American English

Definition of get verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    The past participle gotten is almost always used.Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they get
    he / she / it gets
    past simple got
    -ing form getting
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  1. 1[transitive, no passive] get something to receive something I got a letter from Dave this morning. What (= What presents) did you get for your birthday? He gets (= earns) about $40,000 a year. My car gets 40 miles to the gallon (= uses one gallon of gas to travel 40 miles). This room gets very little sunshine. I got a shock when I saw the bill. I get the impression that he is bored with his job.
  2. 2[transitive, no passive] to obtain something get something Where did you get (= buy) that skirt? Were you able to get tickets for the concert? She opened the door wider to get a better look. Try to get some sleep. He just got a new job. get something for somebody Did you get a present for your mother? get somebody/yourself something Did you get your mother a present? Why don't you get yourself a car? $100 will get you the basic model. You can get the basic model for $100.
  3. 3[transitive, no passive] get something (for something) to obtain or receive an amount of money by selling something How much did you get for your car?
  4. bring
  5. 4[transitive] to go to a place and bring someone or something back get somebody/something Quick—go get a cloth! Somebody get a doctor! I have to go get my mother from the airport (= pick her up). get something for somebody Get a drink for John. get somebody/yourself something Get John a drink.
  6. punishment
  7. 5[transitive, no passive] get something to receive something as a punishment He got ten years (= was sent to prison for ten years) for armed robbery.
  8. broadcasts
  9. 6[transitive, no passive] get something to receive broadcasts from a particular television or radio station We can't get the Sci-Fi Channel in our area.
  10. buy
  11. 7[transitive, no passive] get something to buy something, for example a newspaper or magazine, regularly Which newspaper do you get?
  12. grade
  13. 8[transitive, no passive] get something to achieve or be given a particular grade in a course or an exam He got a “C” in Chemistry and a “B” in English.
  14. illness
  15. 9[transitive, no passive] get something to become infected with an illness; to suffer from a pain, etc. I got this cold from you! She gets (= often suffers from) really bad headaches.
  16. contact
  17. 10[transitive, no passive] get somebody to be connected with someone by telephone I wanted to speak to the manager but I got his assistant instead.
  18. state/condition
  19. 11linking verb to reach a particular state or condition; to make someone or something/yourself reach a particular state or condition + adj. to get angry/bored/hungry/fat You'll get used to the climate here. We should go; it's getting late. to get dressed/undressed (= to put your clothes on/take your clothes off) They plan to get married in the summer. She's upstairs getting ready. I wouldn't go there alone; you might get (= be) mugged. My car got (= was) stolen over the weekend. get somebody/something + adj. Don't get your dress dirty! He got his fingers caught in the door. She got the kids ready for school. Which Word?become / get / go / turnThese verbs are used frequently with the following adjectives:
    become ~get ~go ~turn ~
    involvedused towrongblue
    Become is more formal than get. Both describe changes in people’s emotional or physical state, or natural or social changes. Go is usually used for negative changes. Turn is used for changes of color and changes in the weather.
  20. 12[intransitive] get to do something to reach the point at which you feel, know, are, etc. something After a while, you get to realize that these things don't matter. You'll like her once you get to know her. His drinking is getting to be a problem. She's getting to be an old lady now.
  21. make/persuade
  22. 13[transitive] to make, persuade, etc. someone or something to do something get somebody/something to do something I couldn't get the car to start this morning. He got his sister to help him with his homework. You'll never get him to understand. get somebody/something doing something Can you really get that old car going again? It's not hard to get him talking—the problem is stopping him!
  23. get something done
  24. 14[transitive] get something done to cause something to happen or be done I need to get my hair cut. I'll never get all this work finished.
  25. start
  26. 15[transitive] get doing something to start doing something I got talking to her. We need to get going soon.
  27. opportunity
  28. 16[intransitive] get to do something (informal) to have the opportunity to do something He got to try out all the new software. It's not fair—I never get to go first.
  29. arrive
  30. 17[intransitive] + adv./prep. to arrive at or reach a place or point We got to San Diego at 7 o'clock. You got in very late last night. What time did you get here? I haven't gotten very far with the book I'm reading.
  31. move/travel
  32. 18[intransitive, transitive] to move to or from a particular place or in a particular direction, sometimes with difficulty; to make someone or something do this + adv./prep. The bridge was destroyed so we couldn't get across the river. She got into bed. He got down from the ladder. We didn't get (= go)to bed until 3  a.m. Where do we get on the bus? I'm getting off (= leaving the train) at the next station. We should be getting home; it's past midnight. get somebody/something + adv./prep. The general had to get his troops across the river. We couldn't get the piano through the door. We'd better call a taxi and get you home. I can't get the lid off.
  33. 19[transitive, no passive] get something to use a bus, taxi, plane, etc. We're going to be late—let's get a taxi. I usually get the bus to work.
  34. meal
  35. 20[transitive] to prepare a meal get something Who's getting dinner? get something for somebody/yourself I should go home and get lunch for the kids. get somebody/yourself something I should go home and get the kids their lunch.
  36. telephone/door
  37. 21[transitive] get something (informal) to answer the telephone or a door when someone calls, knocks, etc. Will you get the phone?
