get / get/ • v. (get·ting; past got / gät/ ; past part. got or got·ten / ˈgätn/ ) 1. [tr.] come to have or hold (something); receive: I got the impression that she wasn't happy. ∎ experience, suffer, or be afflicted with (something bad): I got a sudden pain in my left eye. ∎ receive as a punishment or penalty: I'll get the sack if things go wrong. ∎ contract (a disease or ailment): I might be getting the flu. ∎ receive (a communication): I got a letter from my fiancé.2. [tr.] succeed in attaining, achieving, or experiencing; obtain: I need all the sleep I can get. ∎ move in order to pick up or bring (something); fetch: get another chair | I'll get you a drink. ∎ [tr.] tend to meet with or find in a specified place or situation: it was nothing like the winters we get in Florida. ∎ travel by or catch (a bus, train, or other form of transport): I'll get a taxi and be home in an hour. ∎ obtain (a figure or answer) as a result of calculation. ∎ respond to a ring of (a telephone or doorbell) or the knock on (a door): I'll get it! ∎ [in imper.] inf. said as an invitation to notice or look at someone, esp. to criticize or ridicule them: get her!3. [intr.] enter or reach a specified state or condition; become: he got very worried it's getting late ∎ [as auxiliary v.] used with a past participle to form the passive mood: the cat got groomed. ∎ [tr.] cause to be treated in a specified way: get the form signed by a doctor. ∎ [tr.] induce or prevail upon (someone) to do something: Sophie got Beth to make a fire. ∎ [intr.] have the opportunity to do: he got to try out a few of these new cars. ∎ [intr.] begin to be or do something, esp. gradually or by chance: we got talking one evening.4. [intr.] come, go, or make progress eventually or with some difficulty: I got to the airport they weren't going to get anywhere. ∎ [intr.] move or come into a specified position, situation, or state: she got into the car. ∎ [tr.] succeed in making (someone or something) come, go, or make progress: my honesty often gets me into trouble. ∎ [intr.] inf. reach a specified point or stage: it's getting so I can't even think. ∎ [usu. in imper.] inf. go away.5. (have got) see have.6. [tr.] catch or apprehend (someone): the police have got him. ∎ strike or wound (someone) with a blow or missile: you got me in the eye! ∎ inf. punish, injure, or kill (someone), esp. as retribution: I'll get you for this! ∎ (get it) inf. be punished, injured, or killed: wait until Dad comes home, then you'll get it! ∎ (get mine, his, etc.) inf. be killed or appropriately punished or rewarded: I'll get mine, you get yours, we'll all get wealthy. ∎ inf. annoy or amuse (someone) greatly: cleaning the same things all the time, that's what gets me. ∎ inf. baffle (someone): "What's a ‘flowery boundary tree’?” "You got me.”7. [tr.] inf. understand (an argument or the person making it): What do you mean? I don't get it.8. [tr.] archaic acquire (knowledge) by study; learn: knowledge which is gotten at school.• n. 1. Tennis a successful return of a difficult ball.2. dated an animal's offspring: he passes this on to his get.PHRASES: (as) —— as all get out inf. to a great or extreme extent: he was stubborn as all get out.be out to get someone be determined to punish or harm someone, esp. in retaliation: he thinks the media are out to get him.get in there inf. take positive action to achieve one's aim (often said as an exhortation): you get in there, son, and you work.get it on inf. have sexual intercourse.get it up vulgar slang (of a man) achieve an erection.get-rich-quick derog. designed or concerned to make a lot of money fast: another one of your get-rich-quick schemes.get-up-and-go inf. energy, enthusiasm, and initiative.PHRASAL VERBS: get something across manage to communicate an idea clearly.get ahead become successful in one's life or career: how to get ahead in advertising.get along1. have a harmonious or friendly relationship: they seem to get along pretty well.2. manage to live or survive: don't worry, we'll get along without you.get around1. coax or persuade (someone) to do or allow something that they initially do not want to.2. deal successfully with (a problem). ∎ evade (a regulation or restriction) without contravening it: the company changed its name to get around the law.get around to (or chiefly Brit. round to) deal with (a task) in due course: I didn't get around to putting all the