goes/ˈgoʊz/; went/ˈwɛnt/; gone/ˈgɑːn/; going/ˈgowɪŋ/ goes/ˈgoʊz/; went/ˈwɛnt/; gone/ˈgɑːn/; going/ˈgowɪŋ/
Learner's definition of GO
1 a : to move or travel to a place
b : to travel to and stay in (a place) for a particular amount of time c : to move or travel in a particular way or for a particular distance
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.
Halt! Who goes there? [=who is there?; who is coming this way?]
— often used figuratively
The car was going too fast.
How much farther do we have to go?
She went a long way to see him.
We went many miles that day.
Go straight for two blocks, then go right/left at the light.
The street is blocked, so we'll have to go around.
Their relationship doesn't seem to be going anywhere. [=doesn't seem to be making any progress]
Where do we go from here? [=what do we do now?]
We've accomplished a lot, but we still have a long way to go. [=we have much more to do]
She has a lot of talent. If she works hard, she should go far. [=she should be very successful]
These changes will go a long way toward solving the dispute.
Would you go so far as to call them dishonest? [=would you say that they are dishonest?]
This time you've gone too far! [=you've done something that cannot be allowed]
2 a [no object] : to move to or be at a place (such as an office or school) for work, study, etc. — + to
b [no object] : to do something that involves moving or traveling to a place — often + on — often + -ing verb
She goes to church on Sunday.
She goes to work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Their son is going to college in Florida. [=he is attending a college in Florida]
He went to prison for his crimes.
— see also go for 5 (below) c [no object] : to move or travel to a place for a particular purpose
I went to see them last week.
We went to see a movie last night. = We went to a movie last night.
Are you going to the wedding? [=do you plan to attend the wedding?]
I may go to see them next week. = I may go and see them next week. = (US) I may go see them next week.
◊ In informal spoken English, go and is used to emphasize a following verb. It usually expresses anger or annoyance.
d [+ object], informal : to engage in (doing something)
In U.S. English, go by itself is also sometimes used this way.
3 a : to leave a place b : to leave a job, position, etc. 4 : to lie or move along a particular route or in a particular direction
[+ object] — often used figuratively
She went the conventional route [=she did the conventional thing] by going straight to college after high school.
He has always gone his own way. [=he has always done the things he wants to do instead of the things that most people do]
5 [no object] : to provide a way to get to a place 6 [no object] : to be sent 7 [no object] : to be lost, used, or spent
— often used with all
I don't know where the money goes.
I put my keys here a few minutes ago, and now they're gone. = (Brit) I put my keys here a few minutes ago, and now they've gone.
The money was all gone by Friday. = All (of) the money was gone by Friday.
“Is there any ice cream left?” “No, it's all gone.”
9 a of time : to pass b : to happen in a particular way
The evening went well/badly.
She worked hard to make the party go according to plan.
The way things are going [=if things keep happening this way], I may get laid off.
We lost the game, but that's the way it/life goes. [=it is a fact that bad or disappointing things will happen sometimes]
10 [no object], informal — used to talk or ask about how you are feeling 11 [no object] : to be given up, thrown away, etc.
I want to keep these, but that one can go.
These old boxes have got to go. = These old boxes have to go. [=we have to get rid of these old boxes]
always followed by an adverb or preposition [no object]
12 a : to be sold
b : to be willing to pay a certain price for something
The house went for a good price.
The cabinets go for about $400.
The painting will go to the highest bidder
13 [no object] : to fail or become weak because of use, age, etc. 14 [no object] : to break because of force or pressure 15 [no object] : to start doing something
— see also get going at get
16 [no object] — used to describe the result of a contest, election, decision, etc. 17 [no object] : to work in the usual or expected way
— see also keep going at 1keep
18 a [linking verb] : to become — used to describe a change — used especially to describe a change that is not wanted
b [no object] : to change
The tire went flat.
The bread has gone stale.
The company went bankrupt.
Everything keeps going wrong.
19 [linking verb] — used to describe someone's or something's condition
I like to go barefoot in the summer.
There was nothing to eat, so we had to go hungry.
