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Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To come into possession or use of; receive: got a cat for her birthday.
  • transitive v. To meet with or incur: got nothing but trouble for her efforts.
  • transitive v. To go after and obtain: got a book at the library; got breakfast in town.
  • transitive v. To go after and bring: Get me a pillow.
  • transitive v. To purchase; buy: get groceries.
  • transitive v. To acquire as a result of action or effort: He got his information from the Internet. You can't get water out of a stone.
  • transitive v. To earn: got high marks in math.
  • transitive v. To accomplish or attain as a result of military action.
  • transitive v. To obtain by concession or request: couldn't get the time off; got permission to go.
  • transitive v. To arrive at; reach: When did you get home?
  • transitive v. To reach and board; catch: She got her plane two minutes before takeoff.
  • transitive v. To succeed in communicating with, as by telephone: can't get me at the office until nine.
  • transitive v. To become affected with (an illness, for example) by infection or exposure; catch: get the flu; got the mumps.
  • transitive v. To be subjected to; undergo: got a severe concussion.
  • transitive v. To receive as retribution or punishment: got six years in prison for tax fraud.
  • transitive v. To sustain a stated injury to: got my arm broken.
  • transitive v. To gain or have understanding of: Do you get this question?
  • transitive v. To learn (a poem, for example) by heart; memorize.
  • transitive v. To find or reach by calculating: get a total; can't get the answer.
  • transitive v. To perceive by hearing: I didn't get your name when we were introduced.
  • transitive v. To procreate; beget.
  • transitive v. To cause to become or be in a specified state or condition: got the children tired and cross; got the shirt clean.
  • transitive v. To make ready; prepare: get lunch for a crowd.
  • transitive v. To cause to come or go: got the car through traffic.
  • transitive v. To cause to move or leave: Get me out of here!
  • transitive v. To cause to undertake or perform; prevail on: got the guide to give us the complete tour.
  • transitive v. To take, especially by force; seize: The detective got the suspect as he left the restaurant.
  • transitive v. Informal To overcome or destroy: The ice storm got the rose bushes.
  • transitive v. To evoke an emotional response or reaction in: Romantic music really gets me.
  • transitive v. To annoy or irritate: What got me was his utter lack of initiative.
  • transitive v. To present a difficult problem to; puzzle.
  • transitive v. To take revenge on, especially to kill in revenge for a wrong.
  • transitive v. Informal To hit or strike: She got him on the chin. The bullet got him in the arm.
  • transitive v. Baseball To put out.
  • transitive v. To begin or start. Used with the present participle: I have to get working on this or I'll miss my deadline.
  • transitive v. To have current possession of. Used in the present perfect form with the meaning of the present: We've got plenty of cash.
  • transitive v. Nonstandard To have current possession of. Used in the past tense form with the meaning of the present: They got a nice house in town.
  • transitive v. To have as an obligation. Used in the present perfect form with the meaning of the present: I have got to leave early. You've got to do the dishes.
  • transitive v. Nonstandard To have as an obligation. Used in the past tense with the meaning of the present: I got to git me a huntin' dog.
  • intransitive v. To become or grow to be: eventually got well.
  • intransitive v. To be successful in coming or going: When will we get to Dallas?
  • intransitive v. To be able or permitted: never got to see Europe; finally got to work at home.
  • intransitive v. To be successful in becoming: get free of a drug problem.
  • intransitive v. Used with the past participle of transitive verbs as a passive voice auxiliary: got stung by a bee.
  • intransitive v. To become drawn in, entangled, or involved: got into debt; get into a hassle.
  • intransitive v. Informal To depart immediately: yelled at the dog to get.
  • intransitive v. To work for gain or profit; make money: puts all his energy into getting and spending.
  • n. The act of begetting.
  • n. Progeny; offspring.
  • n. Chiefly British Slang A foolish or contemptible person.
  • n. Sports A return, as in tennis, on a shot that seems impossible to reach.
  • get about To be out of bed and beginning to walk again, as after an illness.
  • get across To make understandable or clear: tried to get my point across.
  • get across To be convincing or understandable: How can I get across to the students?
  • get after To urge or scold: You should get after them to mow the lawn.
  • get along To be or continue to be on harmonious terms: gets along with the in-laws.
  • get along To manage or fare with reasonable success: can't get along on those wages.
  • get along To make progress.
  • get along To advance, especially in years.
  • get along To go away; leave.
  • get around To circumvent or evade: managed to get around the real issues.
  • get around Informal To convince or win over by flattering or cajoling.
