v. got, got got•ten, get•ting, v.t.
1. to receive or come to have possession, use, or enjoyment of: to get a gift; to get a pension.
2. to cause to be in one's possession or be available for one's use or enjoyment; obtain; acquire: to get a good price for a house; to get information.
3. to earn: to get the minimum wage.
4. to go after, take hold of, and bring (something) for oneself or another; fetch: She got the trunk from the attic.
5. to cause or cause to become, to do, to move, etc., as specified: to get one's hair cut; to get a fire to burn.
6. to communicate or establish communication with over a distance; reach: to get someone by telephone.
7. to hear or hear clearly: I didn't get your last name.
8. to acquire a mental grasp of; learn: to get a lesson.
9. to capture; seize: Get him before he escapes!
10. to receive as a punishment or sentence: to get a spanking; to get a year in jail.
11. to prevail on; influence or persuade: We'll get him to go with us.
12. to prepare; make ready: to get dinner.
13. (esp. of animals) to beget.
14. to affect emotionally: Her tears got me.
15. to hit, strike, or wound: The bullet got him in the leg.
16. to kill.
17. to take vengeance on: I'll get you yet!
18. to catch or be afflicted with: to get malaria while in the tropics; to get butterflies before a performance.
19. to receive (one's deserts, esp. punishment) (fol. by his, hers, theirs, or yours): You'll get yours!
20. to puzzle; irritate; annoy: Their silly remarks get me.
21. to understand; comprehend: to get a joke. v.i.
22. to come to a specified place; arrive; reach: to get home late.
23. to succeed, become enabled, or be permitted: You get to meet a lot of interesting people.
24. to become or to cause oneself to become as specified; reach a certain condition: to get ready; to get sick.
25. (used as an auxiliary verb fol. by a past participle to form the passive): to get married; to get hit by a car.
26. to succeed in coming, going, arriving at, visiting, etc. (usu. fol. by away, in, into, out, etc.): I don't get into town very often.
27. to bear, endure, or survive (usu. fol. by through or over): Will he get through another bad winter?
28. to earn money; gain.
29. to leave immediately: He told us to get.
30. to start or enter upon the action of (fol. by a present participle expressing action): to get moving.
31. get about,
a. to move around physically from one place to another.
b. to become known, as a rumor.
c. to engage in social activities.
32. get across,
a. to succeed in communicating or explaining: to get a message across.
b. to be or become clearly understood: The message finally got across.
33. get ahead, to be successful, as in business or society.
34. get along,
a. to go away; leave.
b. to get on.
35. get around,
a. to circumvent; outwit.
b. to ingratiate oneself with (someone) by flattery or cajolery.
c. to travel from place to place; circulate: I don't get around much anymore.
d. to get about.
36. get at,
a. to reach; touch.
b. to suggest, hint at, or imply; intimate: What are you getting at?
c. to discover; determine: to get at the root of a problem.
37. get away,
a. to escape; flee.
b. to start out; leave.
38. get away with, to do or steal without consequent punishment.
39. get back,
a. to come back; return.
b. to recover; regain.
c. to be revenged.
40. get by,
a. to get beyond; pass.
b. to escape the notice of.
c. to survive or manage minimally.
d. to expend little effort; be merely adequate.
41. get down,
a. to bring or come down; descend.
b. to concentrate; attend.
c. to depress; discourage; fatigue.
d. to swallow.
e. to relax and enjoy oneself completely.
42. get in,
a. to enter.
b. to arrive at a destination.
c. to enter into close association (usu. fol. by with): getting in with the wrong crowd.
d. to be or cause to be elected to office or accepted into a group.
43. get off,
a. to dismount from or get out of.
b. to begin a journey.
c. to escape punishment.
d. to help (someone) to escape punishment, esp. by providing legal assistance.
e. to tell or write: to get off a joke.
f. to have the effrontery: Where does he get off telling me what to do?
g. to finish, as one's workday: We get off at five o'clock.
h. Slang. to have orgasm or an intense experience likened to it.
44. get off on, Slang. to become enthusiastic about or excited by.
45. get on,
a. to make progress; proceed; advance.
b. to have sufficient means to manage, survive, or fare.
c. to be on good terms; agree: She doesn't get on with her roommate.
d. to advance in age: He is getting on in years.
46. get out,
a. to leave (often fol. by of).
b. to become publicly known.
c. to withdraw or retire (often fol. by of).
d. to produce or complete.
47. get over,
a. to recover from: to get over an illness.
b. to get across.
48. get through,
a. to finish.
b. to reach someone, as by telephone.
c. to make oneself clearly understood.
49. get to,
a. to get in touch or into communication with; contact.
b. to make an impression on; affect.
c. to begin.
50. get together,
a. to accumulate; gather.
b. to congregate; meet.
c. to come to an accord; agree.
51. get up, n.
a. to sit up or stand; arise.
b. to rise from bed.
c. to ascend or mount.
d. to prepare; arrange; organize: to get up an exhibit.
e. to draw upon; marshal; rouse: to get up one's courage.
f. (used as a command to a horse to start moving or go faster.)
g. to dress up, as in a costume or by adding embellishments.
52. an offspring or the total of offspring, esp. of a male animal: the get of a stallion.
53. a return of a ball, as in tennis, that would normally have resulted in a point for the opponent. Idioms:
1. get it,
a. to be punished or reprimanded.
b. to understand or grasp something.
2. get nowhere, to fail despite much action and effort.
3. get off someone's back or case, Slang. to cease to nag or criticize someone.
4. get somewhere, to have success in life or in reaching a specific goal.
5. get there, to reach one's goal; succeed.
[1150–1200; Middle English < Old Norse geta to obtain, beget; c. Old English -gietan (Middle English yeten), Old Saxon -getan, Old High German -gezzan]
get′ta•ble, get′a•ble, adj.
The use of get
rather than of forms of to be
in the passive (He won't get accepted with those grades
) is found today chiefly in informal speech and writing. In American English gotten
, although occasionally criticized, is an alternative standard past participle in most senses, esp. “to receive” and “to acquire”: I have gotten
) a dozen replies so far. have
or has got
meaning “must” has been in use since the early 19th century, often contracted: You've got to carry your passport everywhere.
In the sense “to possess” this construction dates to the 15th century and is also often contracted: She's got a master's degree in biology.
Occasionally condemned as redundant, these uses are nevertheless standard in all varieties of speech and writing. got
meaning “must” (I got to buy a new suit
) is characteristic of highly informal speech. gotta
is a pronunciation spelling representing this use.
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 gō′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 usu. facetious: Now get!