View synonyms for get



[ get ]

verb (used with object)

gettinggot or gottengot or (Archaic) gat
  1. to receive or come to have possession, use, or enjoyment of:

    to get a birthday present; to get a pension.

  2. 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.

    Synonyms: gain, win

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. to communicate or establish communication with over a distance; reach:

    You can always get me by telephone.

  6. to hear or hear clearly:

    I didn't get your last name.

  7. to acquire a mental grasp or command of; learn:

    to get a lesson.

    Synonyms: grasp, apprehend

  8. to capture; seize:

    Get him before he escapes!

  9. to receive as a punishment or sentence:

    to get a spanking;

    to get 20 years in jail.

  10. to prevail on; influence or persuade:

    We'll get him to go with us.

    Synonyms: dispose, induce

  11. to prepare; make ready:

    to get dinner.

  12. (especially of animals) to beget.

    Synonyms: engender

  13. Informal. to affect emotionally:

    Her pleas got me.

  14. to hit, strike, or wound:

    The bullet got him in the leg.

  15. Informal. to kill.
  16. Informal. to take vengeance on:

    I'll get you yet!

  17. 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.

  18. Informal. to puzzle; irritate; annoy:

    Their silly remarks get me.

  19. 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 gottengot or (Archaic) gatgetting
  1. to come to a specified place; arrive; reach:

    to get home late.

  2. to succeed, become enabled, or be permitted:

    You get to meet a lot of interesting people.

  3. to become or to cause oneself to become as specified; reach a certain condition:

    to get angry;

    to get sick.

  4. (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.

  5. 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.

  6. to bear, endure, or survive (usually followed by through or over ):

    Can he get through another bad winter?

  7. to earn money; gain.
  8. Informal. to leave promptly; scram:

    He told us to get.

  9. to start or enter upon the action of (followed by a present participle expressing action):

    to get moving;

    Get rolling.


  1. an offspring or the total of the offspring, especially of a male animal:

    the get of a stallion.

  2. a return of a ball, as in tennis, that would normally have resulted in a point for the opponent.
  3. British Slang.
    1. something earned, as salary, profits, etc.:

      What's your week's get?

    2. a child born out of wedlock.

verb phrase

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    1. to go away; leave.
    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!

  1. Also get around.
    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

  2. to perpetrate or accomplish without detection or punishment:

    Some people lie and cheat and always seem to get away with it.

  3. to be successful, as in business or society:

    She got ahead by sheer determination.

    1. to recover from:

      to get over an illness.



[ get ]


, Hebrew.
, plural git·tin [gee-, teen, git, -in], gi·tim [gee-, teem, git, -im].
  1. a legal document, executed by a rabbi or Jewish court of law, dissolving the marriage bond between husband and wife.
  2. a divorce granted in accordance with Jewish law.



/ ɡɛt /


  1. to come into possession of; receive or earn
  2. to bring or fetch
  3. to contract or be affected by

    he got a chill at the picnic

  4. to capture or seize

    the police finally got him

  5. also intr to become or cause to become or act as specified

    get wet

    to get a window open

    get one's hair cut

  6. intr; foll by a preposition or adverbial particle to succeed in going, coming, leaving, etc

    get off the bus

  7. takes an infinitive to manage or contrive

    how did you get to be captain?

  8. to make ready or prepare

    to get a meal

  9. to hear, notice, or understand

    I didn't get your meaning

  10. informal.
    to learn or master by study
  11. introften foll byto to come (to) or arrive (at)

    to get to London

    we got home safely

  12. to catch or enter

    to get a train

  13. to induce or persuade

    get him to leave at once

  14. to reach by calculation

    add 2 and 2 and you will get 4

  15. to receive (a broadcast signal)
  16. to communicate with (a person or place), as by telephone
  17. informal.
    also intrfoll byto to have an emotional effect (on)

    that music really gets me

  18. informal.
    to annoy or irritate

    her high voice gets me

  19. informal.
    to bring a person into a difficult position from which he or she cannot escape
  20. informal.
    to puzzle; baffle
  21. informal.
    to hit

    the blow got him in the back

  22. informal.
    to be revenged on, esp by killing
  23. 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
  24. informal.
    to have the better of

    your extravagant habits will get you in the end

  25. informal.
    intr; foll by present participle to begin

    get moving

  26. informal.
    used as a command go! leave now!
  27. archaic.
    to beget or conceive
  28. get even with
    See even 1
  29. get it or get it in the neck informal.
    to be reprimanded or punished severely
  30. get with it slang.
    to allow oneself to respond to new ideas, styles, etc
  31. get with child archaic.
    to make pregnant


  1. rare.
    the act of begetting
  2. rare.
    something begotten; offspring
  3. slang.
    a variant of git
  4. informal.
    (in tennis, squash, etc) a successful return of a shot that was difficult to reach



abbreviation for

  1. Greenwich Electronic Time

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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 acquired) 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.

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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

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Pronunciation Note

The pronunciation [git] for get has existed since the 16th century. The same change is exhibited in [kin] for can and [yit] for yet. The pronunciation [git] 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]. In educated speech the pronunciation [git] 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].

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Derived Forms

  • ˈgetable, adjective

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Other Words From

  • get·ta·ble get·a·ble adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of get1

First recorded in 1150–1200; (verb) Middle English geten from Old Norse geta “to obtain, beget”; cognate with Old English -gietan (as in forgi(e)tan forget ( def ) ), German -gessen (as in vergessen “to forget”); (noun) Middle English: “something gotten, offspring,” derivative of the verb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of get1

Old English gietan; related to Old Norse geta to get, learn, Old High German bigezzan to obtain

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. get it off, Slang: Vulgar. to experience orgasm.
  4. 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.
  5. get it up, Slang: Vulgar. to achieve an erection of the penis.
  6. 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?

  7. get off on, Slang. to become enthusiastic about or excited by:

    After years of indifference, she's getting off on baseball.

  8. get there, to reach one's goal; succeed:

    He wanted to be a millionaire but he died before he got there.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. get even. even 1( def 26 ).
  13. get round. get around.
  14. get the lead out. lead 2( def 15 ).

More idioms and phrases containing get

  • 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
  • become
  • give
  • have

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Synonym Study

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.

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Example Sentences

In this cockamamie get-rich scheme, would they all issue an apology if he cut a check?

The kids are out of school, Mom is out of get-up-and-go, Dad is out of work.

But while Yariv and Nakarin have had plenty of their friends over for dinner, this is no regular get-together.

So it's really a take-what-you-can-get kind of situation with him.

And so I knew from the get-go that they would have to add action, which they have.

The man called Shiv was driving Delancy's get-away car at a conservative pace so as not to excite suspicion.

Ten minutes later, Delancy drove the get-away car out of the service station.

It was in this room that Delancy's get-away car had changed paint jobs, and in about ten minutes.

But the exquisite was used to it; he would only have felt badly if they had ignored his new get-up.

There was some sort of a phonograph device under the cowl of that get-away car, and this was hooked up to the radio switch.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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