic) gat; got or gotten; getting.
to receive or come to have possession, use, or enjoyment of:
to get a birthday present; to get a pension.
to cause to be in one's possession or succeed in having available for one's use or enjoyment; obtain; acquire:
to get a good price after bargaining; to get oil by drilling; to get information.
to go after, take hold of, and bring (something) for one's own or for another's purposes; fetch:
Would you get the milk from the refrigerator for me?
to cause or cause to become, to do, to move, etc., as specified; effect:
to get one's hair cut; to get a person drunk; to get a fire to burn; to get a dog out of a room.
to communicate or establish communication with over a distance; reach:
You can always get me by telephone.
to hear or hear clearly:
I didn't get your last name.
to acquire a mental grasp or command of; learn:
to get a lesson.
to capture; seize:
Get him before he escapes!
to receive as a punishment or sentence:
to get a spanking; to get 20 years in jail.
to prevail on; influence or persuade:
We'll get him to go with us.
to prepare; make ready:
to get dinner.
(especially of animals) to beget.
Informal. to affect emotionally:
Her pleas got me.
to hit, strike, or wound:
The bullet got him in the leg.
Informal. to kill.
Informal. to take vengeance on:
I'll get you yet!
to catch or be afflicted with; come down with or suffer from:
He got malaria while living in the tropics. She gets butterflies before every performance.
Informal. to puzzle; irritate; annoy:
Their silly remarks get me.
Informal. to understand; comprehend:
I don't get the joke. This report may be crystal-clear to a scientist, but I don't get it.
verb (used without object), got or (Archaic) gat; got or gotten; getting.
to come to a specified place; arrive; reach:
to get home late.
to succeed, become enabled, or be permitted:
You get to meet a lot of interesting people.
to become or to cause oneself to become as specified; reach a certain condition:
to get angry; to get sick.
(used as an auxiliary verb followed by a past participle to form the passive):
to get married; to get elected; to get hit by a car.
to succeed in coming, going, arriving at, visiting, etc. (usually followed by away, in, into, out, etc.):
I don't get into town very often.
to bear, endure, or survive (usually followed by through or over):
Can he get through another bad winter?
to earn money; gain.
Informal. to leave promptly; scram:
He told us to get.
to start or enter upon the action of (followed by a present participle expressing action):
to get moving; Get rolling.
an offspring or the total of the offspring, especially of a male animal:
the get of a stallion.
a return of a ball, as in tennis, that would normally have resulted in a point for the opponent.
British Slang.
  1. something earned, as salary, profits, etc.:
    What's your week's get?
  2. a child born out of wedlock.
Verb phrases
get about,
  1. to move about; be active:
    He gets about with difficulty since his illness.
  2. to become known; spread:
    It was supposed to be a secret, but somehow it got about.
  3. to be socially active:
    She's been getting about much more since her family moved to the city.
Also, get around.
get across,
  1. to make or become understandable; communicate:
    to get a lesson across to students.
  2. to be convincing about; impress upon others:
    The fire chief got across forcefully the fact that turning in a false alarm is a serious offense.
get ahead, to be successful, as in business or society:
She got ahead by sheer determination.
get ahead of,
  1. to move forward of, as in traveling:
    The taxi got ahead of her after the light changed.
  2. to surpass; outdo:
    He refused to let anyone get ahead of him in business.
get along,
  1. to go away; leave.
  2. get on.
get around,
  1. to circumvent; outwit.
  2. to ingratiate oneself with (someone) through flattery or cajolery.
  3. to travel from place to place; circulate:
    I don't get around much anymore.
  4. get about.
get at,
  1. to reach; touch:
    to stretch in order to get at a top shelf.
  2. to suggest, hint at, or imply; intimate:
    What are you getting at?
  3. to discover; determine:
    to get at the root of a problem.
  4. Informal. to influence by surreptitious or illegal means; bribe:
    The gangsters couldn't get at the mayor.
get away,
  1. to escape; flee:
    He tried to get away, but the crowd was too dense.
  2. to start out; leave:
    The racehorses got away from the starting gate.
