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[goh] /goʊ/
verb (used without object), went, gone, going.
to move or proceed, especially to or from something:
They're going by bus.
to leave a place; depart:
People were coming and going all the time.
to keep or be in motion; function or perform as required:
Can't you go any faster in your work?
to become as specified:
to go mad.
to continue in a certain state or condition; be habitually:
to go barefoot.
to act as specified:
Go warily if he wants to discuss terms.
to act so as to come into a certain state or condition:
to go into debt; to go to sleep.
to be known:
to go by a false name.
to reach, extend, or give access to:
Where does this door go?
to pass or elapse:
The time went fast.
to be applied, allotted, awarded, transferred, etc., to a particular recipient or purpose:
My money goes for food and rent.
to be sold:
I have a bid of two dollars. Going! Going! Gone!
to be considered generally or usually:
He's short, as basketball players go.
to conduce or tend:
This only goes to prove the point.
to result or end; turn out:
How did the game go?
to belong; have a place:
This book goes on the top shelf.
(of colors, styles, etc.) to harmonize; be compatible; be suited:
Your tweed jacket would go well with these pants.
to fit around or into; be able to be extended, contained, inserted, etc.:
This belt won't go around my waist.
to be or become consumed, spent, finished, etc.:
The cake went fast.
to be or become discarded, dismissed, put aside, forgotten, etc.:
Those practical jokes of yours have got to go!
to develop, progress, or proceed, especially with reference to success or satisfaction:
How is your new job going?
to move or proceed with remarkable speed or energy:
Look at that airplane go!
to make a certain sound:
The gun goes bang.
to be phrased, written, or composed:
How does that song go?
to seek or have recourse for a decision, verdict, corroboration, defense, etc.; resort:
to go to court.
to become worn-out, weakened, ineffective, etc.:
His eyesight is beginning to go.
to die:
The old man went peacefully at 3 a.m.
to fail, break, or give way:
The dike might go any minute.
to come into action; begin:
Go when you hear the bell.
to make up a quantity or content; be requisite:
Sixteen ounces go to the pound.
to be able to be divided; be contained as a mathematical element:
Three goes into fifteen five times.
to contribute to an end result:
the items that go to make up the total.
to have as one's goal; intend (usually used in the present tense, followed by an infinitive):
Their daughter is going to be a doctor.
to be permitted, approved, or the like:
Around here, anything goes.
to be authoritative; be the final word:
This is my house, and what I say goes!
to subject oneself:
Don't go to any trouble.
(used in the infinitive as an intensifier to indicate the idea of proceeding, especially with the expectation of serious consequences):
He finally had to go ask for a loan.
Informal. to urinate or defecate.
verb (used with object), went, gone, going.
Informal. to endure or tolerate:
I can't go his preaching.
Informal. to risk, pay, afford, bet, or bid:
I'll go fifty dollars for a ticket, but no more.
to move or proceed with or according to; follow:
Going my way?
to share or participate in to the extent of (often followed by a complementary substantive):
to go halves.
to yield, produce, weigh as a usable amount, or grow to:
This field will go two bales of cotton.
to assume the obligation, responsibility, or function of:
His father went bail for him.
Informal. to enjoy, appreciate, desire, or want:
I could go a big steak dinner right now.
Informal. to say; declare (usually used in speech): I asked the clerk for my receipt, and he goes, “You don't need it.”.
noun, plural goes.
the act of going:
the come and go of the seasons.
energy, spirit, or animation:
a man with a lot of go.
a try at something; attempt:
to have a go at winning the prize.
