- of, relating to, or belonging to oneself or itself (usually used after a possessive to emphasize the idea of ownership, interest, or relation conveyed by the possessive): He spent only his own money.
- (used as an intensifier to indicate oneself as the sole agent of some activity or action, preceded by a possessive): He insists on being his own doctor.
- to have or hold as one's own; possess: They own several homes.
- to acknowledge or admit: to own a fault.
- to acknowledge as one's own; recognize as having full claim, authority, power, dominion, etc.: He owned his child before the entire assembly. They owned the king as their lord.
- to totally defeat, gain control over, or dominate in a competition: I totally owned the last two levels of the game. He owned the season from beginning to end and took the world title.
- to take over a (a computer system, program, or computer) without authorization: The network has been owned by a hacker.
- to confess (often followed by to, up, or up to): The one who did it had better own up. I own to being uncertain about that.
- come into one's own,
- to take possession of that which is due or owed one.
- to receive the recognition that one's abilities merit: She finally came into her own as a sculptor of the first magnitude.
- get one's own back, to get revenge and thereby a sense of personal satisfaction, as for a slight or a previous setback; get even with somebody or something: He saw the award as a way of getting his own back for all the snubs by his colleagues.
- hold one's own,
- to maintain one's position or condition: The stock market seems to be holding its own these days.
- to be equal to the opposition: He can hold his own in any fight.
- of one's own, belonging to oneself: She had never had a room of her own.
- on one's own,
- by dint of one's own efforts, resources, or sense of responsibility; independently: Because she spoke the language, she got around the country very well on her own.
- living or functioning without dependence on others; independent: My son's been on his own for several years.
Origin of own
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
- the rear part of the human body, extending from the neck to the lower end of the spine.
- the part of the body of animals corresponding to the human back.
- the rear portion of any part of the body: the back of the head.
- the whole body, with reference to clothing: the clothes on his back.
- ability for labor; effort; endurance: He put his back into the task.
- the part opposite to or farthest from the front; the rear part: the back of a hall.
- the part that forms the rear of any object or structure: the back of a chair.
- the part that covers the back: the back of a jacket.
- the spine or backbone: The fall broke his back.
- any rear part of an object serving to support, protect, etc.: the back of a binder.
- Nautical, Aeronautics. the forward side of a propeller blade (opposed to facedef 20).
- Aeronautics. the top part or upper surface of an aircraft, especially of its fuselage.
- Bookbinding. the edge of a book formed where its sections are bound together.
- the backs, grounds along the River Cam in back of certain colleges at Cambridge University in England: noted for their great beauty.
- Architecture. extrados.
- the upper side of a joist, rafter, handrail, etc.
- the area of interior wall between a window stool and the floor.
- Mining. the roof of a stope or drift.
- a player whose regular position is behind that of players who make initial contact with the opposing team, as behind the forward line in football or nearest the player's own goal in polo.
- the position occupied by this player.
- to support, as with authority, influence, help, or money (often followed by up): to back a candidate; to back up a theory with facts.
- to bet on: to back a horse in the race.
- to cause to move backward (often followed by up): to back a car.
- to furnish with a back: to back a book.
- to lie at the back of; form a back or background for: a beach backed by hills.
- to provide with an accompaniment: a singer backed by piano and bass.
- to get upon the back of; mount.
- to write or print on the back of; endorse; countersign.
- Carpentry. to attach strips of wood to the upper edge of (a joist or rafter) to bring it to a desired level.
- to alter the position of (a sail) so that the wind will strike the forward face.
- to brace (yards) in backing a sail.
- to reinforce the hold of (an anchor) by means of a smaller one attached to it and dropped farther away.
- to go or move backward (often followed by up).
- Nautical. (of wind) to change direction counterclockwise (opposed to veer).
- situated at or in the rear: at the back door; back fence.
- far away or removed from the front or main area, position, or rank; remote: back settlements.
- belonging to the past: back files; back issues.
- in arrears; overdue: back pay.
- coming or going back; moving backward: back current.
- Navigation. reciprocal(def 7).
- Phonetics. (of a speech sound) produced with the tongue articulating in the back part of the mouth, as in either of the sounds of go.
- back away, to retreat; withdraw: They gradually began to back away from their earlier opinion.
- back down, to abandon an argument, opinion, or claim; withdraw; retreat: He backed down as soon as a member of the audience challenged his assertion.
- back off,
- to back down: Now that the time for action had arrived, it was too late to back off.
- Textiles.to reverse (the spindle) in mule spinning prior to winding on the newly spun length of yarn.
