Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


The reason I write promptly is that you may not go out of the country just now.

She certainly knew he was liable to go at any time, in exactly the way he did go.

They've put lots of good weight-carriers off the track before they was due to go.

Billy, go up to the address he gives you, and get some of these se-gars.

In low and soothing tones, the maiden inquired, "Where did we go, Paralus?"

When he did go it was always understood to be positively for not more than two weeks.

I've often thought I'd go into some of these big operations here.

If the worst came, he could go West with the family and learn how to do something.

He knew Jim couldn't swim a lick, so he thought he'd have Jim go drown.

Well, he don't appear to be here; I'll go round to the back part of the house.


Old English gan "to go, advance, depart; happen; conquer; observe," from West Germanic *gai-/*gæ- (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian gan, Middle Dutch gaen, Dutch gaan, Old High German gan, German gehen), from PIE *ghe- "to release, let go" (cf. Sanskrit jihite "goes away," Greek kikhano "I reach, meet with"), but there is not general agreement on cognates.

The Old English past tense was eode, of uncertain origin but evidently once a different word (perhaps connected to Gothic iddja); it was replaced 1400s by went, formerly past tense of wenden "to direct one's way" (see wend). In northern England and Scotland, however, eode tended to be replaced by gaed, a construction based on go. In modern English, only be and go take their past tenses from entirely different verbs.

The word in its various forms and combinations takes up 45 columns of close print in the OED. Verbal meaning "say" emerged 1960s in teen slang. Colloquial meaning "urinate or defecate" attested by 1926. Go for broke is from 1951, American English colloquial; go down on "perform oral sex on" is from 1916. That goes without saying (1878) translates French cela va sans dire. As an adjective, "in order," from 1951, originally in aerospace jargon.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.