a successful accomplishment; success:
to make a go of a new business.
Informal. a business agreement; deal; bargain:
Thirty dollars? It's a go.
Informal. approval or permission, as to undertake or begin something:
The boss gave us the go on the new project.
Boxing. a bout:
the main go.
(in calling the start of a race) start the race; leave the starting line:
On your mark! Get set! Go!
functioning properly and ready:
two minutes before the satellite is to be launched and all systems are go.
Verb phrases
go about,
  1. to occupy oneself with; perform:
    The shoemaker goes about his work with a smile.
  2. Nautical. to change course by tacking or wearing.
go after, to attempt to obtain; strive for:
You'll never get what you want if you don't go after it energetically.
go against, to be in conflict with or opposed to:
It goes against the company's policy.
go ahead, to proceed without hesitation or delay:
If you want to use my car, go ahead.
go along,
  1. to move or proceed.
  2. to accompany in travel.
  3. to agree; concur:
    I can't go along with you on that idea.
go around,
  1. to be often in company (often followed by with):
    to go around with a bad crowd.
  2. to be sufficient for all:
    Is there enough food to go around?
  3. to pass or circulate, as in transmission or communication:
    The rumor is going around that he was forced to resign.
go at,
  1. to assault; attack.
  2. to begin or proceed vigorously:
    to go at one's work with a will.
go back on. back2 (def 7).
go by,
  1. to be disregarded or not taken advantage of:
    Don't let this chance go by.
  2. to be guided by or to rely upon:
    Don't go by what she says.
go down,
  1. to decrease or subside, as in amount or size:
    Prices went down. The swelling is going down.
  2. to descend or sink:
    When does the sun go down?
  3. to suffer defeat:
    to go down fighting.
  4. to be accepted or believed:
    This nonsense goes down as truth with many persons.
  5. to admit of being consumed:
    This food goes down easily.
  6. to be remembered in history or by posterity.
  7. Slang. to happen; occur:
    What's been going down since I've been away?
  8. British. to leave a university, permanently or at the end of a term.
  9. Bridge. to fall short of making one's contract.
  10. Slang: Vulgar. to perform fellatio or cunnilingus.
go for,
  1. to make an attempt at; try for:
    He is going for the championship.
  2. to assault.
  3. to favor; like:
    It simply isn't the kind of life you would go for.
  4. to be used for the purpose of or be a substitute for:
    material that goes for silk.
go in for,
  1. to adopt as one's particular interest; approve of; like.
  2. to occupy oneself with; engage in:
    Europeans in increasing numbers are going in for camping.
go into,
  1. to discuss or investigate:
    Let's not go into the question of whose fault it was.
  2. to undertake as one's study or work:
    to go into medicine.
go in with, to join in a partnership or union; combine with:
He asked me to go in with him on the purchase of a boat.
go off,
  1. to explode, fire, or perform or begin to function abruptly:
    A gun went off in the distance.
  2. (of what has been expected or planned) to happen:
    The interview went off very badly.
  3. to leave, especially suddenly:
    She went off without saying goodbye.
  4. to die.
  5. to deteriorate.
  6. Slang. to experience orgasm.
go on,
  1. to happen or take place:
    What's going on here?
  2. to continue:
    Go on working.
  3. to behave; act:
    Don't go on like that!
  4. to talk effusively; chatter.
  5. (used to express disbelief):
    Go on, you're kidding me.
  6. to appear onstage in a theatrical performance:
    I go on in the middle of the second act.
go out,
  1. to come to an end, especially to fade in popularity:
    Silent movies went out as soon as the talkies were perfected.
  2. to cease or fail to function:
    The lights went out.
