\ ˈgō How to pronounce go (audio) \
went\ ˈwent How to pronounce go (audio) \; gone\ ˈgȯn How to pronounce go (audio) also  ˈgän \; going\ ˈgō-​iŋ How to pronounce go (audio) , ˈgȯ(-​)iŋ ; "going to" in sense 13 is often  ˈgō-​ə-​nə or  ˈgȯ-​nə or  ˈgə-​nə How to pronounce go (audio) \; goes\ ˈgōz How to pronounce go (audio) \

Definition of go

 (Entry 1 of 4)

intransitive verb

1a : to move on a course : proceed go slow went by train — compare stop
b : to travel to a place goes to the office every morning went to the gas station before heading home
c : to travel to and stay in a place for a period of time went to Paris for a month plan to go to their beach house for the summer
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
3a : 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 itgo 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
4 obsolete : walk
5 : to be habitually in a certain state or condition go bareheaded
6a : 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 this clutter has 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
7a : 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
8a : to apply oneself went to work on the problem
b : to put or subject oneself went to unnecessary expense
c chiefly Southern US and Midland US : intend I didn't go to do it
9a : to have recourse to another for corroboration, vindication, or decision : resort go to court to recover damages
b : to be guided, governed, or regulated We were just going by what we'd been told. The police tried to locate the culprit, but they didn't have much to go on. : to act in agreement or cooperation … the echo of my girlfriend's voice comes into my head, saying, "Whatever happens, just go with it."— Jason Schwartzman
10a : 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
11 : to be known goes by an alias
12a : 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
13 : to be about, intending, or expecting something used in a progressive tense before an infinitive is going to leave town
14a : extend his knowledge fails to go very deep
b : to come or arrive at a certain state or condition go to sleep " … I finally went to pieces and couldn't stop crying for two hours. … "— Gwendoline Christie — see also go into sense 2 (below)
c : to come to be : become the tire went flat often used to express conversion to specified values or a specified state gone Hollywoodgo condo
d : to undergo a change leaves go from green to red
15a : 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
16 : to be compatible, suitable, or becoming : harmonize the tie goes with his suit
17a : 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
18 : to have a tendency : conduce it goes to show
19a(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
20 : to empty the bladder or bowels

transitive verb

1 : to proceed along or according to : follow if I were going his way went the conventional route
2 : to travel through or along : traverse went the length of the street
3a : 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
4a : 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
5 : yield, weigh this fish goes ten pounds
6a : to put up with : tolerate couldn't go the noise
b : afford can't go the price
c : enjoy I could go a soda
7a : to cause (a characteristic sound) to occur the gun went bang
b : say used chiefly in oral narration of speech … I started trying to write a novel. I spent about six months on it. And at a certain point I go, "You know, I don't want to finish this. …"— Quentin Tarantino
8 : to engage in don't go telling everyone
9 of a sports team or player : to have a record of went 11–0 last season
go about
: to set about : to begin to do
go after
: to try to get : seek
go all the way
1 : to enter into complete agreement
2 : to engage in sexual intercourse
go at
1a : to make an attack on
b : to make an approach to went at the problem from different angles
2 : undertake
go back on
1 : abandon She went back on her word.
2 : betray
3 : fail was afraid that his mind might go back on him
go begging
: to be in little demand
go by the board
1 : to be carried over a ship's side
2 : to be discarded Budget cuts meant that some projects had to go by the board.
go easy
: to be sparing go easy with the sugar go easy on the kid
go fly a kite
: to stop being an annoyance or disturbance told him to go fly a kite
go for
1 : to pass for or serve as Silvered glass once went for mirrors.
2 : to try to secure or attain (something, such as a goal) go for the prize
3a : 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 : attack, assail my dog went for the intruder
go for broke
: to put forth all one's strength or resources went for broke to qualify for the Olympics
go great guns
: to achieve great success The movie was going great guns worldwide.
go hang
: to cease to be of interest or concern
go into
1 : to be contained in (something) 5 goes into 60 12 times
2a : to begin to be in (a specified state or condition) The fugitive went into hiding. "Scott went into a tizzy," she said.— Lucinda Franks I went into a deep funk over the nasty things I've written …— P. J. O'Rourke Her body began jerking violently, and she went into a coma.— Patrick Rogers et al. Seven months later Wall Street crashed and the economy went into freefall.— Bill Bryson
b : to begin (a specified kind of movement) The plane went into a tailspin. … the car hit a patch of ice and went into a skid …— Ron Fimrite
3 : to enter (something) as a profession or occupation She decided to go into law/medicine. He went into business for himself.
4 : to subject (something) to examination or discussion The auditors went into every aspect of the company's operations. I'll explain later—I don't have the time to go into it right now. She told me briefly what had happened, but didn't go into too much detail.
go it
1 : to behave in a reckless, excited, or impromptu manner
2 : to proceed in a rapid or furious manner
3 : to conduct one's affairs : act insists on going it alone
go missing
chiefly British : to become lost : disappear
go one better go over
1 : examine went over the test results
2a : repeat
b : study, review went over his notes before taking the test
go places
: to be on the way to success
go public
: to make a public disclosure
go steady
: to date one person exclusively and frequently
go through
1 : to subject to thorough examination, consideration, or study went through the list of items one by one
2 : experience, undergo had to go through quite an ordeal
3 : carry out, perform went through his work in a daze
go to bat for
: to give active support or assistance to : defend, champion
go to bed with
: to have sexual intercourse with
go to one's head
1 : to cause one to become confused, excited, or dizzy The wine went to his head.
2 : to cause one to become conceited or overconfident Fame went to her head.
go to pieces
: to become shattered (as in nerves or health)
go to the mat
: to make an all-out combative effort (as in support of a position)
go to town
1 : to work or act rapidly or efficiently They went to town on decorating the building.
2 : to be markedly successful The team really went to town, winning 14–0.
3 : to indulge oneself excessively He went to town on a big platter of beef and potatoes.
go with
1 : date
2 : choose sense 2 went with an iron off the tee
go without saying
: to be self-evident
go with the flow