  38. catch/hit
  39. 22[transitive] get somebody to catch or take hold of someone, especially in order to harm or punish them He was on the run for a week before the police got him. to get someone by the arm/wrist/throat She fell overboard and the sharks got her. He thinks everybody is out to get him (= trying to harm him). (informal) I'll get you for that!
  40. 23[transitive] get somebody + adv./prep. to hit or wound someone The bullet got him in the neck.
  41. understand
  42. 24[transitive, no passive] get somebody/something (informal) to understand someone or something I don't get you. She didn't get the joke. I don't get it—why would she do a thing like that? I got the message—you don't want me to come. Thesaurusunderstandsee get follow grasp comprehendThese words all mean to know or realize something, for example why something happens, how something works, or what something means.understand to know or realize the meaning of words, a language, what someone says, etc.; to know or realize how or why something happens, how it works, or why it is important:I don't understand the instructions. Doctors are just beginning to understand the causes of the disease.see to understand what is happening, what someone is saying, how something works, or how important something is:Ah ha—I see how it works now. Oh yes, I see what you mean.get (informal) to understand a joke, what someone is trying to tell you, or a situation that they are trying to describe:She didn't get the joke. I don't get you.follow to understand an explanation, a story, or the meaning of something:Sorry—I don't quite follow what you're saying. The plot is almost impossible to follow.grasp to come to understand a fact, an idea, or how to do something:They failed to grasp the importance of his words.understand or grasp?You can use understand or grasp for the action of realizing the meaning or importance of something for the first time:It's a difficult concept for children to understand/grasp.Only understand can be used to talk about languages, words, or writing:I don't grasp French/the instructions.comprehend (often used in negative statements) (formal) to understand a fact, an idea, or a reason:The concept of infinity is almost impossible for us to comprehend.Patterns to understand/see/get/follow/grasp/comprehend what… to understand/see/get/grasp/comprehend why/how… to understand/see/grasp/comprehend that… to understand/see/get/grasp the point/idea (of something) to be easy/difficult/hard to understand/see/follow/grasp/comprehend to fully understand/see/grasp/comprehend something
  43. happen/exist
  44. 25[transitive, no passive] get something (informal) used to say that something happens or exists You get (= There are) all these kids hanging around in the street. They still get cases of typhoid there.
  45. confuse/annoy
  46. 26[transitive, no passive] get somebody (informal) to make someone feel confused because they do not understand something synonym puzzle “What's the capital of Bulgaria?” “You've got me there!(= I don't know).
  47. 27[transitive, no passive] get somebody (informal) to annoy someone What gets me is having to do the same thing all day long. Get is one of the most common words in English, but some people try to avoid it in formal writing.
  48. Idioms
    be getting on (informal)
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    (of a person) to be becoming old
    can't get over something (informal)
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    used to say that you are shocked, surprised, amused, etc. by something I can't get over how rude she was.
    get away from it all (informal)
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    to have a short vacation in a place where you can relax
    get somebody going (informal)
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    to make someone angry, worried, or excited
    get it (also catch hell) (informal)
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    to be punished or spoken to angrily about something If Mom catches you, you'll really get it.
    get it on (with somebody) (slang)
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    to have sex with someone
    get somebody nowhere/not get somebody anywhere
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    to not help someone make progress or succeed This line of investigation is getting us nowhere. Being rude to me won't get you anywhere.
    get somewhere/anywhere/nowhere
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    to make some progress/no progress After six months of work on the project, I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere. I don't seem to be getting anywhere with this letter.
    to achieve your aim or complete a task I'm sure you'll get there in the end. It's not perfect, but we're getting there (= making progress).
    get this! (informal)
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    used to say that you are going to tell someone something that they will find surprising or interesting OK, get this guys—there are only two left! So get this—I did all the work and he got the money.
    how selfish, stupid, ungrateful, etc. can you get? (informal)
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    used to express surprise or disapproval that someone has been so stupid, etc.
    there's no getting away from something, you can't get away from something
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    you have to admit that something unpleasant is true
    what are you, was he, etc. getting at? (informal)
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    used to ask, especially in an angry way, what someone is/was suggesting I'm partly to blame? What exactly are you getting at?
    what has gotten into somebody? (informal)
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    used to say that someone has suddenly started to behave in a strange or different way What's gotten into Alex? He never used to worry like that. I'm sorry for laughing like that—I don't know what got into me.
    Phrasal Verbsget across (to somebody)get ahead (of somebody)get alongget along with somebodyget aroundget around somebodyget around somethingget around to somethingget at somebody/somethingget at somethingget awayget away (from…)get away (from somebody/…)get away with somethingget backget somethingbackget back (in)get back at somebodyget back to somebodyget back to somethingget back together (with somebody)get behind (with something)get by (on/in/with something)get somebody downget somethingdownget down to somethingget inget somebodyinget somethinginget in on somethingget into somethingget into somethingget in with somebodyget offget offget offget off somethingget something offget off (with something)get off (with something)get off on somethingget on to somebodyget on to somethingget on with somethingget outget somethingoutget out (of something)get out of somethingget something out of somebodyget something out of somebody/somethingget over somethingget over something/somebodyget somethingover (to somebody)get something over (with)get over yourselfget through somethingget somebody through somethingget through (something)get through (to somebody)get through (to something)get through to somebodyget through with somethingget to somebodyget somebody/something togetherget together (with somebody)get upget upget up to something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: get