get away with, to perpetrate or accomplish without detection or punishment:
Some people lie and cheat and always seem to get away with it.
get by,
  1. to succeed in going past:
    to get by a police barricade.
  2. to manage to exist, survive, continue in business, etc., in spite of difficulties.
  3. to evade the notice of:
    He doesn't let much get by him.
get down,
  1. to bring or come down; descend:
    The kitten climbed the tree, but then couldn't get down again.
  2. to concentrate; attend:
    to get down to the matter at hand.
  3. to depress; discourage; fatigue:
    Nothing gets me down so much as a rainy day.
  4. to swallow:
    The pill was so large that he couldn't get it down.
  5. to relax and enjoy oneself completely; be uninhibited in one's enjoyment:
    getting down with a bunch of old friends.
get in,
  1. to go into a place; enter:
    He forgot his key and couldn't get in.
  2. to arrive; come:
    They both got in on the same train.
  3. to become associated with:
    He got in with a bad crowd.
  4. to be chosen or accepted, as for office, membership, etc.:
    As secretary of the club, his friend made sure that he got in.
  5. to become implicated in:
    By embezzling money to pay his gambling debts quickly, he was getting in further and further.
get off,
  1. to escape the consequences of or punishment for one's actions.
  2. to help (someone) escape punishment:
    A good lawyer might get you off.
  3. to begin a journey; leave:
    He got off on the noon flight.
  4. to leave (a train, plane, etc.); dismount from (a horse); alight.
  5. to tell (a joke); express (an opinion):
    The comedian got off a couple of good ones.
  6. Informal. to have the effrontery:
    Where does he get off telling me how to behave?
  7. Slang: Vulgar. to experience orgasm.
  8. to experience or cause to experience a high from or as if from a drug.
  9. to cause to feel pleasure, enthusiasm, or excitement:
    a new rock group that gets everyone off.
get on/along,
  1. to make progress; proceed; advance.
  2. to have sufficient means to manage, survive, or fare.
  3. to be on good terms; agree:
    She simply can't get on with her brothers.
  4. to advance in age:
    He is getting on in years.
get out,
  1. to leave (often followed by of):
    Get out of here! We had to get out of the bus at San Antonio.
  2. to become publicly known:
    We mustn't let this story get out.
  3. to withdraw or retire (often followed by of):
    He decided to get out of the dry goods business.
  4. to produce or complete:
    Let's get this work out!
get over,
  1. to recover from:
    to get over an illness.
  2. get across.
get through,
  1. to succeed, as in meeting, reaching, or contacting by telephone (usually followed by to):
    I tried to call you last night, but I couldn't get through.
  2. to complete; finish:
    How he ever got through college is a mystery.
  3. to make oneself understood:
    One simply cannot get through to her.
get to,
  1. to get in touch or into communication with; contact:
    It was too late by the time he got to the authorities.
  2. Informal. to make an impression on; affect:
    This music really gets to you.
  3. to begin:
    When he gets to telling stories about the war, there's no stopping him.
get back,
  1. to come back; return:
    When will you get back?
  2. to recover; regain:
    He got back his investment with interest.
  3. to be revenged:
    She waited for a chance to get back at her accuser.
get even. even1 (def 26).
get going,
  1. to begin; act:
    They wanted to get going on the construction of the house.
  2. to increase one's speed; make haste:
    If we don't get going, we'll never arrive in time.
get it, Informal.
  1. to be punished or reprimanded:
    You'll get it for breaking that vase!
  2. to understand or grasp something:
    This is just between us, get it?
get it off, Slang: Vulgar. to experience orgasm.
get it on,
  1. Informal. to work or perform with satisfying harmony or energy or develop a strong rapport, as in music:
    a rock group really getting it on with the audience.
  2. Slang: Vulgar. to have sexual intercourse.
get it up, Slang: Vulgar. to achieve an erection of the penis.
get off on, Slang. to become enthusiastic about or excited by:
After years of indifference, she's getting off on baseball.
get round. get around.
get the lead out. lead2 (def 15).
get there, to reach one's goal; succeed:
He wanted to be a millionaire but he died before he got there.
get together,
  1. to accumulate; gather:
    to get together a portfolio of 20 stocks.
  2. to congregate; meet:
    The alumnae chapter gets together twice a year.
  3. to come to an accord; agree:
    They simply couldn't get together on matters of policy.
get up,
  1. to sit up or stand; arise.
  2. to rise from bed.
  3. to ascend or mount.
  4. to prepare; arrange; organize:
    to get up an exhibit.
  5. to draw upon; marshal; rouse:
    to get up one's courage.
  6. to acquire a knowledge of.
  7. (to a horse) go! go ahead! go faster!
  8. to dress, as in a costume or disguise:
    She got herself up as an astronaut.
  9. to produce in a specified style, as a book:
    It was got up in brown leather with gold endpapers.
has / have got,
  1. to possess or own; have:
    She's got a new car. Have you got the tickets?
  2. must (followed by an infinitive):
    He's got to get to a doctor right away.
  3. to suffer from:
    Have you got a cold?
Origin of get1
1150-1200; (v.) Middle English geten < Old Norse geta to obtain, beget; cognate with Old English -gietan (> Middle English yeten), German -gessen, in vergessen to forget; (noun) Middle English: something gotten, offspring, derivative of the v.
Related forms
gettable, getable, adjective
1, 2. Get, obtain, acquire, procure, secure imply gaining possession of something. Get may apply to coming into possession in any manner, and either voluntarily or not. Obtain suggests putting forth effort to gain possession, and acquire stresses the possessing after an (often prolonged) effort. Procure suggests the method of obtaining, as that of search or choice. Secure, considered in bad taste as a would-be-elegant substitute for get, is, however, when used with discrimination, a perfectly proper word. It suggests making possession sure and safe, after obtaining something by competition or the like. 2. win, gain. 7. apprehend, grasp. 10. induce, dispose. 12. engender.
Usage note
For nearly 400 years, forms of get have been used with a following past participle to form the passive voice: She got engaged when she was 19. He won't get accepted with those grades. This use of get rather than of forms of to be in the passive is found today chiefly in speech and informal writing.
In British English got is the regular past participle of get, and gotten survives only in a few set phrases, such as ill-gotten gains. In American English gotten, although occasionally criticized, is an alternative standard past participle in most senses, especially in the senses “to receive” or “to acquire”: I have gotten (or got) all that I ever hoped for.
Have or has got in the sense “must” has been in use since the early 19th century; often the have or has is contracted: You've got to carry your passport at all times. The use of have (or has) got in the sense of “to possess” goes back to the 15th century; it is also frequently contracted: She's got a master's degree in biology. These uses are occasionally criticized as redundant on the grounds that have alone expresses the meaning adequately, but they are well established and fully standard in all varieties of speech and writing. In some contexts in American English, substituting gotten for got produces a change in meaning: She's got (possesses) a new job. She's gotten (has aquired) a new job. He's got to (must) attend the wedding. He's gotten to (has been allowed or enabled to) attend. The children have got (are suffering from) the measles. The children have gotten (have caught) the measles. The use of got without have or has to mean “must” (I got to buy a new suit) is characteristic of the most relaxed, informal speech and does not occur in edited writing except in representations of speech. Gotta is a pronunciation spelling representing this use.
Pronunciation note
The pronunciation
[git] /gɪt/ (Show IPA)
for get has existed since the 16th century. The same change is exhibited in [kin] /kɪn/ for can and [yit] /yɪt/ for yet. The pronunciation
[git] /gɪt/
is not regional and occurs in all parts of the country. It is most common as an unstressed syllable: Let's get going! [lets git-goh-ing] /ˈlɛts gɪtˈgoʊ ɪŋ/ . In educated speech the pronunciation
[git] /gɪt/
in stressed syllables is rare and sometimes criticized. When get is an imperative meaning “leave immediately,” the pronunciation is usually facetious: Now get! [nou git] /ˌnaʊ ˈgɪt/ . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for get along

