- to go forward, to make progress
The toy company is gaining ground in their effort to sell more products.
I do not know if my boss has a game plan for the meeting.
a game that two can play
- a good or bad strategy that two competing sides can both use
The insults from my friend are a game that two can play and if she wants to continue then I will too.
gang up on (someone)
- to attack someone in a group
The children tried to gang up on the boy but he ran away.
garbage in, garbage out
- the quality of information that you put into something will affect the response/outcome
Garbage in, garbage out. The bad information that was used for the story affected the final story that was written.
- to fill up a gas tank
We must gas up before we leave on our holiday tomorrow.
gear up for (something)
- to prepare for something
The city is gearing up for the Olympic games.
- used as an exclamation to show surprise or other strong feelings
"Gee whiz! Are we really going to go to the circus next week?"
generous to a fault
- to be too generous
My friend is generous to a fault and he sometimes gives too much to his friends.
get a bang out of (someone or something)
- to receive special pleasure from someone or something
My father gets a bang out of the funny birthday cards that we send him.
get a black eye
- to get a bruise or darkened eye after being hit or after bumping into something
The boy got a black eye when he fell in the playground.
get a break
- to get an opportunity or a good deal
I got a break when my friend sold me his car for a cheap price.
get a bright idea
- to have a clever thought or idea (often used as sarcasm)
My father got the bright idea that he should buy a motorcycle.
get a charley horse
- to develop a cramp in the arm or the leg
The swimmer got a charley horse while he was swimming.
get a checkup
- to receive a physical examination from a doctor
I go to the doctor every year to get a checkup.
get a clean bill of health
- to be pronounced healthy by a doctor
I got a clean bill of health when I went to see the doctor.
get a dirty look from (someone)
- to receive a frown from someone
I got a dirty look from the man who was sitting next to my crying child.
get a feel for (something)
- to become accustomed to something and learn how it works, to learn how to do something
I am beginning to get a feel for my new job.
get a fix on (something)
- to receive a reading of a distant object by electronic means
We were able to get a fix on the island and took the boat safely to the harbor.
get a foothold (somewhere)
- to find a starting point somewhere, to get a firm basis where further progress or development is possible
The small company was able to get a foothold in the breakfast cereal market.
get a grasp of (something)
- to begin to understand something
I am beginning to get a grasp of the new computer system.
get a grip of oneself
- to take control of one`s feelings
The man got a grip of himself and calmed down.
get a head start (on someone or something)
- to start earlier than someone or something, to start earlier than usual
We want to get a head start on our holiday.
get a kick out of (someone or something)
- to enjoy someone or something
My father got a kick out of seeing his old school friend.
get a load of (someone or something)
- to take a good look at someone or something
"Get a load of that man over there with the four dogs."
get a load off one's feet
- to sit down and relax
I sat down and tried to get a load off my feet.
get a load off one's mind
- to express or discuss what one is thinking or worried about
I talked with my supervisor and was able to get a load off my mind regarding our recent problems.
get a lot of mileage out of (something)
- to get much use from something (like a car or other equipment)
I hope to get a lot of mileage out of the new sneakers that I bought last week.
get a lump in one's throat
- to feel like there is something in one's throat (like you are going to cry)
My sister got a lump in her throat when she watched her daughter's graduation.
get a move on
- to hurry up
"Please get a move on. We are already late."
get a raise
- to get an increase in one's salary
My friend was not able to get a raise this year.
get a raw deal
- to receive unfair or bad treatment
The secretary got a raw deal when she had to work late everyday.
get a rise out of (someone)
- to provoke a response from someone
We got a rise out of the teacher when we opened the window in the cold weather.
get a slap on the wrist
- to receive light punishment for doing something wrong
The judge gave the boy a slap on the wrist and did not punish him severely for his crime.
get a suntan
- to make your skin browner or darker by exposing it to the rays of the sun
The girl went to the beach to get a suntan.
get a toehold (somewhere)
- to find a starting point somewhere, to get a firm basis where further progress or development is possible
Our company was finally able to get a toehold in the textbook market.
get a whiff of (something)
- to learn a little about something (almost by chance)
Whenever the reporters get a whiff of a scandal they start asking questions.
get a wiggle on
- to hurry up, to get going
"Get a wiggle on. I want to arrive at the party before the other guests."
get a word in
- to find a chance to say something when others are talking
The customer could not get a word in while talking to the salesman.
get a word in edgewise
- to manage to join a conversation
I could not get a word in edgewise so I left the meeting.
get across (something) to (someone) or get (something) across to (someone)
- to explain or say something so that someone can understand it
It was difficult to get across the importance of the school safety rules to the children.
get after (someone) to do (something)
- to urge or try to make someone do something that he or she should do but has neglected
I will get after the repairman to fix the computer as soon as he returns.
