Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English geten, from Old Norse geta, from Proto-Germanic *getaną (compare Old English ġietan, Old High German pigezzan (to uphold), Gothic 𐌱𐌹𐌲𐌹𐍄𐌰𐌽 (bigitan, to find, discover)), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰed- (to seize). Cognate with Latin prehendō.


get (third-person singular simple present gets, present participle getting, simple past got or (archaic) gat, past participle got or (American, Canadian, Irish, Northern English, Scottish, archaic) gotten)

  1. (ditransitive) To obtain; to acquire.

    I’m going to get a computer tomorrow from the discount store.

    Lance is going to get Mary a ring.

  2. (transitive) To receive.

    I got a computer from my parents for my birthday.

    You need to get permission to leave early.

    He got a severe reprimand for that.

    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 8, in Mr. Pratt’s Patients:

      Afore we got to the shanty Colonel Applegate stuck his head out of the door. His temper had been getting raggeder all the time, and the sousing he got when he fell overboard had just about ripped what was left of it to ravellings.

  3. (transitive, in a perfect construction, with present-tense meaning) To have. See usage notes.

    I’ve got a concert ticket for you.

  4. (transitive) To fetch, bring, take.

    Can you get my bag from the living-room, please?

    I need to get this to the office.

  5. (copulative) To become, or cause oneself to become.

    I’m getting hungry; how about you?

    I’m going out to get drunk.

    • November 1, 1833, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Table Talk
      His chariot wheels get hot by driving fast.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 8, in Mr. Pratt’s Patients:

      Afore we got to the shanty Colonel Applegate stuck his head out of the door. His temper had been getting raggeder all the time, and the sousing he got when he fell overboard had just about ripped what was left of it to ravellings.

  6. (transitive) To cause to become; to bring about.

    That song gets me so depressed every time I hear it.

    I’ll get this finished by lunchtime.

    I can’t get these boots off (or on).

    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt’s Patients:

      Then there came a reg’lar terror of a sou’wester same as you don’t get one summer in a thousand, and blowed the shanty flat and ripped about half of the weir poles out of the sand. We spent consider’ble money getting ’em reset, and then a swordfish got into the pound and tore the nets all to slathers, right in the middle of the squiteague season.

  7. (transitive) To cause to do.

    Somehow she got him to agree to it.

    I can’t get it to work.

    • c. 1601–1602, William Shakespeare, “Twelfe Night, or VVhat You VVill”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene iii]:

      Get him to say his prayers.

    • 1927, F. E. Penny, chapter 5, in Pulling the Strings:

      Anstruther laughed good-naturedly. “[…] I shall take out half a dozen intelligent maistries from our Press and get them to give our villagers instruction when they begin work and when they are in the fields.”

  8. (transitive) To cause to come or go or move.

    I got him to his room.

    • c. 1847-1848, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Retro me, Sathana, line 1
      Get thee behind me.
  9. (intransitive, with various prepositions, such as into, over, or behind; for specific idiomatic senses see individual entries get into, get over, etc.) To adopt, assume, arrive at, or progress towards (a certain position, location, state).

    The actors are getting into position.

    When are we going to get to London?

    I’m getting into a muddle.

    We got behind the wall.

  10. (transitive) To cover (a certain distance) while travelling.

    to get a mile

  11. (intransitive) To begin (doing something or to do something).

    We ought to get moving or we’ll be late.

    After lunch we got chatting.

    I’m getting to like him better now.

  12. (transitive) To take or catch (a scheduled transportation service).

    I normally get the 7:45 train.

    I’ll get the 9 a.m. [flight] to Boston.

  13. (transitive) To respond to (a telephone call, a doorbell, etc).

    Can you get that call, please? I’m busy.

  14. (intransitive, followed by infinitive) To be able, be permitted, or have the opportunity (to do something desirable or ironically implied to be desirable).

    I’m so jealous that you got to see them perform live!

    The finders get to keep 80 percent of the treasure.

    Great. I get to clean the toilets today.

  15. (transitive, informal) To understand. (compare get it)

    Yeah, I get it, it’s just not funny.

    I don’t get what you mean by “fun”. This place sucks!

    I mentioned that I was feeling sad, so she mailed me a box of chocolates. She gets me.

  16. (transitive, informal) To be told; be the recipient of (a question, comparison, opinion, etc.).

    “You look just like Helen Mirren.” / “I get that a lot.”

