- go forward, make progressThe toy company has been gaining ground in their effort to sell more products.
gang up on someone
- attack in a group, get together to hurt someoneThe school children tried to gang up on the boy but he ran away.
- fill up a gas tankWe should gas up tonight before we leave on our holiday tomorrow.
- used as an exclamation to show surprise or other strong feelingsGee whiz! Are we really going to go to go to Disneyland for our holiday?
get a break
- get an opportunity or good dealI got a break when he sold the car for less than it was worth.
- explain, make something understoodI had a hard time trying to get across to him the importance of taking care of his computer discs.
get a fix on something
- receive a reading of a distant object by electronic meansWe were able to get a fix on the island and got the boat safely to the harbor.
get a grip of oneself
- take control of one's feelingsHe finally got a grip of himself and calmed down.
get after someone
- urge or make someone do something he should do but has neglectedI'll get after him to fix the computer as soon as he returns.
- advance or be successfulShe really works hard at her job in order to get ahead.
get a kick out of
- enjoyI think that my father got a kick out of seeing his old school friend.
get a load of
- take a good look at, see somethingGet a load of that man over there with the four big dogs.
- manageHe is able to get along on very little money.
- leaveIt's late so I must be getting along now.
get along with someone
- have a good relationship with someoneI don't get along very well with the new woman I work with.
get a move on
- hurry upPlease get a move on. We are already over three hours late.
get a rise out of someone
- tease, have fun with someone by making him or her angryWe really got a rise out of the teacher when we left the windows open while it was raining.
- go to different places, move aboutHe really gets around. He has been to almost every state in the United States.
get around to
- finally find time to do somethingThe apartment manager finally got around to fixing the bath.
- meanI really don't know what he was trying to get at during the meeting.
- succeed in leaving, escapeI was able to get away early from work today so I went shopping for awhile.
get away from it all
- go on a holidayWe want to get away from it all this summer and go and relax somewhere.
get away with murder
- do something very bad without being caught or punishedThe child was able to get away with murder while the substitute teacher was at the school.
get away with something
- do something one shouldn't and not get caught at itThe criminal got away with the robbery and was never caught.
get a wiggle on
- hurry up, get goingGet a wiggle on. We have to arrive at the party before the other guests arrive.
get a word in
- find a chance to say something when others are talkingThe customer couldn't get a word in while talking to the salesman so he decided to go to another company.
get a word in edgewise
- manage to break into a conversationI couldn't get a word in edgewise so I left the meeting.
- returnWe got back from London early yesterday afternoon.
get back at
- do something bad to someone who has done something bad to you, hurt someone in return for somethingShe is very angry at her boyfriend and is getting back at him by not answering the telephone.
- go slow while doing something, be lateIf you get behind in the homework you will never be able to pass the course.
get behind (a person or idea)
- support, helpThey decided to get behind the main candidate when he promised to cut taxes.
- satisfy your needs or demands (usually related to money)He is able to easily get by on his salary because he doesn't spend a lot of money.
get cold feet
- become afraid at the last minuteHe got cold feet and cancelled his plan to go to China.
- hurry up, start moving fast, get startedWe will have to get cracking on this work if we want to finish it before dinner.
get (someone) down
- make (someone) unhappy, cause discouragementThe long commuting time has begun to get her down so she wants to quit her job.
get down to
- get started onLet's get down to work so we can go home early.
get down to brass tacks
- begin discussing the essential matters immediatelyLet's get down to brass tacks and begin to deal with the business at hand.
- get revengeHe seems to want to get even with him for their past problems.
- the beginningRight from the get-go I never liked the way that the new manager acted.
get (someone's) goat
- annoy someoneHe has been getting my goat recently and I am tired of him.
- excite, stir up and make angryOnce he gets going he will never stop complaining.
get hold of (something)
- get possession ofWhen you get hold of a dictionary could you please let me see it for a few minutes.
get hold of (someone)
- find a person so you can speak with him or herI tried to get hold of him last week but he was out of town.
get in on the ground floor
- start at the beginning (in hopes of future gain)He managed to get in on the ground floor of the new company.
get in touch with someone
- contact someoneI'll get in touch with him when I arrive in New York in August.
get in the swing of things
- adapt to a new environment or situationHe got into the swing of things after the party started.
get it all together
- be in full control and possession of one's mental facultiesHe finally got it all together and applied for the job at the supermarket.
get it through one's head
- understand, believeHe has got it through his head that he will get a job easily without really making an effort.