- to advance, to be successful
The woman works hard at her job in order to get ahead.
get ahead of (oneself)
- to do or say something sooner than you should
I was getting ahead of myself when I started asking questions about the job that I did not have.
get ahold of (someone or something)
- to make contact with someone, to obtain something
I have been trying very hard to get ahold of my old high school teacher.
get all dolled up
- to get dressed up in one's best clothes
The woman got all dolled up for the party.
- to leave
It`s late so I must get along now.
get along in years
- to grow older
My parents are getting along in years but they are still very healthy.
get along on a shoestring
- to manage with very little money
I had to get along on a shoestring during university.
get along on (something)
- to manage to survive or do well with something
My friend is able to get along on very little money.
The young woman gets along on her good looks very well.
get along well with (something)
- to make progress with something
The boy is getting along well with his studies.
get along with (someone)
- to have a good relationship with someone
I get along with everybody in my company.
get an earful
- to hear much talk or criticism or complaints about something
Our boss got an earful when he asked the employees if they had any complaints.
- to go to different places, to move about
My friend gets around and has been to many different cities.
get around to (do something)
- to finally find time to do something
The apartment manager finally got around to fixing our bath.
get at (someone or something)
- to attack or hit someone or something
Our dog tried to get at the other dog.
get at (something)
- to mean something
I do not know what our boss was trying to get at during the meeting.
- to succeed in leaving, to escape
I was able to get away from work early so I went shopping.
get away from it all
- to go on a holiday
We want to get away from it all this summer and relax somewhere.
get away with murder
- to do something very bad without being caught or punished
The students were able to get away with murder while the substitute teacher was in the school.
get away with (something)
- to avoid punishment for something
The criminal got away with stealing the money and was never caught.
- to return
We got back from London early yesterday afternoon.
get back at (someone)
- to do something bad to someone who has done something bad to you
The girl is angry at her boyfriend and she is getting back at him by not answering the telephone.
get back to (someone)
- to communicate something to someone at a later time, to contact someone later
We were very careful that our complaints did not get back to the school principal.
get back to (something)
- to return to something
I needed a rest before I could get back to my work.
get back together (with someone)
- to resume a relationship or marriage after separating with someone
The man got back together with his wife after separating for three months.
- to fail to maintain a desired pace or level of progress, to become late
If you get behind with your homework you will not pass your courses.
get behind (a person or idea)
- to support or help someone or something
Many people wanted to get behind the candidate who promised to cut taxes.
- to become better
The boy is beginning to get better at swimming.
get better (at something)
- to improve one's skill at doing something, to improve one's health
The little boy is getting better at riding his bicycle.
- to become busy
My friend is getting busy recently and I have no time to meet him.
get by (on something)
- to be able to satisfy your needs with a certain amount of something (usually related to money)
The man is able to get by on his small salary because he does not spend much money.
get carried away
- to be overcome by emotion or enthusiasm, to lose one's control or judgement
I got carried away yesterday and cleaned all of my apartment.
get caught in the crossfire
- to be trapped between two lines of enemy fire, to be caught between two arguing people or groups
I do not want to get caught in the crossfire between my boss and the sales manager.
get close to (someone)
- to become close friends with someone
The woman is trying very hard to get close to her youngest daughter.
get close to (something)
- to be almost as good as something, to almost reach or arrive at a goal
The charity is getting close to the final amount of money that they expect to collect.
get cold feet
- to become afraid and hesitant about something at the last minute
The student got cold feet and cancelled his plans to go to China.
- to hurry up, to start moving fast, to get started
We must get cracking on this job if we want to finish it before dinner.
get down to brass tacks
- to begin discussing or doing something immediately
"Let`s get down to brass tacks and finish this job quickly."
get down to business
- to begin to get serious
When the meeting began everybody got down to business and began to discuss the important issues.
get down to (something)
- to get started to do something
"Let`s get down to work so we can go home early."
get down to the nitty-gritty
- to get down to the basic facts
The teacher called us into her office to get down to the nitty-gritty of what had happened earlier.
get dressed up
- to put on one's best clothes
I like to get dressed up when I go to a nice restaurant.
get engaged (to/with someone)
- to make a plan to marry someone
My cousin decided to get engaged last month.
get even (with someone)
- to get revenge on someone
My sister wants to get even with her friend for being late for the concert.