- back out (of), to fail to keep an engagement or promise; withdraw from; abandon: Two entrants have backed out of competing in the marathon. You can't back out now.
- back up,
- to bring (a stream of traffic) to a standstill: A stalled car backed up traffic for miles.
- Printing.to print a sheet again on its other side.
- Printing.to fill in (the thin copper shell of an electrotype) with metal in order to strengthen it.
- to move backward: Back up into the garage.
- to reinforce: We backed up the cardboard with slats so it wouldn't fall down.
- to support or confirm: He backed up my story and they let us go.
- Computers.to duplicate (a file or a program) as a precaution against failure.
- back up for, Australian Informal. to return for more of, as another helping of food.
- back and fill,
- Nautical.to trim the sails of a boat so that the wind strikes them first on the forward and then on the after side.
- to change one's opinion or position; vacillate.
- back and forth, South Midland U.S.
- to go back and forth, as in running errands or visiting: He spent the day backing and forthing to the post office.
- to work in an aimless or ineffective way; expend effort with little result.
- back water,
- Nautical.to reverse the direction of a vessel.
- to retreat from a position; withdraw an opinion: I predict that the council will back water on the tax issue.
- be flat on one's back,
- to be helpless or beaten: He's flat on his back after a long succession of failures.
- to be confined to one's bed because of illness.
- behind one's back, in one's absence; without one's knowledge; treacherously; secretly: I'd rather talk to him about it directly than discuss it behind his back.
- break someone's back, to cause a person to fail, especially to cause to become bankrupt: His family's extravagance is breaking his back.
- break the back of,
- to complete the principal or hardest part of (a project, one's work, etc.): He finally broke the back of the problem.
- to overcome; defeat: They broke the back of our union.
- get off one's back, Informal. to cease to find fault with or to disturb someone: The fight started when they wouldn't get off my back.
- get one's back up, Informal. to become annoyed; take offense: She gets her back up whenever someone mentions her family's influence.
- get/have/watch someone’s back, Informal. to help and protect someone if necessary, especially in a time of trouble: If he needs anything, I hope he knows I’ve got his back.Also have got someone's back.
- have one's back to the wall, to be in a difficult or hopeless situation.
- in back of, behind: He hid in back of the billboard. What could be in back of his strange behavior?Also back of.
- on one's back, Informal. finding fault with or disturbing someone: The boss is always on my back about promptness.
- pat on the back. pat1(defs 9, 11).
- a stab in the back. stab(def 12).
- stab (someone) in the back. stab(def 13).
- turn one's back on,
- to forsake or neglect: He was unable to turn his back on any suffering creature.
- to leave behind, as in anger.
Origin of back1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
- 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.
- 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.
- something earned, as salary, profits, etc.: What's your week's get?
- a child born out of wedlock.
- get about,
- to move about; be active: He gets about with difficulty since his illness.
- to become known; spread: It was supposed to be a secret, but somehow it got about.
- to be socially active: She's been getting about much more since her family moved to the city.
- get across,
- to make or become understandable; communicate: to get a lesson across to students.
- 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,
- to move forward of, as in traveling: The taxi got ahead of her after the light changed.
- to surpass; outdo: He refused to let anyone get ahead of him in business.
- get along,
- to go away; leave.
- get on.
- get around,
- to circumvent; outwit.
- to ingratiate oneself with (someone) through flattery or cajolery.
- to travel from place to place; circulate: I don't get around much anymore.
- get about.
- get at,
- to reach; touch: to stretch in order to get at a top shelf.
- to suggest, hint at, or imply; intimate: What are you getting at?
- to discover; determine: to get at the root of a problem.
- Informal.to influence by surreptitious or illegal means; bribe: The gangsters couldn't get at the mayor.
- get away,
- to escape; flee: He tried to get away, but the crowd was too dense.
- 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,
- to succeed in going past: to get by a police barricade.
- to manage to exist, survive, continue in business, etc., in spite of difficulties.
- to evade the notice of: He doesn't let much get by him.
- get down,
- to bring or come down; descend: The kitten climbed the tree, but then couldn't get down again.
- to concentrate; attend: to get down to the matter at hand.
- to depress; discourage; fatigue: Nothing gets me down so much as a rainy day.
- to swallow: The pill was so large that he couldn't get it down.
- to relax and enjoy oneself completely; be uninhibited in one's enjoyment: getting down with a bunch of old friends.
- get in,
- to go into a place; enter: He forgot his key and couldn't get in.