- go awayShe told her younger brother to get lost so she could finish her homework.
get mixed up
- become confusedI'm sorry but I got mixed up with the dates. That's why I came today.
- come down from or out of (a bus or train etc.)We decided to get off the train at the station next to our regular station.
get off easy
- escape a worse punishmentThe criminals got off easy even though they robbed the bank.
get off one's back
- leave someone alone and not bother themI wish that the supervisor would get off my back.
get off one's butt
- get busy, start workingHe should get off his butt and try and get a job so he will have some money.
get off on the wrong foot
- make a bad startI got off on the wrong foot with him and our relationship never really recovered.
get off the ground
- make a successful beginning, go aheadHis new business never really got off the ground so he must look for another job.
get one's dander up
- become or make angryYou shouldn't talk to him early in the morning or you will get his dander up.
get one's feet wet
- begin, do something for the first timeHe has managed to get his feet wet in the publishing business and is ready to start his own business now.
get one's own way
- cause people to do what you wantHe always gets his own way with his younger brothers.
get one's rear in gear
- hurry up, get goingLet's hurry up and get our rear in gear before it is too late to go to a movie.
get on in years
- to advance in ageHe is getting on in years and is not very healthy.
get on one's high horse
- behave with arroganceHe is back on his high horse and has started giving orders to everyone.
get on one's nerves
- irritate someoneHis constant complaining is beginning to get on my nerves.
get out of bed on the wrong side
- be in a bad moodI think that she got out of bed on the wrong side this morning as she hasn't said a word to anyone yet.
get out from under
- escape a situation that one doesn't likeI would like to get out from under my boss always watching my work.
get out of hand
- lose controlThe going away party was beginning to get out of hand so they asked everyone to leave.
get out of the way
- be no longer an obstacleHe was unable to get out of the way of the truck and was injured.
get over something
- overcome a difficulty, recover from an illness or shockShe has been having a lot of trouble getting over her father's death.
get (something) over with
- finish, endHe wants to get his exams over with so that he can begin to relax again.
- prepare yourselfFirst I must get ready for work, then I will help you.
get rid of something
- give or throw something away, sell or destroy something, make a cold or fever disappearI bought a new television set so I had to get rid of the old one.
- get ready to startWe are working hard to get set for her wedding ceremony.
get the ax
- be firedHe got the ax last week and now has no job.
get the ball rolling
- start somethingLet's get the ball rolling and start working.
get the better of (someone)
- win against, beat, defeatHe got the better of me and won the tennis match.
get the feel of
- become used to or learn about somethingAfter you get the feel of the new computer it will be very easy to use.
get the goods on someone
- find out true and often bad information about someoneI think that I have finally got the goods on him and will have to talk to the police as soon as possible.
get the message
- understand clearly what is meantI told him three times but I don't think that he really gets the message.
get the sack
- be fired or dismissed from workI told him that if he doesn't change his work habits he will get the sack from his job.
get the show on the road
- start working on somethingLet's get the show on the road and begin work for the day.
get the worst of
- be defeated or beaten, suffer mostHe got the worst of the deal when the salesman sold him the used car.
- succeed in passing an exam or ordealShe has been having trouble gettting through her final exams.
get through to
- be understood by, make (someone) understandI tried talking to her but I couldn't really get through to her.
- have a chance to, be able toI didn't get to see her last year but maybe I will have a chance this year.
get to first base
- make a good start, succeedI tried to meet the sales manager of the company but I couldn't get to first base.
get to the bottom of
- find out the real causeThe government is trying to get to the bottom of the financial problems in the company.
get to the heart of
- understand the most important thing about somethingWe were in the meeting for three hours trying to get to the heart of the matter.
get under one's skin
- bother someone, upset someoneShe always gets under my skin although I don't really know why I don't like her.
- get out of bed, get to one's feetI decided to get up early today so that I would be able to go fishing with my friend.
- fancy dress or costumeWhat was that strange getup that she was wearing the other day?