  3. to participate in a social activity:
    We usually go out drinking on Friday nights.
  4. Informal. to have a continuing romantic relationship:
    They went out for about a year before getting married.
  5. to take part in a strike:
    The printers went out yesterday in a contract dispute.
  6. Rummy. to dispose of the last card in one's hand by melding it on the table.
  7. Cards. to achieve a point score equal to or above the score necessary to win the game.
go over,
  1. to repeat; review.
  2. to be effective or successful:
    The proposal went over very well with the trustees.
  3. to examine:
    The mechanic went over the car but found nothing wrong.
  4. to read; scan.
go through,
  1. to bear; experience.
  2. to examine or search carefully:
    He went through all of his things but couldn't find the letter.
  3. to be successful; be accepted or approved:
    The proposed appropriation will never go through.
  4. to use up; spend completely:
    He went through his allowance in one day.
go through with, to persevere with to the end; bring to completion:
It was perhaps the biggest challenge of her life, and she resolved to go through with it.
go under,
  1. to be overwhelmed or ruined; fail.
  2. (of a ship) to founder.
go up,
  1. to be in the process of construction, as a building.
  2. to increase in cost, value, etc.
  3. to forget one's lines during a theatrical performance.
  4. British. to go to a university at the beginning of a term.
go with, Informal. to have a continuing romantic relationship with; date:
He went with her for two years.
from the word “go”, from the very start; since the beginning.
go and, to be so thoughtless, unfortunate, or silly as to:
It was going to be a surprise but he went and told her.
go ape over / for. ape (def 6).
go bananas. bananas (def 2).
go down on, Slang: Vulgar. to perform fellatio or cunnilingus on.
go for broke. broke (def 9).
go for it, Informal. to pursue a goal with determination.
go it alone, to act or proceed independently, without assistance, companionship, or the like:
If you don't want to form a partnership, I'll go it alone.
go native. native (def 24).
go the whole hog, to do something thoroughly or consistently:
If you're getting a new amplifier, why don't you go the whole hog and get new speakers and a turntable, too?
go there, to discuss or think about a specific, typically undesirable topic (usually used negatively):
No personal questions, please—I don't go there.
go to!, Archaic.
  1. you don't say! I don't believe you!
  2. let's do it! come on!
go together,
  1. to be appropriate or harmonious:
    The rug and curtains don't go together.
  2. Informal. to keep company; date; court:
    They have gone together for two years.
go to it, Informal. to begin vigorously and at once.
let go,
  1. to release one's grasp or hold:
    Please let go of my arm.
  2. to free; release.
  3. to cease to employ; dismiss:
    Business was slack and many employees were let go.
  4. to become unrestrained; abandon inhibitions:
    She'd be good fun if she would just let go and enjoy herself.
  5. to dismiss; forget; discard:
    Once he has an idea, he never lets go of it.
let go with, to express or utter with abandon:
He let go with a sudden yell.
let oneself go, to free oneself of inhibitions or restraint:
Let yourself go and get mad once in a while.
no go, Informal.
  1. futile; useless:
    We tried to get there by noon, but it was no go.
  2. not authorized or approved to proceed; canceled or aborted:
    Tomorrow's satellite launching is no go.
on the go,
  1. very busy; active:
    She's always on the go.
  2. while going from place to place; while traveling.
to go, Informal. (of food) for consumption off the premises where sold:
coffee to go.
Origin of go1
before 900; Middle English gon, Old English gān; cognate with Old High German gēn, German gehen
1. walk, run, travel, advance.
1. stay. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for go for

