get rid of

Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.


tr.v. rid or rid·ded, rid·ding, rids
To cause (someone) to be free from something; relieve or disencumber: He was finally able to rid himself of all financial worries.
get rid of
To rid oneself of (something); discard or get free of: Let's get rid of that broken chair.

[Middle English ridden, probably from Old Norse rydhja, to clear land.]

rid′der n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

dispose of

get rid of
1. 'dispose of'

If you dispose of something that you no longer want or need, you throw it away or give it to someone.

Hundreds of used computers had to be disposed of.
This is the safest means of disposing of nuclear waste.

Be Careful!
You must use of after dispose. Don't say that someone 'disposes something'.

2. 'get rid of'

Dispose is a fairly formal word. In conversation and in less formal writing, you usually say that someone gets rid of something.

Now let's get rid of all this stuff.
There was a lot of rubbish to be got rid of.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.get rid of - dispose of; "Get rid of these old shoes!"; "The company got rid of all the dead wood"
chuck out, discard, cast aside, cast away, throw away, toss away, toss out, put away, throw out, cast out, dispose, fling, toss - throw or cast away; "Put away your worries"
slough off - discard as undesirable; "the candidate sloughed off his former campaign workers"
comb out, weed out - remove unwanted elements; "The company weeded out the incompetent people"; "The new law weeds out the old inequities"
work off - cause to go away through effort or work; "work off the extra pounds you have gained over the holidays"; "we must work off the debt"
cull - remove something that has been rejected; "cull the sick members of the herd"
dump, ditch - sever all ties with, usually unceremoniously or irresponsibly; "The company dumped him after many years of service"; "She dumped her boyfriend when she fell in love with a rich man"
unmuzzle - remove the muzzle from (a dog)
deaerate, de-aerate - remove air or gas from
decaffeinate - remove caffeine from (coffee)
decarbonate - remove carbon dioxide from
decerebrate - remove the cerebrum from (a human body)
dechlorinate - remove chlorine from (water)
defat - remove the fat from
defibrinate - remove fibrin from (blood)
degrease - remove grease or oil from (a pan)
deionize - remove ions from
delist - remove (a security) from listing at a stock exchange
delocalize - remove from the proper or usual locality
deoxygenate - remove oxygen from (water)
destain - remove stain from (a laboratory specimen) to enhance contrast
desulfurize, desulphurize - remove sulfur from
detick - free (a pet) of ticks
devein - remove the dark dorsal vein of (a shrimp)
fettle - remove mold marks or sand from (a casting)
flesh - remove adhering flesh from (hides) when preparing leather manufacture
flense - strip the blubber or skin from (a whale or seal)
kern - remove a portion of space between (adjacent letters)
pith - remove the pith from (a plant)
scum - remove the scum from
unbridle - remove the bridle from (a horse or mule)
2.get rid of - terminate, end, or take out; "Let's eliminate the course on Akkadian hieroglyphics"; "Socialism extinguished these archaic customs"; "eliminate my debts"
cancel out, wipe out - wipe out the effect of something; "The new tax effectively cancels out my raise"; "The `A' will cancel out the `C' on your record"
decouple - reduce or eliminate the coupling of (one circuit or part to another)
decouple - eliminate airborne shock waves from (an explosive)
obliterate - do away with completely, without leaving a trace
knock out - eliminate; "knock out a target"
drown - get rid of as if by submerging; "She drowned her trouble in alcohol"
cut out - delete or remove; "Cut out the extra text"; "cut out the newspaper article"
prune, rationalize, rationalise, cut - weed out unwanted or unnecessary things; "We had to lose weight, so we cut the sugar from our diet"
extinguish, snuff out - put an end to; kill; "The Nazis snuffed out the life of many Jewish children"
exclude, leave out, omit, leave off, except, take out - prevent from being included or considered or accepted; "The bad results were excluded from the report"; "Leave off the top piece"
destroy, destruct - do away with, cause the destruction or undoing of; "The fire destroyed the house"
3.get rid of - do away withget rid of - do away with; "Slavery was abolished in the mid-19th century in America and in Russia"
cashier - discard or do away with; "cashier the literal sense of this word"
abrogate - revoke formally
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Mrs General's communication of this idea to her clerical and commissariat connection was so warmly applauded that, but for the lady's undoubted merit, it might have appeared as though they wanted to get rid of her.
And shall we proceed to get rid of the weepings and wailings of famous men?
Now when this strange tale was told to the King he became quite sad, not knowing what he should do to get rid of so undesirable a son-in-law, when suddenly a brilliant idea occurred to him.
When the morning came at last, I was in a bad enough plight: seedy, drowsy, fagged, from want of sleep; weary from thrashing around, famished from long fasting; pining for a bath, and to get rid of the animals; and crippled with rheumatism.
"I think there are three or four [more] players that the club would like to get rid of. I think there are three or four [more] players Ole would like to get rid of.
And similar to losing weight, when you get rid of debt, you want to keep it off.
The owners have stuck by Pardew, they could have quite easily said 'it hasn't worked, get rid of him', especially after everything that went on in Barcelona.
"We don't target stray dogs in general; we are aiming to get rid of dangerous dogs only in the places where we receive complaints from its residents," Ismail affirmed.
Each one of them is unique and would require a certain medical treatment to get rid of. Saying a tea product gets rid of toxins is like saying a pill gets rid of diseases.