- energy, enthusiasm, driveHe has lots of get-up-and-go and it is difficult to follow him around.
get up on the wrong side of the bed
- be in a bad moodHe got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and won't talk to anyone.
get up the nerve
- become brave enoughI tried to get up the nerve to ask him about the new job.
get what's coming to one
- receive the good or bad that one deservesHe got what was coming to him when he was sent to jail for two years.
get wind of
- hear about somethingI got wind of the company expansion from my friend.
get wise to something/somebody
- learn about something kept secretHe finally got wise to the fact that they were stealing his money.
get with it
- pay attention, get busyI told him to get with it or he would get in trouble with the boss.
(not a) ghost of a chance
- very little, (not even) the smallest chanceHe doesn't have a ghost of a chance to finish the book in time for his class.
gift of the gab
- be good at talkingHe has a real gift of the gab and is great at parties.
give (someone) a hard time
- make trouble for someone, teaseShe was giving her boyfriend a hard time about his new haircut.
- sharing, giving and receiving back and forth between peopleYou must be willing to give-and-take if you want to have a good marriage.
- an open secret, a sale where items are sold very cheapHis speech was a giveaway. Now I know that he is planning to retire.
- give something to someoneI decided to give away my bicycle because I didn't need it anymore.
- let (a secret) become knownI tried to stop her before she gave away my plans to go to Mexico for a holiday.
give a wide birth to
- keep away from, keep a safe distance fromI usually give a wide birth to my boss when he is angry.
- chase or run after someone or somethingThe police gave chase to the man who robbed the store.
give free rein to
- allow to move about or to do something with freedomHe was given free rein in his new job to do what he wanted.
- move back, retreat, stop opposing someoneHe refused to give ground on his plans to change the system of office management.
- give someone his own way, stop opposing someoneThe company gave in to the union's demand for more money.
give it to
- punish, scoldHe really gave it to his son when he came back late with the car.
- send out, let out, put forthThe garbage was beginning to give off a bad smell because of the hot weather.
give oneself away
- show guilt, show one has done wrongShe gave herself away when she said that she hadn't seen her boyfriend but he had already said that he had met her earlier.
give oneself up
- surrender, stop hiding or running awayThe robbers gave themselves up when the police surrounded the house.
give oneself up to
- let oneself enjoy, not hold oneself back fromHe gave himself up to enjoy the party although he was feeling sick.
give one's right arm
- give something of great valueI would give my right arm to be able to go to Italy with the rest of the group.
give or take
- plus or minus a small amountI think that he is about 45 years old give or take 5 years.
- give to people, distributeWe gave out more than 600 free baseball caps at the shopping center.
- failWe went hiking last week but my legs gave out so we had to return early.
- be finished, be goneWe went on a week-long backpacking trip but our food gave out after only three days.
- let escapeShe gave out a loud yell when she saw the big spider.
give pause to
- cause one to stop and thinkHis problems should give you pause to think a little more carefully about what you do.
give rise to
- be the cause of somethingThe problems with the heating system gave rise to a lot of other problems that we had to solve.
give someone a hand
- help someone with somethingPlease give me a hand to move this piano.
give someone an inch and they will take a mile
- if you give someone a little they will want more and more, some people are never satisfiedIf you give him an inch he will take a mile so you shouldn't give him any more money.
give someone a piece of your mind
- scold or become angry with someoneWhen I met her yesterday I really gave her a piece of my mind.
give someone enough rope and they will hang themself
- give someone enough time and freedom to do what they want and they will make a mistake or get into trouble and be caughtDon't worry about trying to control him. If you give him enough rope he will hang himself.
give someone one's word
- make a promise or assuranceHe gave me his word that he would meet me at the library.
give someone the ax
- fire an employee (usually abruptly)He gave the new employee the ax because he was always late.
give someone the benefit of the doubt
- believe someone is innocent rather than guilty when you are not sureI gave him the benefit of the doubt but I still think that he is a liar.
give someone the cold shoulder
- be unfriendly to someoneHe gave her the cold shoulder at the party.
give someone the eye
- look or stare at someone (especially in a cold or unfriendly way)The man in the store began to give me the eye so I left.
give someone the green light
- give permission to go ahead with a projectHe has been given the green light to begin work on the new housing plan.
give someone their due
- give someone the credit that they deserveYou have to give him his due. He has successfully saved the company from bankruptcy.
give someone the slip
- escape from someoneThe bank robbers were able to give the police the slip at first but they were soon caught.
give the devil his due
- be fair (even to someone who is bad and who you dislike)I don't like to work with him at all as I think he is lazy. Still you have to give the devil his due because he always gets the job done.
give it your best shot
- try very hardAlthough he didn't have enough experience he decided to apply for the job and give it his best shot.
give to understand
- make a person understand by telling him very plainly or boldlyI was given to understand that I could rent an apartment very easily here.
