Pronunciation Verb

go (goes, present participle going; past went, past participle gone)

  1. To move:
    1. (intransitive) To move through space (especially to or through a place). (May be used of tangible things like people or cars, or intangible things like moods or information.)
      • 2005, David Neilson, Standstill ISBN 1412055954, page 159:
        […] there was a general sense of panic going through the house; […]
      • 2013, Mike Vouri, The Pig War: Standoff at Griffin Bay ISBN 0914019627, page 177
        Telegrams to London went by wire to Halifax, Nova Scotia, thence by steam mail packet to Liverpool, […]
      • 2016, [https://web.archive.org/web/20181113034859/https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-lesson-2-hello/3113733.html VOA Learning English] (public domain)
        I have to go now.
      Why don’t you go with us?
      This train goes through Cincinnati on its way to Chicago.
      Chris, where are you going?
      There's no public transit where I'm going.
      Wow, look at him go!
    2. (intransitive) To move or travel through time (either literally—in a fictional or hypothetical situation in which time travel is possible—or in one's mind or knowledge of the historical record). (See also go back.)
      • 2002 September 18, Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the 107th Congress, second session; Senate, page 17033:
        You have to go all the way back to Herbert Hoover to see a performance in the Standard & Poors 500 equal to what we are experiencing right now.
      • 2010, Charlotte Sadler, Time for One More Dance ISBN 1452015325, page 162:
        "I don't know how to tell you this, Aubrey, but you can't go back to 1938 […] the program won't accept any date that I input before 1941." […] "Well, I'll go to 1941, then."
      Yesterday was the second-wettest day on record; you have to go all the way back to 1896 to find a day when more rain fell.
      Fans want to see the Twelfth Doctor go to the 51st century to visit River in the library.
    3. (intransitive) To navigate (to a file or folder on a computer, a site on the internet, a memory, etc).
      • 2009, David J. Clark, The Unofficial Guide to Microsoft Office Word 2007 ISBN 0470377437, page 536:
        To access Office-related TechNet resources, go to www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/office.
      • 2009, Lisa W. Coyne, Amy R. Murrell, The Joy of Parenting ISBN 157224593X:
        Go to your earliest memory and to your favorite one, then to one that's difficult to consider.
      • 2012, Glen E. Clarke, Edward Tetz, CompTIA A+ Certification All-in-One For Dummies ISBN 1118223691, page 280
        Go to drive C: through My Computer (or Computer in Windows 7 and Vista) and double-click the c:\data folder.
    4. To move (a particular distance, or in a particular fashion).
      • 2003, Harrison E. Salisbury, The 900 Days: The Siege of Leningrad ISBN 0306812983, page 307:
        The car went a short distance, then halted. There was something wrong with the carburetor.
      We've only gone twenty miles today.
      This car can go circles around that one.
    5. (intransitive) To move or travel in order to do something, or to do something while moving.
      We went swimming.
      Let's go shopping.
    6. (intransitive) To leave; to move away.
      Please don't go!
      I really must be going.
      Workmen were coming and going at all hours of the night.
      Synonyms: depart, leave, exit, go away, go out
      Antonyms: come, arrive, approach
    7. (obsolete, intransitive) To walk; to travel on one's feet. [11th-19th c.]
      • 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, Book XII:
        ‘As for that,’ seyde Sir Trystram, ‘I may chose othir to ryde othir to go.’
      • 1624, John Smith, Generall Historie, in Kupperman 1988, page 129:
        Master Piercie our new President, was so sicke hee could neither goe nor stand.
    Synonyms: move, fare, tread, draw, drift, wend, cross
    Antonyms: freeze, halt, remain, stand still, stay, stop
  2. (intransitive, chiefly, of a, machine) To work or function (properly); to move or perform (as required).
    The engine just won't go anymore.
    • 1997, New Scientist, volume 154, page 105:
      'Although the lemon is now black and shrivelled the motor is still going strong. If I can make my small motor run for month after month on a single lemon, just imagine how much "juice" there must be in a whole sackful', Mr Ashill said.
    • 2008, Michael Buckley, Shangri-La: A Practical Guide to the Himalayan Dream ISBN 1841622044, page 146
      […] though his publisher swears black and blue that Kelder is still going strong and still remains an intensely private person.
