Meaning of GET in English


/ get; NAmE / verb

( getting , got , got / gɒt; NAmE gɑːt/)

HELP NOTE : In spoken NAmE the past participle got·ten / ˈɡɒtn / / ˈɡɑ:tn / is almost always used.



[ vn ] [ no passive ] to receive sth :

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.

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.


[ no passive ] get sth (for yourself / sb) | get (yourself / sb) sth to obtain sth :

[ vn ]

Where did you get (= buy) that skirt?

Did you manage to get tickets for the concert?

She opened the door wider to get a better look.

Try to get some sleep.

He has just got a new job.

[ vnn ]

Why don't you get yourself a car?

[ vn , vnn ]

Did you get a present for your mother?

Did you get your mother a present?


[ vn ] [ no passive ] get sth (for sth) to obtain or receive an amount of money by selling sth :

How much did you get for your car?



to go to a place and bring sb/sth back

SYN fetch :

[ vn ]

Quick— go and get a cloth!

Somebody get a doctor!

I have to go and get my mother from the airport (= pick her up) .

[ vn , vnn ]

Get a drink for John.

Get John a drink.



[ vn ] [ no passive ] to receive sth as a punishment :

He got ten years (= was sent to prison for ten years) for armed robbery.



[ vn ] [ no passive ] to receive broadcasts from a particular television or radio station :

We can't get Channel 5 in our area.



[ vn ] [ no passive ] to buy sth, for example a newspaper or magazine, regularly

SYN take :

Which newspaper do you get?



[ vn ] [ no passive ] to achieve or be given a particular mark / grade in an exam :

He got a 'C' in Chemistry and a 'B' in English.



[ vn ] [ no passive ] to become infected with an illness; to suffer from a pain, etc. :

I got this cold off (= from) you!

She gets (= often suffers from) really bad headaches.



[ vn ] [ no passive ] to be connected with sb by telephone :

I wanted to speak to the manager but I got his secretary instead.



linking verb to reach a particular state or condition; to make sb/sth/yourself reach a particular state or condition :

[ v - adj ]

to get angry / bored / hungry / fat

You'll soon get used to the climate here.

We ought to 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 at the weekend.

[ vn - adj ]

Don't get your dress dirty!

He got his fingers caught in the door.

She soon got the children ready for school.

➡ note at become


[ v to inf ] to reach the point at which you feel, know, are, etc. sth :

After a time 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.



to make, persuade, etc. sb/sth to do sth :

[ vn to inf ]

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.

[ vn -ing ]

Can you really get that old car going again?

It's not hard to get him talking—the problem is stopping him!



[ vn - adj ] get sth done to cause sth to happen or be done :

I must get my hair cut.

I'll never get all this work finished.



[ v -ing ] to start doing sth :

I got talking to her.

We need to get going soon.



( informal ) [ v to inf ] to have the opportunity to do sth :

He got to try out all the new software.

It's not fair—I never get to go first.



[ v + 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 got very far with the book I'm reading.



[+ adv. / prep. ] to move to or from a particular place or in a particular direction, sometimes with difficulty; to make sb/sth do this :

[ v ]

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.

Where have they got to (= where are they) ?

We must be getting home ; it's past midnight.

[ vn ]

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.


[ vn ] [ no passive ] 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.



get sth (for yourself / sb) | get (yourself / sb) sth ( especially BrE ) to prepare a meal :

[ vn ]

Who's getting the lunch?

[ vn , vnn ]

I must go home and get tea for the kids.

I must go home and get the kids their tea.



[ vn ] ( informal ) to answer the telephone or a door when sb calls, knocks, etc. :

Will you get the phone?



[ vn ] to catch or take hold of sb, especially in order to harm or punish them :

He was on the run for a week before the police got him.

to get sb 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!


[ vn + adv. / prep. ] to hit or wound sb :

The bullet got him in the neck.



[ vn ] [ no passive ] ( informal ) to understand sb/sth :

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 get the message —you don't want me to come.

➡ note at understand



[ vn ] [ no passive ] ( informal ) used to say that sth happens or exists :

You get (= There are) all these kids hanging around in the street.

They still get cases of typhoid there.



[ vn ] [ no passive ] ( informal ) to make sb feel confused because they do not understand sth

SYN puzzle :

'What's the capital of Bulgaria?' ' You've got me there! ' (= I don't know) .


[ vn ] [ no passive ] ( informal ) to annoy sb :

What gets me is having to do the same thing all day long.

HELP NOTE : Get is one of the most common words in English, but some people try to avoid it in formal writing.


Most idioms containing get are at the entries for the nouns and adjectives in the idioms, for example get sb's goat is at goat .  

- be getting on

- be getting on for ...

- can't get over sth

- get away from it all

- get it on (with sb)

- get it

- get it up

- get sb going

- get sb nowhere / not get sb anywhere

- get somewhere / anywhere / nowhere

- get there

- how selfish, stupid, ungrateful, etc. can you get?

- there's no getting away from sth | you can't get away from sth

- what are you, was he, etc. getting at?

- what has got into sb?


- get about

- get above yourself

- get across (to sb) | get sth across (to sb)

- get ahead (of sb)

- get along

- get around

- get at sb

- get at sb/sth

- get at sth

- get away

- get away (from ... )

- get away (from sb / ... )

- get away with sth

- get back

- get sth back

- get back (in)

- get back at sb

- get back to sb

- get back to sth

- get behind (with sth)

- get by (on / in / with sth)

- get down

- get sb down

- get sth down

- get down to sth

- get in | get into sth

- get sb in

- get sth in

- get in on sth

- get in with sb

- get into sth

- get into sth | get yourself / sb into sth

- get off | get off sb

- get off | get sb off

- get off | get off sth

- get off sth | get sb off sth

- get sth off

- get off on sth

- get off (with sth)

- get off (with sth) | get sb off (with sth)

- get off with sb

- get on

- get on to sb

- get on to sth

- get on with sb | get on (together)

- get on with sth

- get out

- get sth out

- get out (of sth)

- get out of sth

- get sth out of sb

- get sth out of sb/sth

- get over sth

- get over sth/sb

- get sth over (to sb)

- get sth over (with)

- get round / around sb

- get round / around sth

- get round / around to sth

- get through sth

- get through (sth)

- get sb through sth

- get through (sth) | get sth through (sth)

- get through (to sb)

- get through (to sth)

- get through to sb

- get through with sth

- get to sb

- get sb/sth together

- get together (with sb)

- get up

- get up | get sb up

- get yourself / sb up as sth

- get sth up

- get up to sth



Middle English : from Old Norse geta obtain, beget, guess; related to Old English gietan (in begietan beget , forgietan forget ), from an Indo-European root shared by Latin praeda booty, prey, praehendere get hold of, seize, and Greek khandanein hold, contain, be able.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.