be had


1

Be outwitted; also, be cheated, deceived. For example, This lawyer is a real shyster; you've been had, or I've become very cautious about these schemes; it's too costly to be had more than once. This expression employs the verb to have in the sense of getting someone in one's power or at a disadvantage. [Slang; early 1800s]

2

Be bribed or influenced by dishonest means. For example, Our senator's incorruptible; he cannot be had. [Slang; early 1800s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.