get along

verb (intransitive, adverb)
(often foll by with) to be friendly or compatible: my brother gets along well with everybody
to manage, cope, or fare: how are you getting along in your job?
(also preposition; often imperative) to go or move away; leave
(Brit, informal) an exclamation indicating mild disbelief


Greenwich Electronic Time


verb (mainly transitive) gets, getting, got (ɡɒt), got especially (US) gotten
to come into possession of; receive or earn
to bring or fetch
to contract or be affected by: he got a chill at the picnic
to capture or seize: the police finally got him
(also intransitive) to become or cause to become or act as specified: to get a window open, get one's hair cut, get wet
(intransitive; foll by a preposition or adverbial particle) to succeed in going, coming, leaving, etc: get off the bus
(takes an infinitive) to manage or contrive: how did you get to be captain?
to make ready or prepare: to get a meal
to hear, notice, or understand: I didn't get your meaning
(US & Canadian, informal) to learn or master by study
(intransitive) often foll by to. to come (to) or arrive (at): we got home safely, to get to London
to catch or enter: to get a train
to induce or persuade: get him to leave at once
to reach by calculation: add 2 and 2 and you will get 4
to receive (a broadcast signal)
to communicate with (a person or place), as by telephone
(informal) (also intransitive) foll by to. to have an emotional effect (on): that music really gets me
(informal) to annoy or irritate: her high voice gets me
(informal) to bring a person into a difficult position from which he or she cannot escape
(informal) to puzzle; baffle
(informal) to hit: the blow got him in the back
(informal) to be revenged on, esp by killing
(US, slang)
  1. (foll by to) to gain access (to a person) with the purpose of bribing him
  2. (often foll by to) to obtain access (to someone) and kill or silence him
(informal) to have the better of: your extravagant habits will get you in the end
(intransitive; foll by present participle) (informal) to begin: get moving
(used as a command) (informal) go! leave now!
(archaic) to beget or conceive
get even with, See even1 (sense 15)
(informal) get it, get it in the neck, to be reprimanded or punished severely
(slang) get with it, to allow oneself to respond to new ideas, styles, etc
(archaic) get with child, to make pregnant
(rare) the act of begetting
(rare) something begotten; offspring
(Brit, slang) a variant of git
(informal) (in tennis, squash, etc) a successful return of a shot that was difficult to reach
Derived Forms
getable, gettable, adjective
Usage note
The use of off after get as in I got this chair off an antique dealer is acceptable in conversation, but should not be used in formal writing
Word Origin
Old English gietan; related to Old Norse geta to get, learn, Old High German bigezzan to obtain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for get along



early 14c., "offspring," from get (v.). Meaning "what is got, booty" is from 14c.



c.1200, from Old Norse geta "to obtain, reach; to beget; to guess right" (past tense gatum, past participle getenn), from Proto-Germanic *getan (cf. Old Swedish gissa "to guess," literally "to try to get"), from PIE root *ghend- "seize, take" (cf. Greek khandanein "to hold, contain," Lithuanian godetis "be eager," second element in Latin prehendere "to grasp, seize," Welsh gannu "to hold, contain," Old Church Slavonic gadati "to guess, suppose"). Meaning "to seize mentally, grasp" is from 1892.

Old English, as well as Dutch and Frisian, had the root only in compounds (e.g. begietan "to beget," see beget; forgietan "to forget," see forget). Vestiges of Old English cognate *gietan remain obliquely in past participle gotten and original past tense gat. The word and phrases built on it take up 29 columns in the OED 2nd edition. Related: Getting.

Get wind of "become acquainted with" is from 1840, from earlier to get wind "to get out, become known" (1722). Get out, as a command to go away, is from 1711. Get-rich-quick (adj.) attested from 1904, first in O. Henry. To get out of hand originally (1765) meant "to advance beyond the need for guidance;" sense of "to break free, run wild" is from 1892, from horses. To get on (someone's) nerves is attested by 1970.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for get along

get along

verb phrase

  1. To live without any great joy nor grief; pass through life more or less adequately; cope; get by (1888+)
  2. To be compatible; associate easily: He didn't get along with the boss (1856+)

get on

verb phrase

To grow old; age (1885+)

Related Terms

get along



  1. Offspring; progeny •Used contemptuously, as if of an animal (1320+)
  2. gate, take (1950s+ Show business)
  3. The route taken by criminals in fleeing the scene of their efforts: The get, or getaway route (1940s+ Underworld)


  1. To seize mentally; grasp; understand: Do you get me? (1892+)
  2. To take note of; pay attention to: Get him, acting like such a big shot (1950s+)
  3. To kill or capture; take vengeance; retaliate destructively against: He can't say that. I'll get him (1853+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with get along

get along

Also,get on. Be or continue to be on harmonious terms. For example, She finds it hard to get along with her in-laws, or He gets on well with all of his neighbors except one. The use of along dates from the late 1800s; the use of on dates from the early 1800s. A colloquial synonym for get along well isget on like a house afire, in effect comparing increasingly good relations to the rapid progress of a fire.
Also,get on. Manage, fare with some success; also, prosper. For example, I can just get along in this town on those wages, or Her way of getting on in the world was to marry a rich man. The use of on dates from the late 1700s; the variant dates from the early 1800s.
get along without. Manage without something, as in With that new car loan, he can't get along without a raise. [ Early 1800s ]
Also,get on. Progress; advance, especially in years. For example, How are you getting along with the refinishing? or Dad doesn't hear too well; he's getting on, you know. [ Late 1700s ]
Also see: get on, def. 5.
get along with you. Go away; also, be quiet, drop the subject, as in “Leave me. Get along with you” (Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge, 1837). [ First half of 1800s ]
Also see: get on


also see under:
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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