- to arrive; come: They both got in on the same train.
- to become associated with: He got in with a bad crowd.
- to be chosen or accepted, as for office, membership, etc.: As secretary of the club, his friend made sure that he got in.
- to become implicated in: By embezzling money to pay his gambling debts quickly, he was getting in further and further.
- get off,
- to escape the consequences of or punishment for one's actions.
- to help (someone) escape punishment: A good lawyer might get you off.
- to begin a journey; leave: He got off on the noon flight.
- to leave (a train, plane, etc.); dismount from (a horse); alight.
- to tell (a joke); express (an opinion): The comedian got off a couple of good ones.
- Informal.to have the effrontery: Where does he get off telling me how to behave?
- Slang: Vulgar.to experience orgasm.
- to experience or cause to experience a high from or as if from a drug.
- to cause to feel pleasure, enthusiasm, or excitement: a new rock group that gets everyone off.
- get on/along,
- to make progress; proceed; advance.
- to have sufficient means to manage, survive, or fare.
- to be on good terms; agree: She simply can't get on with her brothers.
- to advance in age: He is getting on in years.
- get out,
- to leave (often followed by of): Get out of here! We had to get out of the bus at San Antonio.
- to become publicly known: We mustn't let this story get out.
- to withdraw or retire (often followed by of): He decided to get out of the dry goods business.
- to produce or complete: Let's get this work out!
- get over,
- to recover from: to get over an illness.
- get across.
- get through,
- 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.
- to complete; finish: How he ever got through college is a mystery.
- to make oneself understood: One simply cannot get through to her.
- get to,
- to get in touch or into communication with; contact: It was too late by the time he got to the authorities.
- Informal.to make an impression on; affect: This music really gets to you.
- to begin: When he gets to telling stories about the war, there's no stopping him.
- get back,
- to come back; return: When will you get back?
- to recover; regain: He got back his investment with interest.
- to be revenged: She waited for a chance to get back at her accuser.
- get even. even1(def 26).
- get going,
- to begin; act: They wanted to get going on the construction of the house.
- to increase one's speed; make haste: If we don't get going, we'll never arrive in time.
- get it, Informal.
- to be punished or reprimanded: You'll get it for breaking that vase!
- to understand or grasp something: This is just between us, get it?
- get it off, Slang: Vulgar. to experience orgasm.
- get it on,
- 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.
- 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,
- to accumulate; gather: to get together a portfolio of 20 stocks.
- to congregate; meet: The alumnae chapter gets together twice a year.
- to come to an accord; agree: They simply couldn't get together on matters of policy.
- get up,
- to sit up or stand; arise.
- to rise from bed.
- to ascend or mount.
- to prepare; arrange; organize: to get up an exhibit.
- to draw upon; marshal; rouse: to get up one's courage.
- to acquire a knowledge of.
- (to a horse) go! go ahead! go faster!
- to dress, as in a costume or disguise: She got herself up as an astronaut.
- to produce in a specified style, as a book: It was got up in brown leather with gold endpapers.
- has/have got,
- to possess or own; have: She's got a new car. Have you got the tickets?
- must (followed by an infinitive): He's got to get to a doctor right away.
- to suffer from: Have you got a cold?
Origin of get1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
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.