- the beginning
Right from the get-go I did not like the new manager.
- to begin, to act, to go
"Let's get going and begin to clean the house."
- to become excited or angry
When the man gets going he will never stop complaining.
get (a) hold of oneself
- to get control of one's emotions
We asked the man who was crying to try and get hold of himself.
get (a) hold of (someone)
- to find a person so that you can speak with him or her
I tried to get hold of my brother last week but he was out of town.
get hold of (something)
- to get possession of something
"If you get hold of a dictionary, could you please let me borrow it for a few minutes."
- to arrive
My friend got in at noon today.
get in on (something)
- to become involved in something
My friend wants to get in on the planning of the summer festival.
get in on the ground floor
- to start at the beginning of something (in hopes of future gain)
I am hoping to get in on the ground floor of the new company.
get in (someone's) hair
- to bother or irritate someone
The woman complained that her young child was always getting in her hair.
get in touch with someone
- to contact someone
I want to get in touch with my friend when I go to New York in August.
get into a jam
- to become involved in trouble or a problem
I got into a jam when I lost the keys to my apartment.
get into a stew about/over (someone or something)
- to be worried or upset about someone or something
My mother is getting into a stew over my aunt not phoning.
get into hot water
- to get into trouble or difficulty
We got into hot water when they found us in the building after it had closed.
get into (something)
- to become involved in something
I do not want to get into an argument with my friend.
We were beginning to get into an interesting conversation when it became very late.
get into (something)
- to become interested in something
The man is beginning to get into music.
get into (somewhere)
- to enter somewhere - a car or a class or a university
My friend wants to get into a good university.
I bumped my head as I was getting into the car.
get into the act
- to try to be part of whatever is happening
Everybody at the party wanted to get into the act and join the singers.
get into the swing of things
- to adapt to a new environment or situation
We got into the swing of things after the party started.
get into the wrong hands
- something secret or dangerous is discovered by someone who should not have it
The teacher was careful that the test answers did not get into the wrong hands.
get into trouble
- to become involved in some kind of trouble
The young boys try not to get into trouble when they are home alone.
get involved with (someone)
- to become associated with someone (often romantically)
The bank teller got involved with the bank manager several months ago .
- to understand something, to understand a joke
Everybody was laughing at the joke but I did not get it.
get it all together
- to be in full control of oneself
My friend got it all together and applied for the job at the supermarket.
get it through one`s head
- to understand or believe something
The man has got it through his head that he will get a job without making any effort.
- to lose one's way, to become lost
I got lost on my first day in the city.
- Go away!
The girl told her brother to get lost so she could finish doing her homework.
get mad at (someone or something)
- to become angry with someone or something
I often get mad at my friend when he is late.
- to marry someone
We got married in June of last year.
get mixed up
- to become confused
"I`m sorry but I got mixed up with the dates. That`s why I came today."
get nowhere fast
- to make no progress
We are getting nowhere fast in our effort to convince our boss to give us a holiday.
- to escape or avoid punishment
The criminal got off with a very light sentence from the judge.
get off (a bus/train/plane etc.)
- to leave or exit from a bus or train etc.
We will get off the train at the next station.
get off easy
- to escape a serious punishment
The criminals got off easy after they robbed the bank.
get off on the wrong foot with (someone)
- to make a bad start to a relationship
Unfortunately, my relationship with my new teacher got off on the wrong foot.
get off one`s butt
- to get busy, to start working
My friend should get off his butt and try to find a job.
get off one's high horse
- to become less arrogant
The manager was forced to get off his high horse and act better toward the employees.
get off (someone`s) back
- to leave someone alone and not bother him or her
I wish that my supervisor would get off my back.
get off the ground
- to make a successful beginning
My uncle's new business never got off the ground and he must try to sell it.
get off the hook
- to become free from an obligation
I got off the hook and did not have to clean the classroom after school.
get off to a flying start
- to have a successful beginning
The new restaurant got off to a flying start when many people came during the first weekend.
get on in years
- to become older
My uncle is getting on in years and is not very healthy.
get on one`s high horse
- to behave with arrogance
Our boss likes to get on his high horse and give orders to everyone.
get on someone's case
- to criticize someone
The boy's mother is always getting on his case when his room is not clean.
get on (someone`s) nerves
- to irritate someone
The woman's constant complaining is beginning to get on my nerves.
get on (someone) to do (something)
- to ask or pressure someone to do something
I will get on my friend to return your book tomorrow.
get on the bandwagon
- to join a popular activity or campaign
Everybody got on the bandwagon to support the popular candidate.