- abandon, stopHe has decided to give up his plan to work in Hong Kong for a year.
give up the ghost
- stop working, dieMy old car finally gave up the ghost so I must buy another one.
(don't) give up the ship
- (don't) stop fighting and surrender, (don't) stop trying or hoping to do somethingPlease don't give up the ship and quit this company. I am sure you still have a useful role to play.
give voice to
- tell what one feels or thinksHe has begun to give voice to his feelings about the new office building.
- collapse, failThe dam gave way and the water flooded the farmland below.
- a friendly handshake, a warm greetingThe politician spent the morning glad handing the people at the shopping center.
- try to make what is wrong or bad seem right or not important, hideThe accountant tried to gloss over the money that they lost last year.
- be busy with, start working onHe has been going about his business all morning although he is feeling sick.
- try to getThe police decided to go after the people who were speeding near the school.
- begin to do something, not waitLet's go ahead and start now. We can't wait for him any longer.
- move along, continueHe invented the story as he went along.
- agree, co-operateThey went along with his idea about having a party on the weekend.
- become very excited or behave in a crazy wayHe went ape when he heard about the money that I had spent.
- go from one place or person to anotherWe decided to go around from one shop to another until we found a good present.
go around in circles
- without getting anywhere, uselesslyHe has been going around in circles for weeks now and still hasn't made any progress with his essay.
- fight with, attack, argueWhen I entered the room they were going at it loudly.
go at it hammer and tongs
- fight with great strength or energy, have a bad argumentThey were going at it hammer and tongs when the police came to their house.
go back on
- turn against, not be faithful toHe promised not to go back on his word about the discount tickets.
- lose all of one's moneyHis company went broke so he quickly lost his job.
- two people each pay for themselvesWe always go Dutch when we go on a date.
- try to get, try forI have decided to go for the new job at the computer center.
go for broke
- risk everything on one big effort, try as hard as possibleThey are going for broke trying to win the new contract.
go from bad to worse
- get worse, deteriorateThings are going from bad to worse in the company.
- a person who works hard to become successful, an ambitious personHe is a go-getter. He always works hard and has lots of money because of that.
go great guns
- do something very fast or very hard, successfullyThe workers were going great guns fixing the building when I saw them this morning.
- share equallyWe have decided to go halves on buying a new computer.
- become damaged, stop working properlyAt first everything was going well but later all the plans began to go haywire.
go in for
- decide to do (something), take part inHe is going to university and has decided to go in for medicine.
going for (someone)
- in one's favorShe should do very well as she has many good things going for her.
go into orbit
- lose one's temper, become very angryHe went into orbit when he heard about the missing money.
go jump in a lake
- go away and quit bothering someoneShe asked me to borrow some money but I told her to go jump in a lake because she never paid me back before.
- excellent and rare opportunityThe heat wave was a golden opportunity for the ice cream seller to make money.
- good quality and a cheap priceYou can usually get a good deal on stereos at that discount store.
- used to show surprise (good or bad)Good grief! It's 6:00 and I have not finished this job yet.
- used when you lose something and you are happy about itGood riddance he said when the computer broke down and he had to buy another one.
good riddance to bad rubbish
- used to show you are glad that someone or something has been taken or sent awayGood riddance to bad rubbish! I never liked him and I am glad that he has finally left.
- person who loses wellHe is a very good sport and never complains about losing.
- leave, departHe went off on a trip and he never even bothered to phone and say good-bye.
- explode, be ignitedThe firecracker went off in his hand before he had a chance to put it down.
