get along

Idioms & Phrases

get along

  1. Also, get on. Be or continue to be on harmonious terms. For example, She finds it hard to get along with her in-laws, or He gets on well with all of his neighbors except one. The use of along dates from the late 1800s; the use of on dates from the early 1800s. A colloquial synonym for get along well is get on like a house afire, in effect comparing increasingly good relations to the rapid progress of a fire.

  2. Also, get on. Manage, fare with some success; also, prosper. For example, I can just get along in this town on those wages, or Her way of getting on in the world was to marry a rich man. The use of on dates from the late 1700s; the variant dates from the early 1800s.

  3. get along without. Manage without something, as in With that new car loan, he can't get along without a raise. [Early 1800s]

  4. Also, get on. Progress; advance, especially in years. For example, How are you getting along with the refinishing? or Dad doesn't hear too well; he's getting on, you know. [Late 1700s] Also see along in years; get on, def. 5.

  5. get along with you. Go away; also, be quiet, drop the subject, as in "Leave me. Get along with you" (Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge, 1837). [First half of 1800s] Also see get on.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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