    Synonyms: function, work, operate
  3. (intransitive) To start; to begin (an action or process).
    Get ready, get set, go!
    On your marks, get set, go!
    On your marks, set, go!
    Here goes nothing.
    Let's go and hunt.
    • 2001 June 18, a prophecy, quoted in Mary and the Unity of the Church ISBN 192658211X, page 49:
      Be listening for my voice. Go when you hear my voice say go.
  4. (intransitive) To take a turn, especially in a game.
    It’s your turn; go.
    Synonyms: move, make one's move, take one’s turn
  5. (intransitive) To attend.
    I go to school at the schoolhouse.
    She went to Yale.
    They only go to church on Christmas.
  6. To proceed:
    1. (intransitive) To proceed (often in a specified manner, indicating the perceived quality of an event or state).
      That went well.
      "How are things going?" "Not bad, thanks."
      • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene i]:
        How goes the night, boy?
      • I think, as the world goes, he was a good sort of man enough.
      • Whether the cause goes for me or against me, you must pay me the reward.
      • 1986, The Opera Quarterly, volume 4, issues 3-4, page 24:
        I certainly won't mention it to Ben, and will go carefully if he mentions it to me.
    2. (intransitive, colloquial, with another verb, sometimes linked by and) To proceed (especially to do something foolish).
      Why'd you have to go and do that?
      Why'd you have to go do that?
      He just went and punched the guy.
      • 2011, Debra Glass, Scarlet Widow ISBN 1419937901, page 96:
        And even if she had believed the story about a John Smith, she might go telling everyone in town about what she'd seen.
  7. To follow or travel along (a path):
    1. To follow or proceed according to (a course or path).
      Let's go this way for a while.
      She was going that way anyway, so she offered to show him where it was.
    2. To travel or pass along.
      • 2010, Luke Dixon, Khartoum ISBN 1848762364, page 60:
        A shady promenade went the length of the street and the entrance to the hotel was a few steps back in the darkness, away from the glaring sunshine.
  8. (intransitive) To extend (from one point in time or space to another).
    This property goes all the way to the state line.
    • 1946, Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, Congress of the United States, Seventy-ninth Congress, First Session, page 2459:
      I think those figures start from 1932 and go to 1941, inclusive, […]
    • 2007, Math for All: Differentiating instruction, grades K-2 ISBN 0941355772, page 38:
      Even though they can give a basic fact such as 4 4, I don't know that this knowledge goes very deep for them.
  9. (intransitive) To lead (to a place); to give access to.
    Does this road go to Fort Smith?
    • 2013, Without DelusionISBN 148369822X, page 191:
      “Where does this door go?” Bev asked as she pointed to a door painted a darker green than the powder green color of the carpet. Janet answered. “That door goes to the back yard.”
  10. (copula) To become. (The adjective that follows usually describes a negative state.)
    You'll go blind.
    I went crazy / went mad.
    After failing as a criminal, he decided to go straight.
    • 2001, Saverio Giovacchini, Hollywood Modernism: Film and Politics ISBN 1566398630, page 18
      Referring to the American radicals who went Hollywood in the 1930s, Abraham Polonsky argues that "you can't possibly explain the Hollywood communists away […] "
    Synonyms: become, turn, change into
  11. To assume the obligation or function of; to be, to serve as.
    • 1912, The Bookseller, Newsdealer and Stationer, volume 36, page 17:
      There is scarcely a business man who is not occasionally asked to go bail for somebody.
  12. (intransitive) To continuously or habitually be in a state.
    I don't want my children to go hungry.
    We went barefoot in the summer.
  13. To come to (a certain condition or state).
    They went into debt, she goes to sleep around 10 o'clock.
    the local shop wants to go digital, and eventually go global.
  14. (intransitive) To change (from one value to another) in the meaning of wend.
    The traffic light went straight from green to red.
  15. To turn out, to result; to come to (a certain result).
    How did your meeting with Smith go?
    • 2014, Tim Harris, Politics Under the Later Stuarts ISBN 1317900383, page 195
      When Wharton had to relinquish his seat in Buckinghamshire on his elevation to the peerage in 1696, he was unable to replace himself with a suitable man, and the by-election went in favour of a local Tory, Lord Cheyne.
  16. (intransitive) To tend (toward a result).
    Well, that goes to show you.
    These experiences go to make us stronger.