- (tr) to recover or retrieve
- (intr often foll by to) to return, esp to a former position or activitylet's get back to the original question
- (intr foll by at) to retaliate (against); wreak vengeance (on)
- get one's own back informal to obtain one's revenge
- Greenwich Electronic Time
- the posterior part of the human body, extending from the neck to the pelvisRelated adjective: dorsal
- the corresponding or upper part of an animal
- the spinal column
- the part or side of an object opposite the front
- the part or side of anything less often seen or usedthe back of a carpet; the back of a knife
- the part or side of anything that is furthest from the front or from a spectatorthe back of the stage
- the convex part of somethingthe back of a hill; the back of a ship
- something that supports, covers, or strengthens the rear of an object
- ball games
- a mainly defensive player behind a forward
- the position of such a player
- the part of a book to which the pages are glued or that joins the covers
- the side of a passage or layer nearest the surface
- the earth between that level and the next
- the upper surface of a joist, rafter, slate, tile, etc, when in positionCompare bed (def. 13)
- at one's back behind, esp in support or pursuit
- at the back of one's mind not in one's conscious thoughts
- behind one's back without one's knowledge; secretly or deceitfully
- break one's back to overwork or work very hard
- break the back of to complete the greatest or hardest part of (a task)
- on one's back or flat on one's back incapacitated, esp through illness
- get off someone's back informal to stop criticizing or pestering someone
- have on one's back to be burdened with
- on someone's back informal criticizing or pestering someone
- put one's back into to devote all one's strength to (a task)
- put someone's back up or get someone's back up to annoy someone
- see the back of to be rid of
- back of beyond
- the back of beyonda very remote place
- Australianin such a place (esp in the phrase out back of beyond)
- turn one's back on
- to turn away from in anger or contempt
- to refuse to help; abandon
- with one's back to the wall in a difficult or desperate situation
- (also intr) to move or cause to move backwards
- to provide support, money, or encouragement for (a person, enterprise, etc)
- to bet on the success ofto back a horse
- to provide with a back, backing, or lining
- to provide with a music accompanimenta soloist backed by an orchestra
- to provide a background for; be at the back ofmountains back the town
- to countersign or endorse
- archaic to mount the back of
- (intr; foll by on or onto) to have the back facing (towards)the house backs onto a river
- (intr) (of the wind) to change direction in an anticlockwise direction in the northern hemisphere and a clockwise direction in the southernSee veer 1 (def. 3a)
- nautical to position (a sail) so that the wind presses on its opposite side
- back and fill
- nauticalto manoeuvre the sails by alternately filling and emptying them of wind to navigate in a narrow place
- to vacillate in one's opinion
- situated behinda back lane
- of the pastback issues of a magazine
- owing from an earlier dateback rent
- mainly US, Australian and NZ remoteback country
- (of a road) not direct
- moving in a backward directionback current
- phonetics of, relating to, or denoting a vowel articulated with the tongue retracted towards the soft palate, as for the vowels in English hard, fall, hot, full, fool
- at, to, or towards the rear; away from something considered to be the front; backwards; behind
- in, to, or towards the original starting point, place, or conditionto go back home; put the book back; my headache has come back
- in or into the pastto look back on one's childhood
- in reply, repayment, or retaliationto hit someone back; pay back a debt; to answer back
- in checkthe dam holds back the water
- in concealment; in reserveto keep something back; to hold back information
- back and forth to and fro
- back to front
- in reverse
- in disorder
- a large tub or vat, esp one used by brewers
- to come into possession of; receive or earn
- to bring or fetch
- to contract or be affected byhe got a chill at the picnic
- to capture or seizethe police finally got him
- (also intr) to become or cause to become or act as specifiedto get a window open; get one's hair cut; get wet
- (intr; foll by a preposition or adverbial particle) to succeed in going, coming, leaving, etcget off the bus
- (takes an infinitive) to manage or contrivehow did you get to be captain?
- to make ready or prepareto get a meal
- to hear, notice, or understandI didn't get your meaning
- US and Canadian informal to learn or master by study
- (intr often foll by to) to come (to) or arrive (at)we got home safely; to get to London
- to catch or enterto get a train
- to induce or persuadeget him to leave at once
- to reach by calculationadd 2 and 2 and you will get 4
- to receive (a broadcast signal)
- to communicate with (a person or place), as by telephone
- (also intr foll by to) informal to have an emotional effect (on)that music really gets me
- informal to annoy or irritateher 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 hitthe blow got him in the back
- informal to be revenged on, esp by killing
- US slang
- (foll by to)to gain access (to a person) with the purpose of bribing him
- (often foll by to)to obtain access (to someone) and kill or silence him
- informal to have the better ofyour extravagant habits will get you in the end
- (intr; foll by present participle) informal to beginget moving
- (used as a command) informal go! leave now!
- archaic to beget or conceive
- get even with See even 1 (def. 15)
- get it or get it in the neck informal to be reprimanded or punished severely
- get with it slang to allow oneself to respond to new ideas, styles, etc
- get with child archaic to make pregnant
- rare the act of begetting
- rare something begotten; offspring
- British slang a variant of git
- informal (in tennis, squash, etc) a successful return of a shot that was difficult to reach
- (intensifier)John's own idea; your own mother
- (as pronoun)I'll use my own
- on behalf of oneself or in relation to oneselfhe is his own worst enemy
- come into one's own
- to become fulfilledshe really came into her own when she got divorced
- to receive what is due to one
- get one's own back informal to have revenge
- hold one's own to maintain one's situation or position, esp in spite of opposition or difficulty
- on one's own
- without help
- by oneself; alone
- (tr) to have as one's possession
- (when intr, often foll by up, to, or up to) to confess or admit; acknowledge
- (tr; takes a clause as object) rare to concedeI own that you are right
Word Origin and History for get back
c.1600 (intransitive) "to return;" 1808 (transitive) "to recover" (something); meaning "retaliate" is attested by 1888.