— see also to go

\ ˈgō How to pronounce go (audio) \
plural goes

Definition of go (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : the act or manner of going
2 : the height of fashion : rage elegant shawls labeled … "quite the go"— R. S. Surtees
3 : an often unexpected turn of affairs : occurrence
4 : the quantity used or furnished at one time you can obtain a go of brandy for sixpence— C. B. Fairbanks
5 : energy, vigor
6a : a turn in an activity (such as a game) it's your go
b : attempt, try have a go at painting
7 : a spell of activity finished the job at one go
8 : success made a go of the business
9 : permission to proceed : go-ahead gave the astronauts a go for another orbit
no go
: to no avail : useless Attempts to get the computer running have been no go.
on the go
: constantly or restlessly active a housewife and mother who's always on the go

Definition of go (Entry 3 of 4)

: functioning properly : being in good and ready condition declared all systems go


noun (2), often capitalized

Definition of go (Entry 4 of 4)

: 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

Other Words from go


goer \ ˈgō-​ər How to pronounce go (audio) \ noun

Examples of go in a Sentence

Verb He went to the window and looked out at the yard. She goes to the office every morning and comes home in the evening. I'm tired. Let's go home. She went downstairs to the kitchen. The train goes from New York to Chicago. I went with my family to Rome last year. We're going to Iowa for a week. The car was going too fast. How much farther do we have to go? She went a long way to see him. See More

First Known Use of go


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun (1)

1635, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1961, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1840, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for go

Verb, Noun (1), and Adjective

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

Noun (2)


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Time Traveler for go

Time Traveler

The first known use of go was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near go

gnu goat



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Statistics for go

Last Updated

23 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Go.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/go. Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for go


\ ˈgō How to pronounce go (audio) \
went\ ˈwent \; gone\ ˈgȯn \; going\ ˈgō-​iŋ \; goes

Kids Definition of go

1 : to move or travel from one place to or toward another We went home.
2 : to move away : leave The crowd has gone.
3 : to lead in a certain direction This road goes to the lake.
4 : to be sent The invitation went by email.
5 : to become lost, used, or spent Our money was all gone.
6 : to pass by : elapse Three hours had gone by.
7 : to continue its course or action : run Some machines go by electricity.
8 : to be able to fit in or through a space No more can go in this suitcase.
9 : to make its own special sound A kitten goes like this.
10 : to be suitable : match The scarf goes with the coat.
11 : to reach some state Try to go to sleep. The tire went flat.
go off
1 : explode sense 1 A bomb went off.
2 : to begin to make a usual noise I woke up when the alarm went off.
3 : to proceed as expected The ceremony went off despite bad weather.
go on
1 : to continue as time passes You can't go on being late like this!
2 : to continue talking I'm sorry for the interruption. Please go on.
go out
1 : to leave home
2 : to stop burning Make sure the candle doesn't go out.
go through
: experience entry 2 She has gone through hard times.

More from Merriam-Webster on go

Nglish: Translation of go for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of go for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about go


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