  17. To contribute to a (specified) end product or result.
    qualities that go to make a lady / lip-reader / sharpshooter
    • 1839, A Challenge to Phrenologists; Or, Phrenology Tested, page 155:
      What can we know of any substance or existence, but as made up of all the qualities that go to its composition: extension, solidity, form, colour; take these away, and you know nothing.
    • 1907, Patrick Doyle, Indian Engineering, volume 41, page 181:
      The avoirdupois pound is one of 7,000 grains, and  go to the pound.
  18. To pass, to be used up:
    1. (intransitive, of time) To elapse, to pass; to slip away. (Compare go by.)
      The time went slowly.
      • 1850, Sketches of New England Character, in Holden's Dollar Magazine, volumes 5-6, page 731:
        But the days went and went, and she never came; and then I thought I would come here where you were.
      • 2008, Sue Raymond, Hidden Secrets ISBN 1435747070, page 357:
        The rest of the morning went quickly and before Su knew it Jean was knocking on the door […]
    2. (intransitive) To end or disappear. (Compare go away.)
      After three days, my headache finally went.
      Synonyms: disappear, vanish, go away, end, dissipate
      Antonyms: remain, stay, hold
    3. (intransitive) To be spent or used up.
      His money went on drink.
      • 2011, Ross Macdonald, Black Money ISBN 0307759563, page 29:
        All I have is a sleeping bag right now. All my money goes to keep up the cars.
  19. (intransitive) To die.
    • 1808 February 21, Walter Scott, “(please specify the introduction or canto number, or chapter name)”, in Marmion; a Tale of Flodden Field, Edinburgh: Printed by J[ames] Ballantyne and Co. for Archibald Constable and Company, […]; London: William Miller, and John Murray, OCLC 270129616 ↗:
      By Saint George, he's gone! / That spear wound hath our master sped.
  20. (intransitive) To be discarded.
    This chair has got to go.
  21. (intransitive, cricket) To be lost or out:
    1. (intransitive, cricket, of a wicket) To be lost.
    2. (intransitive, cricket, of a batsman) To be out.
  22. To break down or apart:
    1. (intransitive) To collapse or give way, to break apart.
      • 2011, Shaunti Feldhahn, The Lights of Tenth Street ISBN 0307564444:
        Sober-eyed commentators safe in their television studios interviewed engineers about the chances that the rest of the dam could go.
      • 2012, Carolyn Keene, Mardi Gras Masquerade ISBN 1442465476, page 38:
        Jackson shook his head. "The contractor said those panes could go at any moment." "Right. Just like the wiring could go at any moment, and the roof could go at any moment."
      Synonyms: crumble, collapse, disintegrate, give way
    2. (intransitive) To break down or decay.
      This meat is starting to go off.
      My mind is going.
      She's 83; her eyesight is starting to go.
  23. (intransitive) To be sold.
    Everything must go.
    The car went for five thousand dollars.
  24. (intransitive) To be given, especially to be assigned or allotted.
    The property shall go to my wife.
    The award went to Steven Spielberg.
  25. (transitive, intransitive) To survive or get by; to last or persist for a stated length of time.
    • 1983, Princeton Alumni Weekly, volume 84, page 48:
      Against the Big Green, Princeton went the entire first and third quarters without gaining a first down, […]
    • 2011, H. R. F. Keating, Zen there was Murder ISBN 1448202426:
      'Surely one cannot go for long in this world to-day without at least a thought for St Simon Stylites?'
    How long can you go without water?
    We've gone without your help for a while now.
    I've gone ten days now without a cigarette.
    Can you two go twenty minutes without arguing?!
  26. (transitive, sports) To have a certain record.
    They've gone one for three in this series.
    The team is going five in a row.
  27. To be authoritative, accepted, or valid:
    1. (intransitive) To have (final) authority; to be authoritative.
      Whatever the boss says goes, do you understand?
    2. (intransitive) To be accepted.
      Anything goes around here.
      • , 1 Samuel 17:12
        The man went among men for an old man in the days of Saul.
      • 1691, John Locke, Some Considerations of the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest and the Raising the Value of Money
        The money which remains should go according to its true value.
    3. (intransitive) To be valid.