Old English agen "one's own," literally "possessed by," from Proto-Germanic *aigana- "possessed, owned" (cf. Old Saxon egan, Old Frisian egin, Old Norse eiginn, Dutch eigen, German eigen "own"), from past participle of PIE *aik- "to be master of, possess," source of Old English agan "to have" (see owe).
evolved in early Middle English from Old English geagnian, from root agan "to have, to own" (see owe), and in part from the adjective own (q.v.). It became obsolete after c.1300, but was revived early 17c., in part as a back-formation of owner (mid-14c.), which continued. Related: Owned; owning. To own up "make full confession" is from 1853.
Old English bæc "back," from Proto-Germanic *bakam (cf. Old Saxon and Middle Dutch bak, Old Frisian bek), with no known connections outside Germanic.
The cognates mostly have been ousted in this sense in other modern Germanic languages by words akin to Modern English ridge (cf. Danish ryg, German Rücken). Many Indo-European languages show signs of once having distinguished the horizontal back of an animal (or a mountain range) from the upright back of a human. In other cases, a modern word for "back" may come from a word related to "spine" (Italian schiena, Russian spina) or "shoulder, shoulder blade" (Spanish espalda, Polish plecy).
To turn (one's) back on (someone or something) "ignore" is from early 14c. Behind (someone's) back "clandestinely" is from late 14c.
To know (something) like the back of one's hand, implying familiarity, is first attested 1893. The first attested use of the phrase is from a dismissive speech made to a character in Robert Louis Stevenson's "Catriona":
If I durst speak to herself, you may be certain I would never dream of trusting it to you; because I know you like the back of my hand, and all your blustering talk is that much wind to me.
The story, a sequel to "Kidnapped," has a Scottish setting and context, and the back of my hand to you was noted in the late 19th century as a Scottish expression meaning "I will have nothing to do with you" [e.g. "Jamieson's Dictionary of the Scottish Language"]. In English generally, the back of (one's) hand has been used to imply contempt and rejection since at least 1300. Perhaps the connection of a menacing dismissal is what made Stevenson choose that particular anatomical reference.
late 15c., "to move (something) back," from back (adv.). Meaning "to support" (as by a bet) is first attested 1540s. Related: Backed; backing.
Middle English, from back (n.) and back (adv.). Formerly with comparative backer (c.1400), also backermore. To be on the back burner in the figurative sense is from 1960, from the image of a cook keeping a pot there to simmer while he or she works on another concoction at the front of the stove.
early 14c., "offspring," from get (v.). Meaning "what is got, booty" is from 14c.
late 14c., shortened from abak, from Old English on bæc "backwards, behind, aback" (see back (n.)). Back and forth attested from 1814.
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.
- The posterior portion of the trunk of the human body between the neck and the pelvis; the dorsum.
- The backbone or spine.
Idioms and Phrases with get back
Also get back to. Return to a person, place, or condition. For example, What time will you get back? or I hope he'll get back to the subject of this report. [c. 1600]
Recover something, as in When will I get this book back? [c. 1800]
In addition to the idioms beginning with back
- back against the wall
- back alley
- back and fill
- back and forth
- back away
- back burner, on a
- back door
- back down
- back in circulation
- back in harness
- back number
- back of
- back of beyond
- back off
- back of one's hand
- back of one's mind
- back on one's feet
- back order
- back out
- back street
- back the wrong horse
- back to back
- back to basics
- back to the drawing board
- back to the salt mines
- back to the wall
- back up
- back water
- a while back
- behind someone's back
- break one's back
- break the back of
- call back
- choke back
- come back
- cut back
- double back
- draw back
- drop back
- eyes in the back of one's head
- fall back
- fall back on
- fall over (backward)
- flat on one's back
- from way back
- get back
- get one's back up
- give the shirt off one's back
- go back on one's word
- hang back
- hark(en) back
- hold back
- in one's own backyard
- kick back
- knock back
- know like a book (the back of one's hand)
- left-handed (back-handed) compliment
- like water off a duck's back
- look back
- monkey on one's back
- off someone's back
- pat on the back
- pay back in someone's own coin
- pin someone's ears back
- play back
- plow back
- pull back
- put one's back in it
- put one's back up
- roll back
- scratch someone's back
- see the back of
- set back
- set back on one's heels
- set one back
- set the clock back
- sit back
- slap on the back
- snap back
