go at (someone)
go at (someone)
1. To physically attack someone with great ferocity or hostility. Watch out for that bull in the back field—he'll go at you if you get too close. John went at the burglar with a knife to defend his family.
2. To criticize, berate, or verbally harass someone at length and/or with great intensity. At the international summit, the foreign ambassador went at the president, demanding an explanation for the recent espionage allegations.
go at it
1. To engage in or undertake something with great energy, enthusiasm, or vigor. I think you need a break from that assignment—you've been going at it for the last three hours! When John returned to teaching, he went at it with a renewed sense of purpose and excitement.
2. slang To engage in sex. I can hear my neighbors going at it almost every night—it's so embarrassing!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
go at someone or something
to attack someone or something; to move or lunge toward someone or something. The dog went at the visitor and almost bit him. He went at the door and tried to break it down.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Attack, especially with energy; also, proceed vigorously. For example, The dog went at the postman's legs, or Tom went at the woodpile, chopping away. This idiom is sometimes put as go at it, as in When the audience had settled down, the lecturer went at it with renewed vigor. [First half of 1800s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To undertake something or work on something, especially with enthusiasm or drive: She went at the job with a lot of energy. He went at that stain on the table with extra soap.
2. To attack something, especially with energy: My cat suddenly leaped up and went at the squirrel.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.