photos in frames.get at1. reach or gain access to (something): it's difficult to get at the screws. ∎ bribe or unfairly influence (someone): he had been got at by government officials.2. inf. imply (something): I can see what you're getting at.get away escape: Stevie was caught, but the rest of us got away he was very lucky to get away with his life. ∎ leave one's home or work for a time of rest or recreation; go on a vacation: it will be nice to get away.get away with escape blame, punishment, or undesirable consequences for (an act that is wrong or mistaken): you'll never get away with this.get back at take revenge on (someone): I wanted to get back at them for what they did.get back to contact (someone) later to give a reply or return a message: I'll find out and get back to you.get by manage with difficulty to live or accomplish something: he had just enough money to get by.get down inf. enjoy oneself by being uninhibited, esp. with friends in a social setting: get down and party!get someone down depress or demoralize someone.get something down1. write something down.2. swallow food or drink, esp. with difficulty.get down to begin to do or give serious attention to: let's get down to business.get in1. (of a train, aircraft, or other transport) arrive at its destination: the train got in late. ∎ (of a person) arrive at one's destination: what time did you get in?2. (of a political party or candidate) be elected.get in on become involved in (a profitable or exciting activity).get into (of a feeling) affect, influence, or take control of (someone): I don't know what's got into him.get in with become friendly with (someone), esp. in order to gain an advantage: I hope he doesn't get in with the wrong crowd.get off1. inf. escape a punishment; be acquitted: she got off lightly you'll get off with a warning.2. vulgar slang have an orgasm.get off on inf. be excited or aroused by (something): he was obviously getting off on the adrenaline of performing before the crowd.get on1. perform or make progress in a specified way: how are you getting on? ∎ continue doing something, esp. after an interruption: I've got to get on with this job.2. chiefly Brit. another way of saying get along (sense 1).3. (be getting on) inf. be old or comparatively old: we are both getting on a bit.get out1. (of something previously secret) become known: news got out that we were coming.2. (also get out of here) inf. [in imper.] used to express disbelief: get out, you're a liar. ∎ [usu. in imper.] inf. go away; leave.get something out succeed in uttering, publishing, or releasing something: we need to get this report out by Friday.get out of contrive to avoid or escape (a duty or responsibility): they wanted to get out of paying.get something out of achieve benefit from (an undertaking or exercise): we never got any money out of it.get over1. recover from (an ailment or an upsetting or startling experience): the trip will help him get over Sal's death.2. overcome (a difficulty).get something over1. manage to communicate an idea or theory: the company is keen to get the idea over.2. complete an unpleasant or tedious but necessary task promptly: Come on, let's get it over with.get through1. (also get someone through) pass or assist someone in passing (a difficult or testing experience or period): I need these lessons to get me through my exam. ∎ (also get something through) (with reference to a piece of legislation) become or cause to become law.2. make contact by telephone: after an hour of busy signals, I finally got through. ∎ succeed in communicating with someone in a meaningful way: I just don't think anyone can get through to these kids.get to1. inf. annoy or upset (someone) by persistent action: he started crying—we were getting to him.2. another way of saying get around to above.get together gather or assemble socially or to cooperate.get up1. (also get someone up) rise or cause to rise from bed after sleeping.2. (of wind or the sea) become strong or agitated.get something up1. prepare or organize a project or piece of work: we used to get up little plays.2. enhance or refine one's knowledge of a subject.DERIVATIVES: get·ta·ble adj.
The orig. conjugation was repr. in literary use by get, gat, getten as late as XVI; but pp. gotten (which survives dial. and U.S.) is found before 1400; the clipped form got of the pp., and the pt. got (based on the pp.), date from XVI.