    • Do you mind? Excuse me / I saw you over there / Can I just tell you ¶ Although there are millions of / Cephalophores that wander through this world / You’ve got something extra going on / I think you probably know ¶ You probably get that a lot / I’ll bet that people say that a lot to you, girl.

  17. (informal) To be. Used to form the passive of verbs.

    He got bitten by a dog.

    • 2003, Richard A. Posner, Law, Pragmatism, and Democracy, page 95:

      Of particular importance is the bureaucratic organization of European judiciaries. The judiciary is a career. You start at the bottom and get assigned and promoted at the pleasure of your superiors.

  18. (transitive) To become ill with or catch (a disease).

    I went on holiday and got malaria.

  19. (transitive, informal) To catch out, trick successfully.

    He keeps calling pretending to be my boss—it gets me every time.

  20. (transitive, informal) To perplex, stump.

    That question’s really got me.

  21. (transitive) To find as an answer.

    What did you get for question four?

  22. (transitive, informal) To bring to reckoning; to catch (as a criminal); to effect retribution.

    The cops finally got me.

    I’m gonna get him for that.

  23. (transitive) To hear completely; catch.

    Sorry, I didn’t get that. Could you repeat it?

  24. (transitive) To getter.

    I put the getter into the container to get the gases.

  25. (now rare) To beget (of a father).
    • 1603, William Shakespeare, Othello, Act I, Scene iii[1]:
      I had rather to adopt a child than get it.
    • 1610-11, William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act I, Scene ii[2]:
      Thou poisonous slave, got by the devil himself / Upon thy wicked dam, come forth!
    • 2009, Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall, Fourth Estate 2010, page 310:
      Walter had said, dear God, Thomas, it was St fucking Felicity if I’m not mistaken, and her face was to the wall for sure the night I got you.
  26. (archaic) To learn; to commit to memory; to memorize; sometimes with out.

    to get a lesson;  to get out one’s Greek lesson

    • 1662, John Fell, The life of the most learned, reverend and pious Dr. H. Hammond
      it being harder with him to get one sermon by heart, than to pen twenty
  27. (imperative, informal) Used with a personal pronoun to indicate that someone is being pretentious or grandiose.

    Get her with her new hairdo.

    • 1966, Dorothy Fields, If My Friends Could See Me Now (song)
      Brother, get her! Draped on a bedspread made from three kinds of fur!
    • 2007, Tom Dyckhoff, Let’s move to …, The Guardian:
      Money’s pouring in somewhere, because Churchgate’s got lovely new stone setts, and a cultural quarter (ooh, get her) is promised.
  28. (intransitive, informal, chiefly imperative) To go, to leave; to scram.
    • 1991, Theodore Dreiser, T. D. Nostwich, Newspaper Days, University of Pennsylvania Press →ISBN, page 663
      Get, now — get! — before I call an officer and lay a charge against ye.
    • 1952, Fredric Brown and Mack Reynolds, Me and Flapjack and the Martians
      I had a sneaking suspicion that it wasn’t no flashlight and I wasn’t too curious, just then, to find out what would happen if he did more than wave it at me, so I got. I went back about twenty feet or so and watched.
    • 2010, Sarah Webb, The Loving Kind, Pan Macmillan →ISBN:
      ‘Go on, get. You look a state. We can’t let Leo see you like that.’
    • 2012, Paul Zindel, Ladies at the Alamo, Graymalkin Media (→ISBN):
      Now go on, get! Get! Get! (she chases Joanne out the door with the hammer.)
    • 2016, April Daniels, Dreadnought, Diversion Books (→ISBN):
      [] and then I’ll switch over to the police band to know when the bacon’s getting ready to stick its nose in. When I tell you to get, you get, understand?” Calamity asks as she retapes the earbud into her ear.
  29. (euphemistic) To kill.
    They’re coming to get you, Barbara.
  30. (intransitive, obsolete) To make acquisitions; to gain; to profit.
    • 1591, William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Sixt”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act IV, scene iii]:

      We mourn, France smiles; we lose, they daily get.

  31. (transitive) To measure.

    Did you get her temperature?