My letters have gone unanswered. [=have not been answered]
Her excellent work has not gone unnoticed/unappreciated. [=someone has noticed/appreciated her excellent work]
20 [no object], informal : to make a particular movement 21 [no object] — used to talk about a story, song, etc.
22 a : to be able to fit in or through a space b : to have a usual or proper place or position : belong 23 [no object] : to have authority : to require you to do what is said or demanded 24 [no object], informal : to use the toilet
— see also go to the bathroom at bathroom
25 : to make a sound
The gun went bang.
The cow went “moo.”
26 [+ object], informal : to say (something) — used in describing what people said in a conversation 27 [no object], of a sports team or player : to have a specified record
The team went 11–2 last season. [=the team won 11 games and lost 2 games last year]
The shortstop went two for four in yesterday's game. [=the shortstop had two hits in four times at bat in yesterday's game]
: anything is acceptable : there are no rules for behavior, dress, etc.
as (someone or something) goes
— used to compare someone or something with someone or something else of the same kind
be going to
— used to talk about what will happen or could happen
It's going to be cold tomorrow. [=it will be cold tomorrow]
It's going to rain: if you don't take an umbrella, you're going to get soaked.
I am not going to tolerate [=I won't tolerate] any more bad behavior!
I was just going to call him. [=I was about to call him]
go about[phrasal verb]
go about (something)
1 : to start to do (something)
go after[phrasal verb]
go after (someone)
1 a : to follow and try to stop or catch (someone)
b : to try to find and punish (someone)
When the boy ran out the door, his mother quickly went after him.
The police went after the escaped criminal.
2 go after (something or someone) : to try to get (something or someone)
go against[phrasal verb]
1 go against (something) : to not agree with (something)
go against (someone or something)
2 a : to oppose (someone or something) b : to compete against (a player or team) in a contest or game 3 go against (someone) : to not be good for (someone) : to not produce the result that is wanted by (someone)
go ahead[phrasal verb]
1 : to do or begin to do something : to do something after planning to do it or after getting permission to do it
Despite the bad weather, they decided to go ahead with the party.
My boss told me to go ahead (with the work).
“Could I sit here?” “Sure, go (right) ahead.”
“I probably shouldn't have any more cake.” “Oh, go ahead. It won't kill you.”
2 : to happen or proceed
Despite the weather, the party went ahead as planned.
After a brief delay, the work is now going ahead again.
3 : to go or travel to a place before the other person or group that is with you
go all out
: to do something with as much effort as possible
When he has a party, he likes to go all out. [=have a big and expensive party]
Her company always went all out [=did everything possible] to make the customer happy.
go along[phrasal verb]
1 : to continue or proceed
The project is going along smoothly.
On this job there's a lot to learn—but I'm sure you'll pick it up as you go along.
He was just making up the story as he went along.
2 : to go or travel with someone — often + with 3 : to agree to do or accept what other people want — usually + with 4 : to be part of something — + with
go around[phrasal verb]or chiefly Britishgo round
1 a always followed by an adverb or preposition : to go to different places b chiefly British : to travel to a place that is nearby c — used to describe the way a person often dresses or behaves 2 go around or go around (a place) : to go or pass from one person to another person
There's a rumor going around (the office) that the boss is about to get fired.
An amusing story is going around.
There's a nasty cold going around: I hope you don't catch it.
3 go around or go around (something or someone) : to be long enough to pass all the way around (something or someone) 4
◊ If people want something and there is enough/plenty to go around, there is enough for all of the people who want it or need it.
5 what goes around comes aroundinformal — used to say that if you treat other people badly you will eventually be treated badly by someone else
go at[phrasal verb]
1 a go at (someone) : to attack (someone) b go at it : to fight or argue 2 go at (something) : to make an effort to do or deal with (something)
They had to go at the problem from many different angles before they finally solved it.
It was a tough job, and I was impressed by the energetic way he went at it.
go away[phrasal verb]
1 a : to leave a place or person b : to leave your home for a period of time
They're going away on vacation.
