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verb, \ˈgō\

Definition of go

went play \ˈwent\ gone play \ˈgȯn also ˈgän\ going play \ˈgō-iŋ, ˈgȯ(-)iŋ; “going to” in sense 13 is often ˈgōə-nə or ˈgȯ-nə or ˈgə-nə\ goes play \ˈgōz\

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to move on a course :  proceed <go slow> <went by train> — compare stop

  3. 2 :  to move out of or away from a place expressed or implied :  leave, depart <went from school to the party> <going away for vacation>

  4. 3 a :  to take a certain course or follow a certain procedure <reports go through channels to the president> b :  to pass by means of a process like journeying <the message went by wire> c :  to proceed without delay and often in a thoughtless or reckless manner —used especially to intensify a complementary verb <why did you go and spoil it> <go jump in a lake> d (1) :  to extend from point to point or in a certain direction <the road goes to the lake> (2) :  to give access :  lead <that door goes to the cellar>

  5. 4 obsolete :  walk

  6. 5 :  to be habitually in a certain state or condition <go bareheaded>

  7. 6 a :  to become lost, consumed, or spent <our time has gone> b :  die c :  to slip away :  elapse <the evening went quickly> d :  to come to be given up or discarded <these slums have to go> e :  to pass by sale <went for a good price> f :  to become impaired or weakened <his hearing started to go> g :  to give way especially under great force or pressure :  break <the roof went>

  8. 7 a :  to move along in a specified manner :  fare <everything was going well> b :  to be in general or on an average <cheap, as yachts go> c :  to be or become especially as the result of a contest <the election went in her favor> d :  to turn out well :  succeed <worked hard to make the party go>

  9. 8 a :  to apply oneself <went to work on the problem> b :  to put or subject oneself <went to unnecessary expense> c chiefly Southern & Midland :  intend <I didn't go to do it>

  10. 9 :  to have recourse to another for corroboration, vindication, or decision :  resort <go to court to recover damages>

  11. 10 a :  to begin an action or motion <here goes> b :  to maintain or perform a certain action or motion <still going strong> c :  to function in the proper or expected manner :  run <the motor won't go>

  12. 11 :  to be known <goes by an alias>

  13. 12 a :  to act in accordance or harmony <a good rule to go by> b :  to come to be determined <dreams go by contraries> c :  to come to be applied or appropriated <all proceeds go to charity> d :  to pass by award, assignment, or lot <the prize went to a sophomore> e (1) :  to contribute to an end or result <qualities that go to make a hero> (2) :  to be of advantage <has a lot going for her>

  14. 13 :  to be about, intending, or expecting something —used in a progressive tense before an infinitive <is going to leave town>

  15. 14 a :  extend <his knowledge fails to go very deep> b :  to come or arrive at a certain state or condition <go to sleep> c :  to come to be :  become <the tire went flat> —often used to express conversion to specified values or a specified state <gone Hollywood> <go condo> d :  to undergo a change <leaves go from green to red>

  16. 15 a :  to be in phrasing or expression :  read <as the story goes> b :  to be capable of being sung or played <the tune goes like this>

  17. 16 :  to be compatible, suitable, or becoming :  harmonize <the tie goes with his suit>

  18. 17 a :  to be capable of passing, extending, or being contained or inserted <will these clothes go in your suitcase> b :  to have a usual or proper place or position :  belong <these books go on the top shelf>

  19. 18 :  to have a tendency :  conduce <it goes to show>

  20. 19 a (1) :  to carry authority <what she said went> (2) :  to be acceptable, satisfactory, or adequate <anything goes here> b :  to hold true :  be valid <the rule goes for you, too>

  21. 20 :  to empty the bladder or bowels

  22. transitive verb
  23. 1 :  to proceed along or according to :  follow <if I were going his way> <went the conventional route>

  24. 2 :  to travel through or along :  traverse <went the length of the street>

  25. 3 a :  to make a wager of :  bet <go a dollar on the outcome> b :  to make an offer of :  bid <willing to go $50 for the clock>

  26. 4 a :  to assume the function or obligation of <promised to go bail for his friend> b :  to participate to the extent of <decided to go halves on the winnings>

  27. 5 :  yield, weigh <this fish goes ten pounds>

  28. 6 a :  to put up with :  tolerate <couldn't go the noise> b :  afford <can't go the price> c :  enjoy <I could go a soda>

  29. 7 a :  to cause (a characteristic sound) to occur <the gun went bang> b :  say —used chiefly in oral narration of speech

  30. 8 :  to engage in <don't go telling everyone>

  31. 9 of a sports team or player :  to have a record of <went 11-0 last season>

goer play \ˈgō-ər\ noun
go about
  1. :  to set about

go after
  1. :  to try to get :  seek

go all the way
  1. 1 :  to enter into complete agreement

  2. 2 :  to engage in sexual intercourse

go at
  1. 1 a :  to make an attack on b :  to make an approach to

  2. 2 :  undertake

go back on
  1. 1 :  abandon

  2. 2 :  betray

  3. 3 :  fail

go begging
  1. :  to be in little demand

go by the board
  1. 1 :  to be carried over a ship's side

  2. 2 :  to be discarded

go easy
  1. :  to be sparing <go easy with the sugar> <go easy on the kid>

go fly a kite
  1. :  to stop being an annoyance or disturbance <told him to go fly a kite>

go for
  1. 1 :  to pass for or serve as

  2. 2 :  to try to secure or attain (as a goal) <go for the prize>

  3. 3 a :  favor, accept <cannot go for your idea> b :  to have an interest in or liking for <she went for him in a big way — Chandler Brossard>

