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

  • v. A past participle of get.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Past participle of get
  • adj. obtained, acquired

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • p. p. of get.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Obtained or acquired: usually with a qualifying adverb; won: as, ill-gotten gains; new-gotten territory; gotten battles.


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • Gotten? they complain about 'gotten'? Google's got gotten goin back to 1492 's library of congress, but it really wan't 'America' as in the USA so that date is suspect. I got Gotten being used by the house of lords

    January 9, 2013

  • Oh man. This brings back some memories. Frindley, I got crap marks on an English paper in Australia for using "gotten," which my teacher (who later became a pretty good friend!) insisted was completely ungrammatical and did not exist as a legitimate word. She had genuinely never heard it. I was stunned, because it's very common in the United States, and I'd seen it in all kinds of (even formal) writing.

    I'm so glad this really is a cultural difference and I didn't just dream the whole episode.

    October 3, 2008

  • Re: UK - the perfect participle used in the UK is simply got. E.g. "We had just got there when...", "I had just got up when..."

    Gotten still sounds odd to my ear but I do like it.

    October 3, 2008

  • Australians are taught to regard this as "wrong" or "ungrammatical" or as an informal/slangy US usage. As a result relatively few realise that (a) it is acceptable and normal in the US and that (b) it is actually very old. ’Tis ironic given that the word parallels with a whole lot of other words that we do use, such as "driven" and "written", not to mention "shown".

    I'm quite fond of "gotten", but to give the Antipodean response to jennarenn's question, Aussies would most likely eschew the get verb altogether (another legacy of the education system) and say:

    "We had just arrived when..."

    March 30, 2008

  • I'm guessing they'd probably go with arrived or shown up...?

    April 20, 2007

  • What would they say in the UK?

    "We had just gotten there when...."

    April 20, 2007

  • That is strange. I've never gotten why that is.

    April 19, 2007

  • It is strange how this is used in the US but in the UK it is archaic .

    April 19, 2007