After graduating from high school, he went away to college.
a going-away present/party [=a present/party for someone who is leaving to live, study, or travel in a distant place]
2 : to stop existing or happening : to end
go back[phrasal verb]
1 a : to return to a place
b : to begin doing something again
I forgot my purse and had to go back for it.
What was it like to go back after so many years?
After college she went back home.
Go back inside! You'll catch cold.
— + to
◊ The phrase there's no going back means that you have done or decided something and cannot change it.
I turned off the alarm and went back to sleep.
He waved hello, then went right back to work.
She went back to eating her dinner.
2 a : to have existed for a particular amount of time or since a particular period — often + to b : to have known each other for a particular amount of time c : to think or talk about something from the past — often + to 3 go back on (something) : to not do what is required by (something, such as a promise)
go before[phrasal verb]
1 go before (someone) : to happen or exist at an earlier time than (someone) 2 go before (someone or something) : to be considered by (someone or something) for an official decision or judgment
go beyond[phrasal verb]
go beyond (something)
: to do more than (something)
go by[phrasal verb]
1 of time : to pass
The morning seemed to go by very quickly/slowly.
Many years have gone by since the last time I saw her.
They have many happy memories of days gone by. [=bygone days, days/times in the past]
go by (something)
2 a : to be guided or directed by (something, such as a rule) b : to form an opinion from (something) 3 go by (a name) : to be known by (a name) 4 go by or go by (somewhere) : to go somewhere in order to visit someone
go down[phrasal verb]
1 : to fall or crash to the ground 2 : to sink into the water 3 a : to drop to a lower level
b : to become less or smaller
Prices are expected to go down soon.
The quality of his work has been going down.
She had a fever yesterday, but it went down this morning.
4 : to become less bright 5 of the sun or moon : to stop being visible in the sky : to set 6 a — used to say how easy or hard it is to eat or drink something b — used to say how easy or hard it is to accept or agree to something 8 of a computer, system, etc. : to stop working 9 : to be remembered or talked about as an important person, event, etc. 10 British, informal : to be sent to prison 11 somewhat informal : to travel to a place (especially one that is nearby or to the south) 13 go down on (someone)slang : to perform oral sex on (someone) 14 go down with (an illness)British : to begin to have or suffer from (an illness)
go for[phrasal verb]
1 a go for (someone) : to attack (someone) b go for (something) : to try to get (something) 2 go for (something) : to accept or agree to (something, such as a plan or suggestion)
go for (someone or something)informal
3 a : to like or be attracted to (someone or something)
b : to relate to or apply to (someone or something)
When I see how she looks at him, I can tell she really goes for him.
I don't really go for modern art.
I could go for [=I would like] a cup of coffee right now.
The rule goes for you, too. [=the rule also applies to you]
“I'd like ice cream for desert.” “That goes for me too.” [=I'd like ice cream too]
The economy here has been growing stronger, and the same goes for [=the same is true for] many other areas.
4 go for (a price) : to be sold for (a particular price) 5 go for (a walk, a drive, etc.) : to do an activity (such as walking or driving a car) that usually involves going somewhere
She went for a walk/stroll after dinner.
On Saturday mornings we like to go for a drive out in the countryside.
Would anyone like to go for a swim?
◊ If you have something going for you, you have a talent, skill, etc., that helps you.
She's not as young as some of the other athletes, but experience helps, and she has that going for her. [=she has an advantage because of her experience]
You should be more confident in yourself. You have a lot going for you! [=you have many talents, abilities, etc.]
go in[phrasal verb]
1 of the sun or moon : to become hidden by a cloud 2 go in for (something) : to like or be interested in (something) 3 go in on (something)US, informal : to help pay for (something, such as a present) 4 go in with (someone) : to join (someone) in a business, project, etc.
go into[phrasal verb]
go into (something)
1 a : to start to be in (a different state or condition)
After she lost her job she went into a deep depression. [=she became very depressed]
The criminal has gone into hiding. [=the criminal is hiding]
After losing the election, she went into seclusion.
b : to start to move in (a different and usually bad way)
— see also go into effect at 1effect
2 : to start to do (something) as a job or career
He wants to go into the priesthood. [=he wants to become a priest]
Their daughter is planning to go into medicine. [=to be a doctor; to get a job in the medical field]
Both his sons have gone into the army. [=joined the army]
His dream is to go into business for himself. [=to start his own business]
3 a : to talk about (something) : to talk about the details of (something)
b : to try to get information about (something) — usually used as (be) gone into
Having gone into the causes of the French Revolution, the book then discusses its effects.