      • 2014, Shayna Lance King, If You'd Read This Book: You'd Be Employed By Now ISBN 0692206221, page 22
        [To job interviews, wear] muted colors. No pink or paisley (that goes for you too, guys!) […]
  28. To say (something), to make a sound:
    1. (transitive, slang) To say (something, aloud or to oneself). (Often used in present tense.)
      I go, "As if!" And she was all like, "Whatever!"
      As soon as I did it, I went "that was stupid."
    2. (transitive) To make the (specified) sound.
      Cats go "meow". Motorcycles go "vroom".
    3. (intransitive) To sound; to make a noise.
      I woke up just before the clock went.
  29. To be expressed or composed (a certain way).
    The tune goes like this.
    As the story goes, he got the idea for the song while sitting in traffic.
  30. (intransitive) To resort (to).
    I'll go to court if I have to.
  31. To apply or subject oneself to:
    1. To apply oneself; to undertake; to have as one's goal or intention. (Compare be going to.)
      I'm going to join a sports team.
      I wish you'd go and get a job.
      He went to pick it up, but it rolled out of reach.
      He's going to leave town tomorrow.
      • Seeing himself confronted by so many, like a resolute orator, he went not to denial, but to justify his cruel falsehood.
      • 1990, Celestine Sibley, Tokens of myself ISBN 0929264401, page 73:
        Now I didn't go to make that mistake about the record-breaking drought of more than fifty years ago, but, boy, am I glad I made it. Otherwise, I wouldn't have heard from Joe Almand.
    2. (intransitive) To make an effort, to subject oneself (to something).
      You didn't have to go to such trouble.
      I never thought he'd go so far as to call you.
      She went to great expense to help them win.
    3. (intransitive) To work (through or over), especially mentally.
      I've gone over this a hundred times.
      Let's not go into that right now.
  32. To fit (in a place, or together with something):
    1. (intransitive, often followed by a preposition) To fit.
      Do you think the sofa will go through the door?
      The belt just barely went around his waist.
      Synonyms: fit, pass, stretch, come, make it
    2. (intransitive) To be compatible, especially of colors or food and drink.
      This shade of red doesn't go with the drapes.
      White wine goes better with fish than red wine.
      Synonyms: harmonize
      Antonyms: clash
    3. (intransitive) To belong (somewhere).
      My shirts go on this side of the wardrobe.
      This piece of the jigsaw goes on the other side.
      Synonyms: belong, have a place
  33. (intransitive) To date.
    How long having they been going together?
    He's been going with her for two weeks.
    Synonyms: go out (with), date, see
  34. To attack:
    1. (intransitive) To fight or attack.
      I went at him with a knife.
    2. (transitive, Australian slang) To attack.
      • 2002, James Freud, I am the Voice Left from Drinking, [http://books.google.com.au/books?id=gfVtTNc0owcC&pg=PT42&dq=%22go|going|went+him%22+australia+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=U_VdT_r5D4PYmAWZ4cS4Dw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22go|going|went%20him%22%20australia%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false unnumbered page]:
        Then I′m sure I heard him mutter ‘Why don′t you get fucked,’ under his breath.
        It was at that moment that I became a true professional. Instead of going him, I announced the next song.
      • 2005, Joy Dettman, One Sunday, [http://books.google.com.au/books?id=ZQKALHsrDUgC&pg=PA297&dq=%22go|going|went+him%22+australia+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=EPRdT9f_B6_kmAWlx9mjDw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22go|going|went%20him%22%20australia%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 297],
        Tom stepped back, considered the hill, and taking off down it. She was going to go him for blowing that flamin′ whistle in her ear all day.
  35. To be in general; to be usually.
    As sentences go, this one is pretty boring.
  36. (transitive) To take (a particular part or share); to participate in to the extent of.
    • They were to go equal shares in the booty.
    Let's go halves on this.
  37. (transitive) To yield or weigh.
    Those babies go five tons apiece.
  38. (transitive, intransitive) To offer, bid or bet an amount; to pay.
    That's as high as I can go.
    We could go two fifty.
    I'll go a ten-spot.
    I'll go you a shilling.
  39. (transitive, colloquial) To enjoy. (Compare go for.)
    I could go a beer right about now.
  40. (intransitive, colloquial) To urinate or defecate.
    I really need to go.
    Have you managed to go today, Mrs. Miggins?
    Synonyms: Thesaurus:urinate, Thesaurus:defecate