get on the good side of (someone)
- to get in someone's favor
I took my friend to a nice restaurant in order to get on her good side.
get one's act together
- to become more organized
My sister finally got her act together and was able to find a new job.
get one's bearings
- to determine where one is
When I got my bearings I was able to easily find my way around the department store.
get one's comeuppance
- to get the punishment that one deserves
The woman got her comeuppance when she was forced to apologize to the other woman in the company.
get one`s dander up
- to become angry
You should not talk to the supervisor early in the morning or you may get his dander up.
get one's ducks in a row
- to put one's affairs in order, to get things ready
I got my ducks in a row and was able to find a job easily.
get one`s feet wet
- to do something for the first time, to gain your first experience of something
The writer got his feet wet in the publishing business and he is now ready to start his own business.
get one's fill of (someone or something)
- to receive enough of someone or something
Recently, I have got my fill of fresh corn and I do not want to eat any more.
get one's foot in the door
- to begin to do something that you hope will lead to future success (often used with jobs or careers)
I was able to get my foot in the door of the banking industry when I found a job at a bank.
get one's hands on (someone or something)
- to get someone or something in one's grasp
"When I get my hands on a hammer I will help you fix the door."
get one's head above water
- to get in control of one's situation (often financial situation)
When I get my head above water I will be able to spend less time working.
get one's just deserts
- to get what one deserves
The apartment manager got her just deserts when she was fired for bothering the tenants.
get one's mind out of the gutter
- to stop having inappropriate thoughts
I wish that my friend would get his mind out of the gutter.
get one's money's worth
- to get value for what you have paid for
We got our money's worth when we stayed on the golf course for seven hours.
get one's nose out of (someone's) business
- to stop interfering in someone else's business
The school secretary was told to get her nose out of the teacher's business.
get one`s own way
- to be able to do what you want
The boy always gets his own way with his younger brothers.
get one's priorities right
- to choose the correct order of priorities
The woman must get her priorities right and spend more time at her job.
get one`s rear in gear
- to hurry up, to get going
"Let`s get our rear in gear before it is too late to go to a movie."
get one's say
- to be able to say what one thinks
The meeting was over very quickly but everyone got their say.
get one's sea legs
- to become accustomed to something, to become accustomed to a ship moving at sea
After a few days at my new job, I was able to get my sea legs.
After we got our sea legs, we were able to walk around the boat.
get one's second wind
- to get a second burst of energy (usually after being tired)
I tried to get my second wind in order to continue my hike up the mountain.
get one's start
- to receive the first major opportunity of one's career
The newspaper owner got his start by selling papers when he was a child.
get one's walking papers
- to get fired
The young man got his walking papers for being late too often.
get one`s way
- to be able to do what you want or get what you want
The girl is spoiled and always gets her way.
get one's wires crossed
- to get confused about something
We got our wires crossed and we both went to different places for our meeting.
get out from under (someone or something)
- to escape from a situation that one does not like
I would like to get out from under my boss who is always watching my work.
get out of a jam
- to get free from a problem or bad situation
I got out of a jam this morning when my coworker came to help me finish the job.
get out of bed on the wrong side or get out on the wrong side of bed
- to be in a bad mood
I think that the girl got out of bed on the wrong side as she is not talking to anyone today.
get out of hand
- to get out of control
The party was beginning to get out of hand so we asked everyone to leave.
get out of line
- to disobey or ignore the rules of something
The children were getting out of line when the teacher returned.
get out of (something)
- to avoid doing something that you should do or that you said you would do
I was able to get out of my piano practice yesterday.
get out of (something)
- to take some clothes off so that you can put on more comfortable clothes
I want to get out of my wet clothes quickly.
get out of (somewhere)
- to leave somewhere, to escape
I want to hurry and get out of my house so I will not be late for work.
get out of the way
- to stop obstructing or interfering with someone or something, to escape from something
The car was unable to get out of the way of the truck.
get over (something)
- to overcome a difficulty, to recover from an illness or shock
The woman is having trouble getting over her father`s death.
- to prepare yourself for something
"First I must get ready for work, then I will help you."
- to develop a strong religious belief
My uncle recently got religion and is serious about it.
get rid of (something)
- to give or throw something away, to sell or destroy something, to make a cold or fever disappear
I bought a new television set so now I want to get rid of my old one.
- to get started
"Let's get rolling and try and finish this project today."
- to get ready to start something
Everybody is getting set for the wedding ceremony.
- to become ill
I got sick yesterday and did not go to the movie.