“I've had a long day.” “What happened?” “I'll tell you later. I don't feel like going into it right now.”
4 : to be used for (something) 5 mathematics — used to say how many times a number can be multiplied to produce a larger number
go off[phrasal verb]
1 a of a bomb : to explode b of a gun : to shoot c of an alarm : to begin to make a sudden loud noise 2 of lights, electricity, etc. : to stop working 3 : to leave a place for a new place 4 a : to occur or happen b : to happen a particular way 5 US, informal : to begin shouting at someone in an angry way — usually + on 6 go off (someone or something)British : to stop liking (someone or something)
She used to like him but now she's gone off him completely.
My boss has gone off the idea, so it's been cancelled.
7 a go off with (someone) : to leave (a spouse, partner, etc.) for someone else b go off with (something) : to take (something that belongs to someone else) away with you : steal
go on[phrasal verb]
1 : to continue: such as a : to continue on a journey b : to continue as time passes c : to continue doing something d : to continue talking : to talk too much or too long about something e : to continue to be in the same situation or relationship 2 : to go or travel to a place before another person or group that is with you 3 : to do or say something else after you have finished doing or saying something — usually + to
He accepted the nomination and went on to win the election.
After I finished reading the first book I immediately went on to the next one.
He went on to say that further tax increases would be necessary.
Everyone expected that she would go on to greater things. [=that she would become very successful]
5 of lights, electricity, etc. : to begin to work or function 6 : to form an opinion or conclusion from something — used in the phrase to go on 7 a — used in speech to urge someone to do something
b chiefly British, informal + old-fashioned — used in speech to express disbelief
Go on (and try it): you might actually like it!
“I probably shouldn't have any more ice cream.” “Oh, go on! It won't hurt you to have a little more.”
“I used to be a spy.” “Oh, go on.”
A spy? Go on with you, then. [=I don't believe you]
8 go on at (someone)chiefly British, informal : to criticize (someone) often or repeatedly
go one better
1 : to achieve more : to move to a higher or better level 2 go (someone or something) one better : to do better or more than (someone or something) : to outdo (someone or something)
go out[phrasal verb]
1 : to leave your home for an activity
I'm going out for a walk. I'll be back soon.
We're going out to get some lunch.
On Saturday nights he goes out drinking with his friends.
2 : to be sent from a person or place
The message went out by e-mail to all members of the staff.
Word has gone out that snow is expected.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims of this tragedy. [=we are thinking of and praying for all the victims of this tragedy]
3 : to stop being popular or fashionable 4 a : to meet someone for a romantic social activity : to go on a date with someone b : to have a continuing romantic relationship with someone 5 : to stop working especially : to stop shining or burning 6 chiefly US : to try to become a member of a team, group, etc. — usually + for 7 of the tide : to drop to a lower level 8 : to be broadcast on the radio, television, etc. — often + over
go over[phrasal verb]
1 : to move or travel to a particular place or person
— often + to
He went over and stood by the window.
He went over and hugged her.
I think I see Jane. Let's go over and say hello.
2 : to change sides in a disagreement, competition, etc. — usually + to 3 US : to be accepted or received in a particular way — often + with
go over (something)
4 a : to talk about or think about (something) carefully b : to look at or study (something) again in order to correct it, learn it, etc.
The students were told to go over their essays.
Let's go over the instructions.
an actress going over her lines
: to start to talk or think about something — usually used in negative statements
go through[phrasal verb]
go through (something)
1 a : to study or look at (something) in a careful way b : to look in or at (something) in order to find something : to search in or through (something) c : to experience (something)
d : to spend or use all of (something) e : to occur throughout (something)
He's going through a painful divorce.
I understand what you're going through.
In order to learn the job well, you have to go through several months of training.
The book has already gone through four editions. [=the publishers have already released four editions of the book]
f : to do (something)
◊ If something (such as an idea or a song) is going through your head/mind, you are thinking about it or remembering it.
It took him about an hour to go through his usual morning routine.
Before we practice the next section, let's go through the chorus once again.
— see also go through the motions at 1motion
◊ Something (such as a law or contract) that goes through is officially accepted and approved.
The bill is expected to go through easily.
The proposed deal failed to go through.
The bill went through Congress/Parliament [=was passed by Congress/Parliament] without difficulty and soon became law.
3 go through with (something) : to do (something that you have thought or talked about)
go to[phrasal verb]
1 go to (something) : to begin to be in (a particular state, condition, or situation) 2 go to (someone or something) : to be given to (someone or something) 3 go to (trouble or expense)chiefly US : to do something that causes you (trouble or expense)
go together[phrasal verb]
1 not used in progressive tenses : to be suited to or appropriate for each other
— see also go with 2 (below)
2 somewhat old-fashioned : to have a continuing romantic relationship
— see also go with (below)
go to show/prove
: to help show or prove something
go toward(s)[phrasal verb]
go toward(s) (something)
: to help pay for (something)
go under[phrasal verb]
1 : to sink below the surface of the water 2 : to fail : to not succeed
go up[phrasal verb]
1 : to rise to a higher level 4 : to travel to a place (especially one that is to the north)
go with[phrasal verb]
1 go with (someone) : to have a continuing romantic relationship with (someone) : to date (someone)
— see also go out 4b (above), go together 2 (above)
go with (something)
2 a : to be suitable for or appropriate with (something)
The skirt she's wearing doesn't really go with [=match] her blouse.
The tie goes (well) with his suit.
Do you think this wine will go well with dinner?
— see also go together 1 (above) b : to exist or occur as a necessary part of (something)
— see also go with the territory at territory
3 go with (someone or something) : to choose or use (someone or something)
After thinking about who to offer the job to, they decided to go with the more experienced candidate.
The golfer went with an iron off the tee. [=the golfer used an iron for her tee shot]
go without[phrasal verb]
go without or go without (something)
: to not have (something) : to live or continue without having (something)
How long can you go without sleeping/sleep?
If you can't afford a new car, you'll just have to go without.
here/there you go (again)informal
— used to say that something is happening again or in the same way that it has happened before
There you go, making a big deal out of nothing.
When I saw his name in the headlines I thought, “Here we go again.”
how goes it?
— used as an informal greeting
— used to say that something is no longer available or possible
Look at that traffic jam! There goes our only chance of arriving on time. [=our only chance of arriving on time is gone/lost]
It's supposed to rain this weekend, so there go our plans for a barbecue. [=we won't be able to have a barbecue]
2 US, of food : sold to be taken away and eaten somewhere else
Learner's definition of GO
1 [count] : an attempt to do something
“I can't get the window open.” “Let me have a go (at it).” [=let me try to do it]
She's been thinking about learning to fly for many years, and she's finally decided to give it a go. [=she's finally decided to try doing it]
(chiefly Brit) He managed to finish the work in/at one go. [=in one attempt, without stopping]
(chiefly Brit) I don't know if this new medicine will help, but I think it's worth a go. [=it's worth a try]
2 [singular], US, informal : permission to do something
◊ In informal U.S. English, if you say that something is a go, you mean that it will or can happen in the way that was planned or hoped for.
If you say all systems (are) go, you mean that everything is working correctly so that something can continue or proceed in the planned or expected way.
NASA officials have declared all systems go for the rocket launch.
The problems have been fixed, and now all systems are go.
3 [noncount], chiefly British, informal : energy that makes someone want to do many things 4 [count], British : a turn in a game or other activity
all goBritish, informal
: full of activity : very busy
have a go atBritish, informal
: to attack or criticize (someone)
make a go of
: to succeed in doing (something)
no goUS, informal
— used to say that something will not be allowed or cannot be done
We tried and tried to get the computer running but it was just no go.
I asked my boss for more time to finish the project, but she said no go. [=she said I could not have more time]
on the go
2 chiefly British : happening or going