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go - definition and synonyms

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verb     go pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlegoing
past tensewent
past participlegone
  1. 1
    [intransitive] to move or travel to a place that is away from where you are now

    Where did Sue go?

    go to/into/through/across etc.:

    She went into the bathroom and rinsed her face in cold water.

    The quickest way to get to the library is to go through the park.

    We’re planning to go to Arizona this winter.

    go by car/train/airplane etc.:

    They’ll be going from London to Paris by train.

    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.
      to leave a place

      What time are you going tomorrow?

      I’m tired; let’s go.

    2. b.
      to move or travel to a place, or to leave a place, in order to do a particular thing
      go to:

      They’ve gone to a concert in town tonight.

      go to prison/jail:

      He went to prison for life.

      go to lunch/dinner:

      Are you ready to go to lunch yet?

      go to the doctor(’s)/dentist(’s)/hairdresser(’s) etc.:

      I’m leaving early to go to the dentist.

      go to/into the hospital:

      He went into the hospital for a routine operation last Tuesday.

      go and do something:

      I have to go and pick up my friends at the airport.

      go to do something:

      Jim went to buy some more ice cream about ten minutes ago.

      go shopping/fishing/dancing etc.:

      On hot days the kids would go swimming in the river.

      go for a swim/ride/walk etc.:

      They went for a walk around the neighborhood.

      Synonyms and related words
    3. c.
      to move in a particular way or while doing a particular thing
      go flying/crying etc.:

      Two jet fighters went racing across the sky.

    4. d.
      to travel to a place along a particular road or as part of a transportation service

      The bus goes right to the center of town.

  2. 2
    [intransitive] to travel to a particular place regularly in order to take part in an activity
    go to:

    None of her brothers went to college.

    When I was young, we went to church every Sunday.

  3. 3
    [intransitive] to continue from one place or time to another
    go from/to/past etc.:

    The 350-kilometer jungle highway going from Georgetown to Brazil was built with World Bank funds.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] to happen in a particular way
    how are things going?/how’s it going?:

    How are things going at work?

    go well/smoothly/badly etc.:

    I think the interview went very well.

  5. 5
    [intransitive] to be usually kept or put in a particular place
    go in/under/beside etc.:

    The spoons go in the other drawer.

    1. a.
      if something goes in a particular place, it fits there because it is the right size or shape

      There’s no way all this stuff will go in the box.

    2. b.
      to be suitable, right, or attractive in a particular place or in a particular combination

      It’s the kind of furniture that would go well in any room.

      I don’t think these colors really go, do you?

  6. 6
    [linking verb] to change to another condition, usually a worse one
    go deaf/blind/gray/bald etc.:

    Louise had gone completely blind before she died.

    go wild/crazy/mad:

    We knew they would go crazy if they ever found out.

    go bad/sour/rotten:

    The milk smells like it’s going bad.

    1. a.
      to be in a particular state or situation, especially one in which you do not have something or in which something is not done
      go barefoot/naked etc.:

      We both love going barefoot on the beach.

      go hungry:

      Thousands of people are being allowed to go hungry.

      go unseen/unheard etc.:

      Most of their hard work seems to have gone unnoticed.

      It was a vicious tackle, and the referee couldn’t let it go unpunished.

      Synonyms and related words
  7. 7
    [intransitive] to start being in a worse state, or to stop working correctly as a result of becoming old or damaged

    Her hearing is really starting to go.

    The battery in this watch is going.

  8. 8
    [intransitive] spoken to die

    When it’s your time to go, there’s nothing you can do about it.

  9. 9
    [intransitive] to be sent

    I’d like this letter to go airmail.

    go to:

    The memo should go to all employees.

  10. 10
    [intransitive] if time goes in a particular way, it passes in that way
    go fast/quickly/slowly:

    This week’s gone so fast – I can’t believe it’s Friday already.

  11. 11
    [intransitive] to be spent

    Where did all their money go?

    go on/for:

    Half of the check went on new shoes for the kids.

    1. a.
      if a supply of something goes, it becomes less because more and more of it is used

      We were worried because the food was completely gone and the water was going fast.

  12. 12
    [intransitive] to leave a job or organization, especially because you are forced to

    They can fire me, but I won’t go quietly.

  13. 13
    [transitive] to make a particular sound, especially the typical sound of a particular animal

    Cows go “moo.”

    His alarm kept goingbeep, beep, beep.”

    1. a.
      [intransitive] mainly British to make a sound as a signal

      No one leaves until the bell goes.

  14. 14
    [intransitive] to move in a particular way

    He kept going like this with his head.

  15. 15
    [intransitive/transitive] to consist of a particular series of words, facts, or musical notes

    That’s not the way the song goes.

    the story/saying/argument goes (that):

    The story goes that this castle was built by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.

  16. 16
    [transitive] very informal used when you are telling a story for saying what someone has said

    So he goes, “I know what I’m doing,” and she goes, “I don’t think so.”

  17. 17
    [intransitive] to begin doing something

    Nobody starts until I say “Go.”

    be ready to go:

    We’ve planned every detail and are ready to go.

    get going (on something):

    It won’t take me long once I get going.

  18. 18
    [intransitive/transitive] to continue or last for a particular amount of time while doing something
    go (for) days/weeks/months etc.:

    He went several days without eating a single thing.

  19. 19
    [intransitive] if a machine or piece of equipment goes, it operates correctly

    My old watch is still going.

  20. 20
    [intransitive] to be sold

    Tickets are going very fast, so I’d advise you to get yours now.

    be going cheap (=be for sale at a low price):

    There are some lovely bathroom tiles going cheap today.

  21. 21
    [intransitive] to pay or accept a particular amount of money for something

    I can’t go any higher than $500.

  22. 22
    [intransitive] spoken to go to the toilet

    I need to go right now.

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