- to become diverted from one's task
I began to watch the news and got sidetracked from what I had planned to do.
- to annoy someone
It really gets me when my co-worker comes to work late.
get (someone) down
- to make someone unhappy, to cause discouragement
The long commuting time is getting my friend down so she wants to quit her job.
get (someone`s) goat
- to irritate someone
My friend is always getting my goat and I am tired of him.
get (someone or something) out of one's mind/head
- to forget about someone or something
It took me several months to get my old girlfriend out of my mind.
get (something) for a steal
- to buy something for a very low price
I was able to get our television set for a steal.
get (something) off one's chest
- to talk about something that has been bothering you
I told my father about my problem at work so that I could get it off my chest.
get (something) out in the open
- to make something public
We had a frank discussion in order to get everything out in the open.
get (something) out of one's system
- to get rid of the desire to do something
I went on a short holiday so that I could get travelling out of my system.
get (something) out of (something)
- to get some kind of benefit from something
My mother does not understand why my aunt can get something out of going to an opera.
get (something) out of the way
- to take care of some business, to do or finish something
We got our work out of the way and began to plan for the weekend.
get (something) over with
- to finish something (usually something that you do not want to do)
I was very happy to get my exams over with.
get (something) straight
- to understand something clearly
I could not get what my friend was trying to tell me straight.
get (something) through (someone's) thick skull
- to get someone to understand something
I could not get it through my friend's thick skull that I could not go on a holiday with him.
get (something) under control
- to be able to control something
The fire fighters were quickly able to get the fire under control.
get the ax
- to be fired
The man got the ax last week and now he has no job.
get the ball rolling
- to start something
"Let`s get the ball rolling and start planning the party."
get the benefit of the doubt
- to receive a decision in your favor when the evidence is neither for you nor against you
I got the benefit of the doubt when I complained about my parking ticket.
get the better of (someone)
- to beat or defeat (someone), to win against someone
My friend got the better of me and won the tennis match.
get the blues
- to become sad or depressed
Every winter my neighbor seems to get the blues.
get the boot
- to be fired from a job, to be told to leave a place
I got the boot from my first job in high school.
The man got the boot from the restaurant for smoking.
get the brush-off
- to be ignored or sent away
I got the brush-off when I asked the girl to dance.
get the cold shoulder
- to be ignored or rejected
My friend got the cold shoulder when he went to the expensive restaurant.
get the day off
- to have a free day from work
I hope to get the day off tomorrow so I can visit my grandfather in the hospital.
get the facts straight
- to get a clear understanding of the facts about something
I do not believe that our supervisor got the facts straight when she heard about our argument.
get the feel of (something)
- to become used to or learn about something
After you get the feel of the new computer it is very easy to use.
get the floor
- to receive official permission to speak to an audience
When the principal finally got the floor everybody was ready to go home.
get the go-ahead
- to receive a signal to start something
The construction company got the go-ahead to begin work on the new stadium.
get the goods on (someone)
- to find out true but often negative information about someone
I finally got the goods on the man and I will talk to the police soon.
get the hang of (something)
- to learn how to do something
The boy was asked to help with the sound system after he got the hang of it.
get the jump on (someone)
- to get ahead of someone
We left home early so that we could get the jump on the other travellers.
get the last laugh
- to laugh at someone who has laughed at you
We got the last laugh when the car that had passed us on the highway got a speeding ticket.
get the lead out
- to hurry
"Get the lead out," I said to my slow friend.
get the lowdown on (someone or something)
- to receive the full story about someone or something
I met a friend for coffee to get the lowdown on our friend who is getting married.
get the message
- to clearly understand the meaning of something
I told my friend to be quiet but I do not think that he got the message.
get the nod
- to be chosen for something
My favorite candidate got the nod to run in the election.
get the once-over
- to receive a quick visual examination
I quickly got the once-over when I arrived for the job interview.
get the picture
- to understand the whole situation
I did not get the picture of what my friend was saying about his new girlfriend.
get the raw end of the deal
- to do badly in a negotiation or a similar situation
I got the raw end of the deal when I received my new work schedule.
get the red-carpet treatment
- to receive very special treatment
The Queen of England got the red-carpet treatment during her trip to Australia.
get the runaround
- to receive a series of excuses and delays
I got the runaround when I went to talk to the company about my parking ticket.
get the sack
- to be fired from a job
I told the employee that if he does not change his work habits he will get the sack.
get the shock of one's life
- to receive a serious emotional shock
I got the shock of my life when I saw my teacher on TV.
get the short end of the stick
- to get less than others
I sometimes get the short end of the stick and I have to do more work than the other students.
get the show on the road
- to start working on something
"Let`s get the show on the road and begin work for the day."
get the third degree
- to be questioned in great detail and for a long period of time
The boy got the third degree when he came home late for dinner.
get the upper hand (on someone)
- to get into a position superior to someone
I got the upper hand during my dispute with the apartment manager.
get the worst of (something)
- to be defeated, to receive less benefit than someone else
The man got the worst of the deal when the salesman sold him the used car.
get through (something)
- to complete something, to finish something, to survive something
My friend is having trouble getting through her final exams.