Usage notes[edit]
  • The meaning “to have” is found only in perfect tenses but has present meaning; hence “I have got” has the same meaning as “I have”. (Sometimes the form had got is used to mean “had”, as in “He said they couldn’t find the place because they’d got the wrong address”.) In speech and in all except formal writing, the word “have” is normally reduced to /v/ and spelled “-‘ve” or dropped entirely (e.g. “I got a God-fearing woman, one I can easily afford”, Slow Train, Bob Dylan), leading to nonstandard usages such as “he gots” = “he has”, “he doesn’t got” = “he doesn’t have”.
  • Some dialects (e.g. American English dialects) use both gotten and got as past participles, while others (e.g. dialects of Southern England) use only got. In dialects that use both, got is used for the meanings “to have” and “to have to”, while gotten is used for all other meanings.[1] This allows for a distinction between “I’ve gotten a ticket” (I have received or obtained a ticket) vs. “I’ve got a ticket” (I currently have a ticket).
  • “get” is one of the most common verbs in English, and the many meanings may be confusing for language learners. The following table indicates some of the different constructions found, along with the most common meanings of each:
British English[edit]
American English[edit]
  • (obtain): acquire, come by, have
  • (receive): receive, be given
  • (fetch): bring, fetch, retrieve
  • (become): become
  • (cause to become): cause to be, cause to become, make
  • (cause to do): make
  • (arrive): arrive at, reach
  • (go, leave): get out go, leave, scram
  • (adopt or assume (a position or state)): go, move
  • (begin): begin, commence, start
  • (catch (a means of public transport)): catch, take
  • (respond to (telephone, doorbell)): answer
  • (be able to; have the opportunity to do): be able to
  • (informal: understand): dig, follow, make sense of, understand
  • (informal: be (used to form the passive)): be
  • (informal: catch (a disease)): catch, come down with
  • (informal: trick): con, deceive, dupe, hoodwink, trick
  • (informal: perplex): confuse, perplex, stump
  • (find as an answer): obtain
  • (bring to reckoning; to catch (as a criminal)): catch, nab, nobble
  • (physically assault): assault, beat, beat up
  • (informal: hear): catch, hear
  • (getter): getter
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


get (plural gets)

  1. (dated) Offspring.
    • 1810, Thomas Hornby Morland, The genealogy of the English race horse (page 71)
      At the time when I am making these observations, one of his colts is the first favourite for the Derby; and it will be recollected, that a filly of his get won the Oaks in 1808.
    • 1976, Frank Herbert, Children of Dune:

      You must admit that the bastard get of Paul Atreides would be no more than juicy morsels for those two [tigers].

    • 1999, George RR Martin, A Clash of Kings, Bantam 2011, page 755:
      ‘You were a high lord’s get. Don’t tell me Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell never killed a man.’
  2. Lineage.
  3. (sports, tennis) A difficult return or block of a shot.
  4. (informal) Something gained; an acquisition.
    • 2008, Karen Yampolsky, Falling Out of Fashion, page 73:

      I had reconnected with the lust of my life while landing a big get for the magazine.

Etymology 2[edit]

Variant of git.


get (plural gets)

  1. (Britain, regional) A git.

Etymology 3[edit]

From Hebrew גֵּט(gēṭ).


get (plural gittim or gitten)

  1. (Judaism) A Jewish writ of divorce.
Alternative forms[edit]


  • get at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • get in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911.





  1. inflection of geta:
    1. first-person singular present indicative
    2. singular imperative


From Hebrew גט‎.


get m (Latin spelling)

  1. divorce



From Middle Dutch iewet, iet. The diphthong /ie̯/ developed into /je/ word-initially, as it did in High German, and the onset was then enclitically hardened to ⟨g⟩ (/ʝ/). Cognate with Dutch iets, Central Franconian jet, northern Luxembourgish jett, gett, English aught.



  1. something

Mauritian Creole[edit]



  1. Medial form of gete

Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


From a northern form of Old French jayet, jaiet, gaiet, from Latin gagātēs, from Ancient Greek Γαγάτης (Gagátēs).


  • IPA(key): /dʒɛːt/, /dʒɛt/


get (uncountable)

  1. jet, hardened coal
  2. A bead made of jet.
  3. A jet-black pigment.



Old Norse[edit]


From geta.


get n

  1. (rare) a guess




  1. first-person singular present indicative of geta
  2. second-person singular imperative of geta


  • get in Geir T. Zoëga (1910) A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic, Oxford: Clarendon Press

Old Swedish[edit]


From Old Norse geit, from Proto-Germanic *gaits.



gēt f

  1. goat





From French Gétes, Latin Getae, from Ancient Greek.



get m (plural geți, feminine equivalent getă)

  1. Get, one of the Getae, Greek name for the Dacian people




From Old Swedish gēt, from Old Norse geit, from Proto-Germanic *gaits, from Proto-Indo-European *gʰayd- (goat).



get c

  1. goat



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *