get out of

Idioms & Phrases

get out of

  1. Emerge or escape from, as in I hate to get out of bed on cold mornings or He'll be lucky to get out of this mess. [First half of 1500s] Also see get out, def. 1.

  2. Go beyond, as in The cat had climbed into the tree; she'd gotten well out of my reach. [First half of 1600s] Also see out of control; out of sight.

  3. Evade or avoid, as in He tried to get out of answering their questions, or Please get out of the way so we can pass. [Late 1800s] Also see out of the way.

  4. Elicit or draw out something from someone. For example, I can't get a straight answer out of him, or Getting a contribution out of her is like pulling teeth. [First half of 1600s]

  5. Get rid of something, remove, as in Get these cats out of the house, or I can't get this melody out of my head. Also see out of one's system.

  6. Extract from, obtain from. For example, You can get a lot of juice out of these oranges, or She got little or nothing out of this investment. It is also put as get the most out of, meaning "use to the greatest advantage," as in He gets the most out of his staff. [Second half of 1600s] Also see get a bang out of; get a rise out of; get mileage out of.

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