I have much reading that I must get through before tomorrow.
get through to (someone)
- to make someone understand something
I tried talking to the woman but I could not get through to her.
get time off
- to receive a holiday from work
I can never get time off in the summer.
- to become tired
I want to have a quiet day because I do not want to get tired.
get to (a place)
- to arrive at a place
We will eat dinner when we get to the hotel.
get to (do something)
- to have a chance to do something, to be able to do something
I did not get to go to the circus last week.
get to first base
- to make a start, to succeed
I tried to meet the company president but I could not get to first base.
get to one's feet
- to stand up
The members of the audience got to their feet when the concert finished.
get to the bottom of (something)
- to find out the real cause of something or answer to something
The government wants to get to the bottom of the financial problems in the company.
get to the heart of (something)
- to understand the most important thing about something
We were in the meeting for three hours trying to get to the heart of the problem.
get to the root of a problem
- to get an understanding of the causes of a problem
The purpose of the meeting was to get to the root of the problem about the money.
get tough with (someone)
- to become firm or strict with someone
The school plans to get tough with students who are late.
get under (someone`s) skin
- to bother or upset someone
The woman always gets under my skin although I do not really know why.
get under way
- to start
The festival got under way early this morning.
- to get out of bed, to get to one`s feet
I got up early today so that I could go fishing with my friend.
I got up after sitting at my computer all morning.
- energy, enthusiasm, drive
The man has lots of get-up-and-go and it is difficult to follow him around.
get up enough nerve (to do something)
- to become brave enough to do something
I finally got up enough nerve to ask the woman for a date.
get up on the wrong side of the bed
- to be in a bad mood
My friend got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and will not talk to anyone.
get up the nerve to (do something)
- to become brave enough to do something
I tried to get up the nerve to ask my friend about his new job.
get used to (someone or something)
- to become accustomed to someone or something
I am slowly getting used to my new job.
get what`s coming to you
- to receive the good or bad that you deserve
The criminal got what was coming to him when he was sent to jail for two years.
- to become well, to become healthy again
The boy was sick but now he is getting well.
- to become wet
I got wet because of the rain.
get wind of (something)
- to hear about something
I got wind of the changes in our company from my friend.
get wise to (someone or something)
- to learn about something that is a secret
The man got wise to the fact that someone was stealing his money.
get with it
- to pay attention, to get busy
I told my friend to get with it or he would have problems with his boss.
get worked up about/over (something)
- to get excited or angry about something
My friend always gets worked up about his problems at work.
- to become worse
The boy is very sick and is getting worse.
- fancy dress or costume
"What was that strange getup that your friend was wearing the other day?"
ghost of a chance
- very little chance, the smallest chance
The boy does not have a ghost of a chance to finish his homework before class.
gift of the gab
- the ability to talk well
My friend has the gift of the gab and is much fun at a party.
give a little
- to compromise, to show flexibility when negotiating
My friend is easy to travel with because she will always give a little when we have a dispute.
give a wide birth to (someone or something)
- to keep away from someone or something, to keep a safe distance from someone or something
I usually give a wide birth to my boss when he is angry.
- sharing, giving and receiving between people, compromise
You must be willing to give-and-take if you want to have a good marriage.
give away (a secret) or give (a secret) away
- to let a secret become known
I do not want my friend to give away my plans to go to Mexico for a holiday.
give away (something) or give (something) away
- to give something to someone
I will give away my bicycle because I do not need it anymore.
give away the farm
- to offer too much during a negotiation
I tried not to give away the farm during the negotiation.
- to have a baby
The woman gave birth to a baby boy last night.
give chase to (someone or something)
- to chase or run after someone or something
The police gave chase to the man who robbed the store.
give credence to (someone or something)
- to believe someone or something, to credit someone or something
We did not want to give credence to the man's statement so we did not respond to it.
give credit where credit is due
- to acknowledge or thank someone who deserves it
We gave credit where credit is due and thanked the cook for her hard work.
give free rein to (someone or something)
- to allow someone to be completely in charge of something, to give someone or something the freedom to do something
The man was given free rein to do what he wanted in his new job.
- to move back, to retreat, to stop opposing someone
Our boss refused to give ground on his plan to change the system of office management.
give in to (someone or something)
- to surrender, to give someone his or her own way, to stop opposing or resisting someone or something
The company gave in to the union`s demand for more money.
give it to (someone)
- to punish or scold someone
The father gave it to his son when the boy came back late with the car.
give it to (someone) straight
- to tell something to someone directly
My boss gave it to me straight about my chance to get a promotion.
give off (something) or give (something) off
- to release a smell or something, to produce a smell or something
The garbage was beginning to give off a bad smell because of the hot weather.
The water began to give off steam when it began to boil.
give one's eye teeth (to do something) or (for something)
- to want to do something very much, to want something very much
The little boy would give his eye teeth to have a little puppy.
give one`s right arm (for something or to do something)
- to give something of great value
I would give my right arm to be able to go to Italy with my friends.
give oneself away
- to show guilt, to show that you have done wrong
The girl gave herself away when she said that she had not been downtown although her boyfriend had seen her there.
give oneself up
- to surrender, to stop hiding or running away
The robbers gave themselves up when the police surrounded the house.
give oneself up to (something)
- to let oneself enjoy something, to not hold oneself back from something
The man gave himself up to enjoy the party although he was feeling sick.
give or take (a certain amount of something)
- plus or minus a small amount of something
I think that the man is about 40 years old give or take five years.
- to fail, to wear out
We went hiking last week but my legs gave out so we had to return early.
- to be gone, to finish
We went camping for a week but our food gave out after only three days.
give out (a sound)
- to utter a sound
The girl gave out a loud scream when she saw the spider.
give out (something)
- to give something to people, to distribute something
We gave out more than six hundred balloons at the shopping center.
give rise to (something)
- to cause something
The problems with the heating system gave rise to several other problems.
give (someone) a big hand
- to clap one's hands in applause, to applaud someone
The audience gave the performer a big hand.
give (someone) a black eye
- to hit someone near the eye so that it becomes dark, to harm someone's reputation
I bumped into the door and it gave me a black eye.
The bad products gave the company a black eye.
give (someone) a blank check
- to give someone the freedom or permission to do what they think is necessary
The new coach was given a blank check by the university to try and improve the team.
give (someone) a break
- to give someone a chance, to provide someone with another opportunity or chance
We decided to give the woman a break and not complain about her bad manners.
give (someone) a bum steer
- to make a misleading suggestion
The store owner gave the police a bum steer when he told them where the robber may have gone.
give (someone) a clean bill of health
- to declare that someone is healthy (usually done by a doctor)
My doctor gave me a clean bill of health during my recent checkup.
give (someone) a dirty look
- to frown or make an angry face at someone
I gave the woman a dirty look when she began talking loudly on her cell phone.
give (someone) a fair shake
- to treat someone fairly
Our company tries to give everyone a fair shake.
give (someone) a free hand (with something)
- to give someone complete control over something
The city gave the homeowners a free hand to plan the new playground.
give (someone) a hand
- to help someone do something
"Please give me a hand to move this piano."
give (someone) a hard time
- to tease someone, to make trouble for someone
The girl gave her boyfriend a hard time about his new haircut.
The new supervisor is giving me a hard time.
give (someone) a head start
- to allow someone to start earlier than others
We gave my friend a head start in the treasure hunting contest.
give (someone) a piece of one's mind
- to scold or become angry with someone
When I met my friend yesterday, I gave her a piece of my mind.
give (someone) a ring/buzz
- to call someone on the telephone
I plan to give my friend a ring when I get home tonight.
give (someone) a run for their money
- to give someone a challenge
Our team gave the stronger team a run for their money during the championship finals.
give (someone) a start
- to startle or surprise someone
The dog gave me a start when it suddenly appeared.
give (someone) a taste of his or her own medicine
- to do something bad to someone after the other person has done something bad to you
I gave my friend a taste of her own medicine after she made me wait for her. I made her wait for me.
give (someone) a tongue-lashing
- to give someone a severe scolding
The mother gave her daughter a tongue-lashing when the daughter returned from school.
give (someone) an earful
- to scold someone, to tell someone much information (usually in an angry way)
I gave my sister an earful when she phoned me.
give (someone) an inch and they will take a mile
- if you give someone a little they will want more, some people are never satisfied
If you give the children an inch they will take a mile so you should be strict sometimes.
give (someone) credit for (something)
- to acknowledge or thank someone for something that they have done
Everybody gave the man credit for saving the life of the girl.
give (someone) enough rope and he or she will hang themself
- give someone enough time and freedom to do what they want and they will make a mistake or get into trouble and be caught
"Don`t worry about trying to fight him. If you give him enough rope he will hang himself."
give (someone) one`s word
- to make a promise to someone
My friend gave me his word that he will meet me at the library.
give (someone) pause to think
- to cause someone to stop and think
The accident on the highway gave everyone pause to think.
give (someone) the ax
- to fire an employee
We gave the new employee the ax because he was always late for work.
give (someone) the benefit of the doubt
- to assume or believe that someone is right or innocent of something
I gave the man the benefit of the doubt but I think that he is lying.
give (someone) the boot
- to fire someone from a job, to force someone to leave a place
The manager gave the man the boot when he began yelling in the restaurant.
give (someone) the brush-off
- to send someone away, to ignore someone
I gave the woman the brush-off when I saw her in the supermarket.
give (someone) the bum's rush
- to make someone leave a place quickly
The club owner gave us the bum's rush when we began to make too much noise.
give (someone) the cold shoulder
- to be unfriendly to someone
I gave the woman the cold shoulder at the party.
give (someone) the creeps
- to make someone feel uncomfortable
The girl next door is very strange. She gives me the creeps.
give (someone) the eye
- to look or stare at someone (especially in a cold or unfriendly way)
The store manager began to give the boy the eye.
give (someone) the go-ahead
- to give someone permission to begin a project
The sales manager gave us the go-ahead to begin the new sales campaign.
give (someone) the green light
- to give someone permission to begin a project
The city gave us the green light to begin work on the new housing project.
give (someone) the low-down (on someone or something)
- to tell someone the full story or details about someone or something
I gave my friend the low-down on our plans for the weekend.
give (someone or something) the once-over
- to visually examine someone or something quickly
We gave the man the once-over when he walked into the restaurant.
give (someone) the red-carpet treatment
- to give someone very special treatment
The city gave the politician the red-carpet treatment when he came for a visit.
give (someone) the runaround
- to give excuses and delays to someone
We tried to get a refund for our airplane tickets but the company gave us the runaround.
give (someone) the shirt off one's back
- to be very generous to someone
My uncle is very kind and he will give you the shirt off his back.
give (someone) the slip
- to escape from someone
The bank robbers tried to give the police the slip but they were soon caught.
give (someone) the third degree
- to question someone in great detail
The woman gave her son the third degree when he returned home.
give (someone) their due
- to give someone the credit that he or she deserves
You have to give our company president his due. He has saved the company from bankruptcy.
give (someone) what's coming to him or her
- to give someone what they deserve
I gave my neighbor what's coming to her when I complained to the police about her dog.
give (something) a shot
- to try something
I plan to give golfing a shot during my summer holidays.
give (something) a whirl
- to attempt to do something
I decided to give singing a whirl so I joined a singing club.
give (something) one's best shot
- to try very hard
I plan to give the new job my best shot.
give the devil his due
- to give credit to someone who deserves it even if you dislike him or her
I do not like to work with my coworker because he is lazy. However, you have to give the devil his due. He usually gets the job done.
- to abandon or stop something
I have decided to give up my plan to work in Hong Kong for a year.
give up the ghost
- to stop working, to die
My old car finally gave up the ghost so I must buy a new one.
give up the ship
- to stop fighting, to stop trying or hoping to do something
"Please don`t give up the ship and quit this company. You still have a useful role to play."
give voice to (one's feelings)
- to express what one feels or thinks
The man has begun to give voice to his feelings about his job.
give voice to (something)
- to put something into words, to express something
The small organization gives voice to the concerns of poor people in the city.
- to collapse, to fail
The dam gave way and the water flooded the farmland below.
- something that is given away free, an act of giving something away, an unintential betrayal of a secret or repressed feeling or plan
Our supervisor's speech was a giveaway. Now, I know that he is planning to retire.
given to understand (something)
- to understand something plainly and clearly
I was given to understand that I could rent an apartment very cheaply in this area.
- to shake hands in a friendly way
The politician likes to glad hand people at the shopping center.
gloss (something) over or gloss over (something)
- to try to make what is wrong or bad seem unimportant, to hide something
The accountant tried to gloss over the amount of money that the company lost last year.
glutton for punishment
- a person who likes difficult or unpleasant tasks
My friend is a glutton for punishment and he will always do the most difficult jobs available.
gnash one's teeth