- stab in the back
- take aback
- take a back seat
- take back
- talk back
- think back
- throw back
- turn back
- turn one's back on
- when someone's back is turned
- with one arm tied behind one's back
- you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours
In addition to the idioms beginning with get
- get a bang out of
- get about
- get a break
- get a charge
- get across
- get a dirty look
- get a fix
- get a fix on
- get a free hand
- get after
- get a grip on
- get a hand
- get a handle on
- get ahead
- get a head start
- get a kick out of
- get a life
- get a line on
- get a load of
- get along
- get a move on
- get an in with
- get another guess
- get a rise out of
- get around
- get at
- get a thing about
- get away
- get away with
- get a word in edgewise
- get back
- get back at
- get back to
- get behind
- get better
- get busy
- get by
- get cracking
- get credit for
- get down
- get down to brass tacks
- get going
- get goose pimples
- get gray hair from
- get hold of
- get in
- get in a snit
- get in a stew
- get in bad with
- get in on
- get in one's hair
- get in someone's face
- get in the way
- get into
- get into bed with
- get into hot water
- get into one's head
- get into the act
- get into the swing of things
- get into trouble
- get in touch
- get involved
- get in with
- get it
- get it on
- get lost
- get mileage out of
- get nowhere
- get off
- get off on
- get off one's chest
- get off one's tail
- get off on the wrong foot
- get off scot-free
- get off someone's back
- get off the dime
- get off the ground
- get off the hook
- get on
- get one down
- get one's
- get one's
- get one's act together
- get one's bearings
- get one's comeuppance
- get one's ducks in a row
- get one's feet on the ground
- get one's feet wet
- get one's fill
- get one's hands dirty
- get one's hands on
- get one's head examined
- get one's money's worth
- get one's own back
- get one's teeth into
- get one's walking papers
- get one's way
- get one's wires crossed
- get on someone's good side
- get on someone's nerves
- get on the bandwagon
- get on the stick
- get on with it
- get out
- get out from under
- get out of
- get out of one's face
- get out of one's system
- get out of someone's sight
- get out of the way
- get out while the getting is good
- get over
- get physical
- get ready
- get real
- get religion
- get rid of
- get right
- get rolling
- get round
- get set
- get sick
- get someone's back up
- get someone's goat
- get someone's number
- get someone wrong
- get something into one's head
- get something on someone
- get somewhere
- get straight
- get stuffed
- get the advantage of
- get the air
- get the ax
- get the ball rolling
- get the better of
- get the business
- get the can
- get the drift
- get the drop on
- get the feel of
- get the goods on
- get the hang of
- get theirs
- get the jump on
- get the lead out
- get the message
- get the most out of
- get the nod
- get the picture
- get there
- get the runaround
- get the sack
- get the show on the road
- get the upper hand
- get the worst of it
- get through
- get through one's head
- get through to
- get to
- get to first base
- get together
- get to one's feet
- get to the bottom of
- get to the heart of
- get to the point
- get tough with
- get under someone's skin
- get up
- get up one's nerve
- get up on the wrong side of bed
- get up steam
- get used to
- get well
- get what's coming to one
- get wind of
- get wise to
- get with it
- be (get) busted
- come and get it
- dip (get) one's toes into
- early bird catches (gets) the worm
- give as good as one gets
- ground floor, get in on the
- it takes getting used to
- lay (get) one's hands on
- marching orders, get one's
- play hard to get
- squeaky wheel gets the grease
- tell someone where to get off
- when the going gets tough
- you get what you pay for
Also see underbecomegivehave.
In addition to the idioms beginning with own
- own medicine
- own person, be one's
- own up
- afraid of one's own shadow
- after one's own heart
- beat someone at his or her own game
- blow one's own horn
- call one's own
- close to home
- come into (one's own)
- dig one's own grave
- do one's (own) thing
- dose of one's own medicine
- get (one's own) back
- get one's (own) way
- go one's (own) way
- hold one's own
- in one's (own) interest
- in one's own backyard
- in one's own right
- in one's own world
- keep one's own counsel
- know one's own mind
- leave to someone's own devices
- mind of one's own
- mind one's own business
- of one's own accord
- on one's (own) feet
- on one's own
- on one's own account
- on one's own time
- paddle one's own canoe
- pay back in one's own coin
- pay one's (own) way
- pick on (someone your own size)
- pull one's (own) weight
- sign one's own death warrant
- stew in one's own juice
- take into one's (own) hands
- under one's own steam
- write one's own ticket