go for

verb (intransitive, preposition)
to go somewhere in order to have or fetch: he went for a drink, shall I go for a doctor?
to seek to obtain: I'd go for that job if I were you
to apply to: what I told him goes for you too
to prefer or choose; like: I really go for that new idea of yours
to be to the advantage of: you'll have great things going for you in the New Year
to make a physical or verbal attack on
to be considered to be of a stated importance or value: his twenty years went for nothing when he was made redundant
(informal) go for it, to make the maximum effort to achieve a particular goal


general order


verb (mainly intransitive) goes, going, went, gone
to move or proceed, esp to or from a point or in a certain direction: to go to London, to go home
(transitive; takes an infinitive, often with to omitted or replaced by and) to proceed towards a particular person or place with some specified intention or purpose: I must go and get that book
to depart: we'll have to go at eleven
to start, as in a race: often used in commands
to make regular journeys: this train service goes to the east coast
to operate or function effectively: the radio won't go
(copula) to become: his face went red with embarrassment
to make a noise as specified: the gun went bang
to enter into a specified state or condition: to go into hysterics, to go into action
to be or continue to be in a specified state or condition: to go in rags, to go in poverty
to lead, extend, or afford access: this route goes to the north
to proceed towards an activity: to go to supper, to go to sleep
(transitive; takes an infinitive) to serve or contribute: this letter goes to prove my point
to follow a course as specified; fare: the lecture went badly
to be applied or allotted to a particular purpose or recipient: her wealth went to her son, his money went on drink
to be sold or otherwise transferred to a recipient: the necklace went for three thousand pounds
to be ranked; compare: this meal is good as my meals go
to blend or harmonize: these chairs won't go with the rest of your furniture
foll by by or under. to be known (by a name or disguise)
to fit or extend: that skirt won't go round your waist
to have a usual or proper place: those books go on this shelf
(of music, poetry, etc) to be sounded; expressed, etc: how does that song go?
to fail or give way: my eyesight is going
to break down or collapse abruptly: the ladder went at the critical moment
to die: the old man went at 2 am
(often foll by by)
  1. (of time) to elapse: the hours go by so slowly at the office
  2. to travel past: the train goes by her house at four
  3. to be guided (by)
to occur: happiness does not always go with riches
to be eliminated, abolished, or given up: this entry must go to save space
to be spent or finished: all his money has gone
to circulate or be transmitted: the infection went around the whole community
to attend: go to school, go to church
to join a stated profession: go to the bar, go on the stage
(foll by to) to have recourse (to); turn: to go to arbitration
(foll by to) to subject or put oneself (to): she goes to great pains to please him
to proceed, esp up to or beyond certain limits: you will go too far one day and then you will be punished
to be acceptable or tolerated: anything goes in this place
to carry the weight of final authority: what the boss says goes
(foll by into) to be contained in: four goes into twelve three times
(often foll by for) to endure or last out: we can't go for much longer without water in this heat
(transitive) (cards) to bet or bid: I go two hearts
(transitive) (informal, mainly US) to have as one's weight: I went 112 pounds a year ago
(US & Canadian) (usually used in commands) takes an infinitive without to
  1. to start to act so as to: go shut the door
  2. to leave so as to: go blow your brains out
(informal) to perform well; be successful: that group can really go
(transitive) (not standard) to say: widely used, esp in the historic present, in reporting dialogue: Then she goes, ``Give it to me!'' and she just snatched it
(informal) go and, to be so foolish or unlucky as to: then she had to go and lose her hat
be going, to intend or be about to start (to do or be doing something): often used as an alternative future construction: what's going to happen to us?
(slang) go ape, to become crazy, enraged, or out of control
(slang) go ape over, to become crazy or extremely enthusiastic about
go astray, to be mislaid; go missing
go bail, to act as surety
go bush, See bush1 (sense 14)
go halves, See half (sense 15)
(often foll by with) go hard, to cause trouble or unhappiness (to)
(slang) go it, to do something or move energetically
(informal) go it alone, to act or proceed without allies or help
(informal) go much on, to approve of or be in agreement with (something): usually used in the negative: I don't go much on the idea
(informal) go one better, to surpass or outdo (someone)
(informal) go the whole hog, See hog (sense 9)
let go
  1. to relax one's hold (on); release
  2. (euphemistic) to dismiss (from employment)
  3. to discuss or consider no further
let oneself go
  1. to act in an uninhibited manner
  2. to lose interest in one's appearance, manners, etc
to go
  1. remaining
  2. (US & Canadian, informal) (of food served by a restaurant) for taking away
noun (pl) goes
the act of going
  1. an attempt or try: he had a go at the stamp business
  2. an attempt at stopping a person suspected of a crime: the police are not always in favour of the public having a go
  3. an attack, esp verbal: she had a real go at them
a turn: it's my go next
(informal) the quality of being active and energetic: she has much more go than I
(informal) hard or energetic work: it's all go
(informal) a successful venture or achievement: he made a go of it
(informal) a bout or attack (of an illness): he had a bad go of flu last winter
(informal) an unforeseen, usually embarrassing or awkward, turn of events: here's a rum go
(informal) a bargain or agreement
(informal) all the go, very popular; in fashion
(informal) from the word go, from the very beginning
(informal) no go, impossible; abortive or futile: it's no go, I'm afraid
(informal) on the go, active and energetic
(postpositive) (informal) functioning properly and ready for action: esp used in astronautics: all systems are go
Word Origin
Old English gān; related to Old High German gēn, Greek kikhanein to reach, Sanskrit jahāti he forsakes


a game for two players in which stones are placed on a board marked with a grid, the object being to capture territory on the board
Word Origin
from Japanese
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 go for



1727, "action of going," from go (v.). The sense of "a try or turn at something" is from 1825; meaning "something that goes, a success" is from 1876. Phrase on the go "in constant motion" is from 1843.