  • get around To travel from place to place: It is hard to get around without a car.
  • get around To become known; circulate: Word got around.
  • get at To touch or reach successfully: The cat hid where we couldn't get at it.
  • get at To try to make understandable; hint at or suggest: I don't know what you're getting at.
  • get at To discover or understand: tried to get at the cause of the problem.
  • get at Informal To bribe or influence by improper or illegal means: He got at the judge, and the charges were dismissed.
  • get away To break free; escape.
  • get away To leave or go away: wanted to come along, but couldn't get away.
  • get back To return to a person, place, or condition: getting back to the subject.
  • get by To pass or outstrip.
  • get by To succeed at a level of minimal acceptibility or with the minimal amount of effort: just got by in college.
  • get by To succeed in managing; survive: We'll get by if we economize.
  • get by To be unnoticed or ignored by: The mistake got by the editor, but the proofreader caught it.
  • get down To descend.
  • get down To give one's attention. Often used with to: Let's get down to work.
  • get down To exhaust, discourage, or depress: The heat was getting me down.
  • get down To swallow: got the pill down on the first try.
  • get down To describe in writing.
  • get down Informal To lose one's inhibitions; enjoy oneself wholeheartedly.
  • get in To enter.
  • get in To arrive: We got in late last night.
  • get in To become or cause to become involved: She got in with the wrong crowd. Repeated loans from the finance company got me deeper in debt.
  • get in To become accepted, as in a club.
  • get in To succeed in making or doing: got in six deliveries before noon.
  • get into To become involved in: got into trouble by stealing cars.
  • get into Informal To be interested in: got into gourmet cooking.
  • get off To start, as on a trip; leave.
  • get off To fire (a round of ammunition, for example): got off two shots before the deer disappeared.
  • get off To write and send, as a letter.
  • get off To escape, as from punishment or danger: got off scot-free.
  • get off To obtain a release or lesser penalty for: The attorney got her client off with a slap on the wrist.
  • get off Slang To act or speak with effrontery. Used in the imperative to express contempt or disdainful disbelief.
  • get off Slang To have an orgasm.
  • get off To feel great pleasure or gratification.
  • get off To experience euphoria, for example, as a result of taking a drug.
  • get off To get permission to leave one's workplace: got off early and went fishing.
  • get on To be or continue on harmonious terms: gets on well with the neighbors.
  • get on To manage or fare with reasonable success.
  • get on To make progress; continue: get on with a performance.
  • get on To advance in years.
  • get on To acquire understanding or knowledge: got on to the con game.
  • get out To leave or escape.
  • get out To cause to leave or escape.
  • get out To become known: Somehow the secret got out.
  • get out To publish, as a newspaper.
  • get over To prevail against; overcome.
  • get over To recover from: finally got over the divorce.
  • get over To get across.
  • get through To arrive at the end of; finish or complete.
  • get through To succeed in making contact; reach.
  • get through To make oneself understood.
  • get to To begin. Used with the present participle: got to reminiscing.
  • get to To start to deal with: didn't get to the housework until Sunday.
  • get to To influence or affect, especially adversely: The noise really gets to me.
  • get together To bring together; gather.
  • get together To come together.
  • get together To arrive at an agreement.
  • get up To arise from bed or rise to one's feet.
  • get up To climb.
  • get up To act as the creator or organizer of: got up a petition against rezoning.
  • get up To dress or adorn: She got herself up in a bizarre outfit.
  • get up To find within oneself: got up the nerve to quit.
  • idiom get around to To find the time or occasion for.
  • idiom get away with To escape the consequences of (a blameworthy act, for example): got away with cheating.
  • idiom get back at To take revenge on.
  • idiom get cracking To begin to work; get started.
  • idiom get even To obtain revenge.
  • idiom get even with To repay with an equivalent act, as for revenge.
  • idiom get going To make a beginning; get started.
  • idiom hold To bring into one's grasp, possession, or control.
  • idiom hold To communicate with, especially by telephone.
  • idiom get it Informal To be punished or scolded.
  • idiom get it on Slang To become filled with energy or excitement.
  • idiom get it on Slang To engage in sexual intercourse.
  • idiom get nowhere To make no progress.
  • idiom get (one's) Informal To receive one's due punishment: After sassing his parents, he really got his.
  • idiom get on the stick To begin to work.
  • idiom get out of To gain release from the obligation of: She tried to get out of taking her brother to the mall. He couldn't get out of his date on Saturday.
  • idiom get (someone's) goat To make angry or vexed.
  • idiom get somewhere Informal To make progress.
  • idiom get there Informal To make progress or achieve success.
