1. a Japanese game for two persons, played on a board having 361 intersections on which black and white stones or counters are alternately placed, the object being to block off and capture the opponent’s stones and control the larger part of the board.

abbreviation for

  1. general order

verb goes, going, went or gone (mainly intr)

  1. to move or proceed, esp to or from a point or in a certain directionto go to London; to go home
  2. (tr; takes an infinitive, often with to omitted or replaced by and) to proceed towards a particular person or place with some specified intention or purposeI must go and get that book
  3. to departwe’ll have to go at eleven
  4. to start, as in a race: often used in commands
  5. to make regular journeysthis train service goes to the east coast
  6. to operate or function effectivelythe radio won’t go
  7. (copula) to becomehis face went red with embarrassment
  8. to make a noise as specifiedthe gun went bang
  9. to enter into a specified state or conditionto go into hysterics; to go into action
  10. to be or continue to be in a specified state or conditionto go in rags; to go in poverty
  11. to lead, extend, or afford accessthis route goes to the north
  12. to proceed towards an activityto go to supper; to go to sleep
  13. (tr; takes an infinitive) to serve or contributethis letter goes to prove my point
  14. to follow a course as specified; farethe lecture went badly
  15. to be applied or allotted to a particular purpose or recipienther wealth went to her son; his money went on drink
  16. to be sold or otherwise transferred to a recipientthe necklace went for three thousand pounds
  17. to be ranked; comparethis meal is good as my meals go
  18. to blend or harmonizethese chairs won’t go with the rest of your furniture
  19. (foll by by or under) to be known (by a name or disguise)
  20. to fit or extendthat skirt won’t go round your waist
  21. to have a usual or proper placethose books go on this shelf
  22. (of music, poetry, etc) to be sounded; expressed, etchow does that song go?
  23. to fail or give waymy eyesight is going
  24. to break down or collapse abruptlythe ladder went at the critical moment
  25. to diethe old man went at 2 am
  26. (often foll by by)
    1. (of time) to elapsethe hours go by so slowly at the office
    2. to travel pastthe train goes by her house at four
    3. to be guided (by)
  27. to occurhappiness does not always go with riches
  28. to be eliminated, abolished, or given upthis entry must go to save space
  29. to be spent or finishedall his money has gone
  30. to circulate or be transmittedthe infection went around the whole community
  31. to attendgo to school; go to church
  32. to join a stated professiongo to the bar; go on the stage
  33. (foll by to) to have recourse (to); turnto go to arbitration
  34. (foll by to) to subject or put oneself (to)she goes to great pains to please him
  35. to proceed, esp up to or beyond certain limitsyou will go too far one day and then you will be punished
  36. to be acceptable or toleratedanything goes in this place
  37. to carry the weight of final authoritywhat the boss says goes
  38. (foll by into) to be contained infour goes into twelve three times
  39. (often foll by for) to endure or last outwe can’t go for much longer without water in this heat
  40. (tr) cards to bet or bidI go two hearts
  41. (tr) informal, mainly US to have as one’s weightI went 112 pounds a year ago
  42. US and Canadian (usually used in commands takes an infinitive without to)
    1. to start to act so as togo shut the door
    2. to leave so as togo blow your brains out
  43. informal to perform well; be successfulthat group can really go
  44. (tr) not standard to say: widely used, esp in the historic present, in reporting dialogueThen she goes, “Give it to me!” and she just snatched it
  45. go and informal to be so foolish or unlucky as tothen she had to go and lose her hat
  46. be going to intend or be about to start (to do or be doing something): often used as an alternative future constructionwhat’s going to happen to us?
  47. go ape slang to become crazy, enraged, or out of control
  48. go ape over slang to become crazy or extremely enthusiastic about
  49. go astray to be mislaid; go missing
  50. go bail to act as surety
  51. go bush See bush 1 (def. 14)
  52. go halves See half (def. 15)
  53. go hard (often foll by with) to cause trouble or unhappiness (to)
  54. go it slang to do something or move energetically
  55. go it alone informal to act or proceed without allies or help
  56. go much on informal to approve of or be in agreement with (something): usually used in the negativeI don’t go much on the idea
  57. go one better informal to surpass or outdo (someone)
  58. go the whole hog informal See hog (def. 9)
  59. let go
    1. to relax one’s hold (on); release
    2. euphemisticto dismiss (from employment)
    3. to discuss or consider no further
  60. let oneself go
    1. to act in an uninhibited manner
    2. to lose interest in one’s appearance, manners, etc
  61. to go
    1. remaining
    2. US and Canadian informal(of food served by a restaurant) for taking away

noun plural goes

  1. the act of going
  2. informal
    1. an attempt or tryhe had a go at the stamp business
    2. an attempt at stopping a person suspected of a crimethe police are not always in favour of the public having a go
    3. an attack, esp verbalshe had a real go at them
  3. a turnit’s my go next
  4. informal the quality of being active and energeticshe has much more go than I
  5. informal hard or energetic workit’s all go
  6. informal a successful venture or achievementhe made a go of it
  7. informal a bout or attack (of an illness)he had a bad go of flu last winter
  8. informal an unforeseen, usually embarrassing or awkward, turn of eventshere’s a rum go
  9. informal a bargain or agreement
  10. all the go informal very popular; in fashion
  11. from the word go informal from the very beginning
  12. See get-up-and-go
  13. no go informal impossible; abortive or futileit’s no go, I’m afraid
  14. on the go informal active and energetic


  1. (postpositive) informal functioning properly and ready for action: esp used in astronauticsall systems are go


  1. a game for two players in which stones are placed on a board marked with a grid, the object being to capture territory on the board

1727, “action of going,” from go (v.). The sense of “a try or turn at something” is from 1825; meaning “something that goes, a success” is from 1876. Phrase on the go “in constant motion” is from 1843.


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.

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