Old English gan "to go, advance, depart; happen; conquer; observe," from West Germanic *gai-/*gæ- (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian gan, Middle Dutch gaen, Dutch gaan, Old High German gan, German gehen), from PIE *ghe- "to release, let go" (cf. Sanskrit jihite "goes away," Greek kikhano "I reach, meet with"), but there is not general agreement on cognates.

The Old English past tense was eode, of uncertain origin but evidently once a different word (perhaps connected to Gothic iddja); it was replaced 1400s by went, formerly past tense of wenden "to direct one's way" (see wend). In northern England and Scotland, however, eode tended to be replaced by gaed, a construction based on go. In modern English, only be and go take their past tenses from entirely different verbs.

The word in its various forms and combinations takes up 45 columns of close print in the OED. Verbal meaning "say" emerged 1960s in teen slang. Colloquial meaning "urinate or defecate" attested by 1926. Go for broke is from 1951, American English colloquial; go down on "perform oral sex on" is from 1916. That goes without saying (1878) translates French cela va sans dire. As an adjective, "in order," from 1951, originally in aerospace jargon.

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

go for

verb phrase

  1. To be in favor of; admire; be attracted to: I really go for her (1835+)
  2. To attack: Three of the villains went for me (1838+)

Related Terms

have something going (or working) for someone or something



  1. Functioning properly; going as planned; a-ok: As the astronauts say, all signs are go in the National League (1950s+ Astronauts)
  2. Appropriate; fitting •The phrase all the go, ''the fashion,'' is found by 1893: beatniks, whose heavy black turtle-neck sweaters had never looked particularly go with white tennis socks (1960s+)


  1. A fight: a ripsnorting go (1890+)
  2. A try; crack, whack: She gave it a good go, and made it (1835+)


  1. To die (1390+)
  2. To rule; be authoritative: Whatever he says goes around here (1891+)
  3. To relieve oneself; go to the bathroom: The dog had to go. We set him in the sink (1926+)
  4. To happen; transpire; go down: What goes here? (1940s+)
  5. To say; utter: You wake up one morning and you go, ''Wait a minute'' (1960s+ Teenagers)
  6. To yield; produce: She'll go maybe 300, 400 pounds (1816+)

Related Terms

from the git-go, from the word go, give something a shot, have a crack at something, have something going (or working) for someone or something, let fly, let oneself go, no-go, no go, on the go, tell someone where to get off, there you go, to go, way to go, what goes around comes around

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 go for

go for

Go in order to get, as in I'll go for the paper, or He went for the doctor. This usage, dating from the late 1500s, gave rise to the 20th-century noun gofer, a person who is habitually sent on routine errands.
Be equivalent to or valued as; also, pass for, serve as. For example, All our efforts are going for very little, or That silver went for a lot of money, or That sofa can go for a bed. [ Mid-1500s ]
Aim or try for, especially making a vigorous effort. For example,
They're going for the league championship
. This idiom is also put as
go for it
, as in
When Steve said he'd like to change careers, his wife told him to go for it
. The related phrase
go for broke
means “to commit all one's available resources toward achieving a goal,” as in
Our competitors are going for broke to get some of our accounts
. The first expression dates from the mid-1500s; the two colloquial variants from the first half of the 1900s. Also see
Attack, as in We have to tie up our dog, because he loves to go for letter carriers. A hyperbolic variant,go for the jugular, is used for an all-out attack on the most vital part, as in In political arguments he always goes for the jugular. The jugular is a blood vessel whose rupture is life-threatening. [ ; late 1800s ]
Have a special liking for, as in I really go for progressive jazz. [ ; first half of 1900s ]
Be valid for or applicable to, as in Kevin hates broccoli, and that goes for Dean, too. [ Early 1900s ]
Also see: have going for one
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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