  4. 4 :  attack, assail <my dog went for the intruder>

go for broke
  1. :  to put forth all one's strength or resources

go great guns
  1. :  to achieve great success

go hang
  1. :  to cease to be of interest or concern

go into
  1. :  to be contained in <5 goes into 60 12 times>

go it
  1. 1 :  to behave in a reckless, excited, or impromptu manner

  2. 2 :  to proceed in a rapid or furious manner

  3. 3 :  to conduct one's affairs :  act <insists on going it alone>

go missing
  1. chiefly British :  to become lost :  disappear

go one better
go over
  1. 1 :  examine

  2. 2 a :  repeat b :  study, review

go places
  1. :  to be on the way to success

go public
  1. :  to make a public disclosure

go steady
  1. :  to date one person exclusively and frequently

go through
  1. 1 :  to subject to thorough examination, consideration, or study

  2. 2 :  experience, undergo <had to go through quite an ordeal>

  3. 3 :  carry out, perform <went through his work in a daze>

go to bat for
  1. :  to give active support or assistance to :  defend, champion

go to bed with
  1. :  to have sexual intercourse with

go to one's head
  1. 1 :  to cause one to become confused, excited, or dizzy

  2. 2 :  to cause one to become conceited or overconfident

go to pieces
  1. :  to become shattered (as in nerves or health)

go to the mat
  1. :  to make an all-out combative effort (as in support of a position)

go to town
  1. 1 :  to work or act rapidly or efficiently

  2. 2 :  to be markedly successful

  3. 3 :  to indulge oneself excessively

go with
  1. 1 :  date

  2. 2 :  choose 2 <went with an iron off the tee>

go without saying
  1. :  to be self-evident

go with the flow
  1. :  conform 2b

to go
  1. 1 :  still remaining <ten minutes to go>

  2. 2 of prepared food :  sold for consumption off the premises

Examples of go in a sentence

  1. He went to the window and looked out at the yard.

  2. She goes to the office every morning and comes home in the evening.

  3. I'm tired. Let's go home.

  4. She went downstairs to the kitchen.

  5. The train goes from New York to Chicago.

  6. I went with my family to Rome last year.

  7. We're going to Iowa for a week.

  8. The car was going too fast.

  9. How much farther do we have to go?

  10. She went a long way to see him.

Origin of go

Middle English gon, from Old English gān; akin to Old High German gān to go, Greek kichanein to reach, attain

First Known Use: before 12th century



noun, \ˈgō\

Definition of go

plural goes

  1. 1 :  the act or manner of going

  2. 2 :  the height of fashion :  rage <elegant shawls labeled…“quite the go” — R. S. Surtees>

  3. 3 :  an often unexpected turn of affairs :  occurrence

  4. 4 :  the quantity used or furnished at one time <you can obtain a go of brandy for sixpence — C. B. Fairbanks>

  5. 5 :  energy, vigor

  6. 6 a :  a turn in an activity (as a game) <it's your go> b :  attempt, try <have a go at painting>

  7. 7 :  a spell of activity <finished the job at one go>

  8. 8 :  success <made a go of the business>

  9. 9 :  permission to proceed :  go-ahead <gave the astronauts a go for another orbit>

no go
  1. :  to no avail :  useless

on the go
  1. :  constantly or restlessly active


First Known Use of go





Definition of go

  1. :  functioning properly :  being in good and ready condition <declared all systems go>


First Known Use of go




noun, often capitalized

Definition of go

  1. :  a game played between two players who alternately place black and white stones on a board checkered by 19 vertical lines and 19 horizontal lines in an attempt to enclose the larger area on the board

Origin of go


First Known Use: 1890

GO Defined for Kids


verb \ˈgō\

Definition of go for Students

went \ˈwent\gone \ˈgȯn\going \ˈgō-iŋ\goes

  1. 1 :  to move or travel from one place to or toward another <We went home.>

  2. 2 :  to move away :  leave <The crowd has gone.>

  3. 3 :  to lead in a certain direction <This road goes to the lake.>

  4. 4 :  to be sent <The invitation went by e-mail.>

  5. 5 :  to become lost, used, or spent <Our money was all gone.>

  6. 6 :  to pass by : 

  1. 7 :  to continue its course or action :  run <Some machines go by electricity.>

  2. 8 :  to be able to fit in or through a space <No more can go in this suitcase.>

  3. 9 :  to make its own special sound <A kitten goes like this.>

  4. 10 :  to be suitable :  match <The scarf goes with the coat.>

  5. 11 :  to reach some state <Try to go to sleep.> <The tire went flat.>

go off
  1. 1 :  explode 1 <A bomb went off.>

  2. 2 :  to begin to make a usual noise <I woke up when the alarm went off.>

  3. 3 :  to proceed as expected <The ceremony went off despite bad weather.>

go on
  1. 1 :  to continue as time passes <You can't go on being late like this!>

  2. 2 :  to continue talking <I'm sorry for the interruption. Please go on.>

go out
  1. 1 :  to leave home

  2. 2 :  to stop burning <Make sure the candle doesn't go out.>

go through
  1. :  2experience <She has gone through hard times.>

Headscratcher for go

When an alarm goes on it goes off.

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up go? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a timid, meek, or unassertive person

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