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. 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 go

before 900; Middle English gon, Old English gān; cognate with Old High German gēn, German gehen

Synonyms for go

Antonyms for go

1. stay. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for go down

go down

verb (intr, mainly adverb)

(also preposition) to move or lead to or as if to a lower place or level; sink, decline, decrease, etcthe ship went down this morning; prices are going down; the path goes down to the sea
to be defeated; lose
to be remembered or recorded (esp in the phrase go down in history)
to be receivedhis speech went down well
(of food) to be swallowed
bridge to fail to make the number of tricks previously contracted for
British to leave a college or university at the end of a term or the academic year
(usually foll by with) to fall ill; be infected
(of a celestial body) to sink or setthe sun went down before we arrived
British slang to go to prison, esp for a specified periodhe went down for six months
slang, mainly US to happen
go down on slang to perform cunnilingus or fellatio on


abbreviation for

general order



verb goes, going, went or gone (mainly intr)

to move or proceed, esp to or from a point or in a certain directionto go to London; to go home
(tr; takes an infinitive, often with to omitted or replaced by and) to proceed towards a particular person or place with some specified intention or purposeI must go and get that book
to departwe'll have to go at eleven
to start, as in a race: often used in commands
to make regular journeysthis train service goes to the east coast
to operate or function effectivelythe radio won't go
(copula) to becomehis face went red with embarrassment
to make a noise as specifiedthe gun went bang
to enter into a specified state or conditionto go into hysterics; to go into action
to be or continue to be in a specified state or conditionto go in rags; to go in poverty
to lead, extend, or afford accessthis route goes to the north
to proceed towards an activityto go to supper; to go to sleep
(tr; takes an infinitive) to serve or contributethis letter goes to prove my point
to follow a course as specified; farethe lecture went badly
to be applied or allotted to a particular purpose or recipienther wealth went to her son; his money went on drink
to be sold or otherwise transferred to a recipientthe necklace went for three thousand pounds
to be ranked; comparethis meal is good as my meals go
to blend or harmonizethese 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 extendthat skirt won't go round your waist
to have a usual or proper placethose books go on this shelf
(of music, poetry, etc) to be sounded; expressed, etchow does that song go?
to fail or give waymy eyesight is going
to break down or collapse abruptlythe ladder went at the critical moment
to diethe old man went at 2 am
(often foll by by)
  1. (of time) to elapsethe hours go by so slowly at the office
  2. to travel pastthe train goes by her house at four
  3. to be guided (by)
to occurhappiness does not always go with riches
to be eliminated, abolished, or given upthis entry must go to save space
to be spent or finishedall his money has gone
to circulate or be transmittedthe infection went around the whole community
to attendgo to school; go to church
to join a stated professiongo to the bar; go on the stage
(foll by to) to have recourse (to); turnto 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 limitsyou will go too far one day and then you will be punished
to be acceptable or toleratedanything goes in this place
to carry the weight of final authoritywhat the boss says goes
(foll by into) to be contained infour goes into twelve three times
(often foll by for) to endure or last outwe can't go for much longer without water in this heat
(tr) cards to bet or bidI go two hearts
(tr) informal, mainly US to have as one's weightI went 112 pounds a year ago
US and Canadian (usually used in commands takes an infinitive without to)
  1. to start to act so as togo shut the door
  2. to leave so as togo blow your brains out
informal to perform well; be successfulthat group can really go
(tr) not standard to say: widely used, esp in the historic present, in reporting dialogueThen she goes, ``Give it to me!'' and she just snatched it
go and informal to be so foolish or unlucky as tothen 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 constructionwhat's going to happen to us?
go ape slang to become crazy, enraged, or out of control
go ape over slang to become crazy or extremely enthusiastic about
go astray to be mislaid; go missing
go bail to act as surety
go bush See bush 1 (def. 14)
go halves See half (def. 15)
go hard (often foll by with) to cause trouble or unhappiness (to)
go it slang to do something or move energetically
go it alone informal to act or proceed without allies or help
go much on informal to approve of or be in agreement with (something): usually used in the negativeI don't go much on the idea
go one better informal to surpass or outdo (someone)
go the whole hog informal See hog (def. 9)
let go
  1. to relax one's hold (on); release
  2. euphemisticto 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 and Canadian informal(of food served by a restaurant) for taking away

noun plural goes

the act of going
  1. an attempt or tryhe had a go at the stamp business
  2. an attempt at stopping a person suspected of a crimethe police are not always in favour of the public having a go
  3. an attack, esp verbalshe had a real go at them
a turnit's my go next
informal the quality of being active and energeticshe has much more go than I
informal hard or energetic workit's all go
informal a successful venture or achievementhe 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 eventshere's a rum go
informal a bargain or agreement
all the go informal very popular; in fashion
from the word go informal from the very beginning
no go informal impossible; abortive or futileit's no go, I'm afraid
on the go informal active and energetic


(postpositive) informal functioning properly and ready for action: esp used in astronauticsall systems are go

Word Origin for go

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 for go

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

Word Origin and History for go down



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

Idioms and Phrases with go down

go down


Descend to a lower level; drop below the horizon, fall to the ground, or sink. For example, Don't let the baby go down the stairs alone, or The sun went down behind the hill, or I was afraid the plane would go down, or The ship went down and all hands were lost. [c. 1300]


Experience defeat or ruin, as in They went down fighting, or The boxer went down in the first round. [Late 1500s]


Decrease, subside, as in After Christmas prices will go down, or As soon as the swelling goes down it won't hurt as much. [Second half of 1600s]


Be swallowed, as in This huge pill just won't go down, or Your wine goes down very smoothly. [Second half of 1500s]


Be accepted or believed, as in How did your speech at the convention go down? When it takes an object, it is put as go down with, as in It's hardly the truth but it still goes down with many voters. [c. 1600]


Also, go down in history. Be recorded or remembered, as in This event must go down in her book as one of the highlights of the year, or This debate will go down in history. [Late 1800s]


Occur, take place, as in Really crazy behavior was going down in the sixties. [Slang; mid-1900s] Also see come down, def. 4.


Be sent to prison, as in He went down for a five-year term. [Slang; c. 1900]


In the game of bridge, fail to fulfill one's contract (that is, take fewer than the required number of tricks), as in We had bid four hearts and the bad distribution made us go down. [Early 1900s] Also see the subsequent idioms beginning with go down.

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