  • idiom get wind of To learn of: got wind of the scheme.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To obtain; to acquire
  • v. To receive.
  • v. To become
  • v. To cause to become; to bring about.
  • v. To fetch, bring, take.
  • v. To cause to do.
  • v. To betake oneself.
  • v. To adopt, assume, arrive at, or progress towards (a certain position, location, state).
  • v. To begin (doing something).
  • v. To take or catch (a scheduled transportation service).
  • v. To respond to (a telephone call, a doorbell, etc).
  • v. To be able, permitted (to do something); to have the opportunity (to do something).
  • v. To understand (often used as get it).
  • v. To be subjected to.
  • v. To be Used to form the passive of verbs.
  • v. To become ill with or catch (a disease).
  • v. To catch out, trick successfully.
  • v. To perplex, stump.
  • v. To find as an answer.
  • v. To bring to reckoning; to catch (as a criminal); to effect retribution.
  • v. To hear completely; catch.
  • v. To getter.
  • v. To beget (of a father).
  • n. Offspring.
  • n. Lineage.
  • n. A difficult return or block of a shot.
  • n. A git.
  • n. A Jewish writ of divorce.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Jet, the mineral.
  • n. Fashion; manner; custom.
  • n. Artifice; contrivance.
  • transitive v. To procure; to obtain; to gain possession of; to acquire; to earn; to obtain as a price or reward; to come by; to win, by almost any means
  • transitive v. Hence, with have and had, to come into or be in possession of; to have.
  • transitive v. To beget; to procreate; to generate.
  • transitive v. To obtain mental possession of; to learn; to commit to memory; to memorize; ; also with out.
  • transitive v. To prevail on; to induce; to persuade.
  • transitive v. To procure to be, or to cause to be in any state or condition; -- with a following participle.
  • transitive v. To betake; to remove; -- in a reflexive use.
  • intransitive v. To make acquisition; to gain; to profit; to receive accessions; to be increased.
  • intransitive v. To arrive at, or bring one's self into, a state, condition, or position; to come to be; to become; -- with a following adjective or past participle belonging to the subject of the verb
  • n. Offspring; progeny.
  • n. A divorce granted by a Rabbi in accordance with Jewish law; also, the document attesting to the divorce.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To obtain; procure; gain; win; attain to; acquire by any means: as, to get favor by service, or wealth by industry; to get a good price; to get an advantage; to get possession; to get fame or honor.
  • Specifically, to obtain by labor; earn; win by habitual effort: as, to get one's own living; to get coal.
  • To beget; procreate; generate.
  • To acquire mental grasp or command of; commit to memory; learn: as, to get a lesson.
  • To prevail on; induce; persuade.
  • To cause or procure to be: with a past participle qualifying the object: as, to get a thing done.
  • To carry; betake: used reflexively.
  • To lay hold on; capture; seize upon.
  • To exert effort upon or in regard to; effect movement of or about: used with reference to a great variety of actions, and followed by a qualifying adverb: as, to get a piece of work along (carry it forward), get in hay, get a ship off from a bar, get out a book (procure its printing and publication) or a warrant (procure the issue of one), get together an army, get up a meeting, etc.
  • In compound tense-phrases with have and had, used pleonastically (thus, I have got, I had got = I have, I had) to indicate either possession, as he has got a cold; what have you got in your hand? or obligation or necessity, as he has got to go, you have got to obey (= he has to go, you have to obey, but colloquially with more emphatic meaning).
  • To produce an effect by; make an impression with: as, to get in one's work.
  • To secure the release or acquittal of; bring off in safety; clear.
  • To sell; dispose of: as, to get off goods.
  • To utter; deliver; perpetrate (usually implying a slur): as, to get off a poor joke.

Etymologies

Middle English geten, from Old Norse geta.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English geten, from Old Norse geta, from Proto-Germanic *getanan (compare Old English ġietan, Old High German pi-gezzan 'to uphold', Gothic bi-gitan 'to find, discover'), from Proto-Indo-European *ghéd- 'to seize' (compare Middle Irish gataim 'I steal', Lithuanian godetis 'to be eager', Russian gadatī 'to guess, suppose', Albanian gjej 'to find', Ancient Greek ktaomai 'to acquire, procure', ktēma 'possession', Old Persian xšathra 'dominion') (Wiktionary)
Variant of git (Wiktionary)
From Hebrew גֵּט (gēṭ). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Australians are taught to avoid this word at all costs. I remember a teacher in primary school telling me there was no sentence where the word "get" couldn't be replaced by an alternative (implication: superior) word. Being something of a smart-ass, I responded by writing a sentence about the word, making "get" necessary.

    Of course, she was simply urging her students to broaden their vocabularies and, more important, seek out powerful and specific verbs. Good on her!

    (See also Aussie prejudices re gotten.)

    March 30, 2008