1 of 3


informal : relied on and regularly turned to for expert knowledge, skill, or performance
the company's go-to guy
Brown became the go-to researcher for genetic conundrums.Brad Lemley
Nowadays, one running back will get almost all of the carries, one reliever will get nearly all of the saves. And in the NBA, the evidence is mounting that "go-to guys" are scoring an ever greater proportion of the points in any particular game.Steve Hirdt
informal : regularly or repeatedly chosen or employed for reliably good results
O'Neal's go-to move has become a soft jump hook, which he can shoot with either hand.Chris Ballard
While mozzarella may be the go-to cheese for pizza, … blue cheese … can also be great.Sam Gugino
A waitress came by and Reacher ordered his go-to breakfast, which was coffee plus a short stack of pancakes with eggs, bacon, and maple syrup.Lee Child


2 of 3


plural go-tos also go-to's
: someone or something that is regularly or repeatedly chosen or employed for reliably good results
A neat pour of rye whiskey is usually my go-to after making cocktails all night; they have a great selection to choose from.Sarah Troxell
I would say I get my style inspiration definitely from like that old, Hollywood classic look. I love Audrey Hepburn—she's my go-to.Laura McKinney
… cable channels such as Animal Planet, National Geographic and, especially, HGTV have become the go-tos for most waiting rooms.Kevyn Burger
She styled four ultra-chic looks for the new season, combining both winter go-to's and some on-trend pieces for spring.GoodMorningAmerica.com

go to

3 of 3


went to; gone to; going to; goes to

intransitive verb

used interjectionally as an exhortation
and they said one to another, go to, let us make brickGenesis 11:3 (King James Version)
used interjectionally to express disapproval or disbelief
go to, go to; you have known what you should notWilliam Shakespeare

Examples of go-to in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
North Shore was the go-to hospital for midwives in the area to send patients if their pregnancies became too risky, according to the licensed midwife. Michelle Marchante, Miami Herald, 11 May 2024 The Duchess of Sussex swept her long hair back into a low ponytail, accessorizing with gold earrings and her go-to stack of gold bangles plus watch — keeping the attention on the Windsor dress. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 11 May 2024 Krylon Color Maxx Spray Paint is Jernigan’s go-to for both exterior and interior projects. Nor'adila Hepburn, Better Homes & Gardens, 10 May 2024 My go-to's for photo gifts The Mixbook app is another excellent option for showcasing your photos. Jennifer Jolly, USA TODAY, 9 May 2024 Another reason as to why the wacky rig is a go-to during the post-spawn is that there are plenty of bass still in the shallows guarding their fry. Derek Horner, Outdoor Life, 9 May 2024 From my go-to adventure sandals to the only rain boots worth traveling with, these shoes literally keep me on my toes. Olivia Young, Travel + Leisure, 8 May 2024 Volkswagen’s go-to official camper van just got even more adventure-friendly. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 8 May 2024 In recent years, Patterson has earned a reputation as go-to for specials surrounding meaningful cultural institutions. Matt Donnelly, Variety, 8 May 2024
Starting in the summer of 2020, while the founder Joey Wong was pregnant, the brand has established itself as a go-to for trendy jewelry. Shanon Maglente, Good Housekeeping, 24 Mar. 2023 That the 240 seats at this restaurant are rarely bare is testament to its enduring popularity, particularly at lunchtime, when beautifully crafted dim sum are the go-to for foodies and the power-lunching set alike. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 28 Feb. 2023 User-friendly and powerful enough to run programs like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop, this portable device will be your go-to for work and play on the go. Karl Klockars, PCMAG, 28 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'go-to.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1984, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1997, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of go-to was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near go-to

Cite this Entry

“Go-to.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/go-to. Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!