- begin to ring or buzzThe fire alarm started to go off just as we entered the building.
go off half-cocked
- act or speak before being readyHe always goes off half-cocked when he is at a meeting.
go off the deep end
- give way to emotionHe went off the deep end when he saw the picture in the paper.
- fool around, not work or be seriousHe has been goofing off all afternoon and has not got any work done.
- continueThe game went on for about an hour after I left.
- talk for too longHe started to go on about his problems so I finally left.
- put on, fit onThe top of the jar wouldn't go on so I threw it away.
go (someone) one better
- do something better than someone else, do more or be better than someoneI decided to go him one better and buy a bigger present for my girlfriend.
go one's own way
- go or act the way one wantsHe has decided to go his own way and will start his own business next year.
go out of one's way
- make an extra effortShe went out of her way to help me when I visited her in October.
go out the window
- be abandoned, go out of effectThe school dress code went out the window when the new principal took over.
go out with (someone)
- date or be dating someoneShe went out with him for two years before they got married.
- examineThe accountant will come to go over the books tomorrow.
go over well
- be liked, be successfulI am sure that the party will go over well. You have done a lot of preparation for it.
- do something in excessHe really went overboard with the birthday party.
- go on dates with the same person all the time, date just one personMy sister has been going steady with the same person for two years.
- become an honest person, lead an honest lifeHe was in prison for awhile but has recently decided to go straight.
got a thing going
- be engaged in a pleasureable activity with someone else as a partner (in romance or business)He has a thing going with computer repairs and is making a lot of extra money.
go the whole hog
- make a thorough job of somethingThey really went the whole hog in their efforts to welcome the foreign visitors.
- examine or think about carefully, searchThe police went through his house to look for a gun.
- experience, suffer, live throughHe has been through many hard times since he lost his job.
- be allowed, pass, be agreed uponThe law finally went through Congress last week.
go through changes
- be involved in changing circumstancesShe has been going through many changes since her divorce.
go through with
- finish, do as planned or agreedHe has decided to go through with his plans to go back to school.
go to one's head
- become conceitedHe new position has really gone to his head and he won't speak to us any longer.
go to pieces
- lose your self-controlShe went to pieces when she received the letter about her father's death.
go to pot
- deteriorateThe business has really gone to pot since he became president.
go to rack and ruin
- reach a very bad state of repairThe building has gone to rack and ruin since the new owners took over.
go to town
- work fast or hard, do something with much energyThey really went to town last night and finished painting the bedroom.
go up in smoke/flames
- burn or be destroyed by fire, fail, not come true (dreams)His plans to open a new restaurant have gone up in smoke since he lost his job.
go without saying
- be so easy to see that it doesn't have to be mentionedHe is a hard worker so it goes without saying that his boss is very happy with him.
grasp at straws
- try something with little hope of succeeding, depend on something that is useless in a time of troubleHe is grasping at straws. He will never find enough money to pay next month's rent.
grass is always greener on the other side
- a place or thing that is far away or different seems better than what we have or where we areShe is always moving or changing jobs as she thinks that the grass is always greener on the other side.
- job that gives one a lot of money compared with what you doThe cleaning contract was really a gravy train. We only worked for 3 hours but we got paid for 8 hours.
grease one's palm
- give money or pay for some special favorWe had to grease the border guard's palm in order to enter the country.
- a small, cheap eating place with basic but not-so-good foodWe had to go to a greasy spoon for breakfast as all the other restaurants were closed.
- be inexperienced or immatureHe is a little green and doesn't know the job very well.
- skill in making plants growHe has a real green thumb and has a beautiful garden.
green with envy
- very jealous, full of envyThe little girl was green with envy when she saw her friend's new bicycle.
grind to a halt
- slow down and stop (like a machine when it is turned off)The city ground to a halt when the power went off for five hours.
- the first or best chance - especially in a businessThe video store was a good investment so I was happy to get in on the ground floor.
- cause not to work, ruin something, make something go wrongThe computer printer seemed to have become gummed up just as I was about to print my resume.
gun for someone
- look hard for a chance to harm or defeat someoneMy supervisor has been gunning for me for a long time but I don't really know why.
gun for something
- try very hard to get (prize or promotion etc.)He has been gunning for the new sales job for a long time.
- enthusiastic, full of eagernessShe is really gung-ho about her new job at the library.