get back

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get back (third-person singular simple present gets back, present participle getting back, simple past got back, past participle (UK) got back or (US) gotten back)

  1. (intransitive) Return to where one came from.
    When I get back from holiday, I expect the house to be tidy.
    • 1913, Joseph C[rosby] Lincoln, chapter VI, in Mr. Pratt’s Patients, New York, N.Y., London: D[aniel] Appleton and Company, →OCLC:
      He had one hand on the bounce bottle—and he'd never let go of that since he got back to the table—but he had a handkerchief in the other and was swabbing his deadlights with it.
    • 1950 January, David L. Smith, “A Runaway at Beattock”, in Railway Magazine, page 53:
      The night air may have sobered him a bit by the time they got back to Beattock.
  2. (intransitive, with with or to) Reply (to someone); follow up (with someone).
    I'll get back to you on that by Wednesday.
    Please get back to me about his complaint. ["to" here connotes "reply".]
    Please get back with me about his complaint. ["with" here connotes "meet with", physically or virtually.]
  3. (transitive) To retrieve (something); to have (something) returned.
    I lent her my guitar over the Christmas holidays, and will get it back when the term starts.
  4. (transitive, often with at or against) To do something to hurt or harm (someone) who has hurt or harmed one; to take revenge.
    I'll get you back for this!
    I'll get him back for this!
    I'll get back at all of them for this!

Derived terms