Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Encyclopedia.
Related to go for: go for broke
go for (someone)
1. To physically attack someone with great ferocity or hostility. Watch out for that bull in the back field—he'll go for you if you get too close. John went for the burglar with a knife to defend his family.
2. To criticize, berate, or verbally harass someone at length and/or with great intensity. The foreign ambassador went for the president at the international summit, demanding an explanation for the recent espionage allegations.
3. To like or be attracted to someone romantically or sexually. He's not really my type—I don't usually go for guys with blonde hair. I tend to go for bookish girls who would rather read a book than stay out all night at a club.
4. To apply to or be true for someone in the same way as another person or group of people. I told your sister to stop throwing toys, and that goes for you too, Tommy! What Sarah said goes for the rest of us, boss. Either we get paid for overtime, or we all quit.
go for (something)
1. To go (to some place) in order to get something. I'm going for coffee. Do you want one? Would you mind going for bread? We're all out.
2. To undertake some activity, especially a physically active one, that involves leaving one's current location. I think I'll go for a run in the morning. Why don't we all go for a bike ride this weekend?
3. To bring in a certain amount of money when sold. These computers usually go for around $3,000, so you're getting a really good deal. I heard their house went for £1.5 million.
4. To last, endure, or continue to function for some amount of time. Those old mobile phones could go for days at a time without needing to be charged. I was so broke that I once went for nearly a month eating nothing but beans and rice.
5. To attempt to achieve or obtain some goal, objective, status, etc. I'm going for a PhD in applied physics. If you really want to become a writer, then you should just go for it, dude.
6. To compete for some goal or prize. She's going for a gold medal in the 100-meter dash this afternoon. It really knocks your confidence down a peg to see how many actors are going for the same tiny role as you.
7. To opt for something; to choose some option. I just went for a basic laptop in the end. I really didn't need some fancy high-end PC. I think I'll go for the lasagna. What do you think you'll order?
8. To attack, strike, or aim for some particular part or point. The assailant went straight for the neck of his victim. OK, team, we're nearing our target. Remember to go for the turrets mounted along the top of the fortress.
9. To accept, welcome, or choose to support something. I'd love to work from home full-time, but my boss wouldn't go for that. My parents seem to be going for the idea of me spending the summer in Maine with my cousins.
10. To desire to do or have something. Usually used after "could." I could really go for a cheeseburger right about now! Let's take a 10-minute break. I think we all could go for a little fresh air and a stretch of the legs.
11. To like, enjoy, or prefer something. I've never really gone for romantic comedies, to be honest. Tom had always gone for sports growing up, but after he left college his interest waned quite a bit.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
go for someone or something
1. Lit. to go out for someone or something; to go fetch someone or something. I am going for bread—do we need anything else from the store? Roger went for his aunt, who had arrived at the station.
2. Fig. to find someone or something interesting or desirable. I really go for chocolate in any form. Tom really goes for Gloria in a big way.
3. . Fig. to believe or accept something or something that someone says. It sounds pretty strange. Do you think they'll go for it?
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Go in order to get, as in I'll go for the paper, or He went for the doctor. This usage, dating from the late 1500s, gave rise to the 20th-century noun gofer, a person who is habitually sent on routine errands.
2. Be equivalent to or valued as; also, pass for, serve as. For example, All our efforts are going for very little, or That silver went for a lot of money, or That sofa can go for a bed. [Mid-1500s]
3. Aim or try for, especially making a vigorous effort. For example, They're going for the league championship. This idiom is also put as go for it, as in When Steve said he'd like to change careers, his wife told him to go for it. The related phrase go for broke means "to commit all one's available resources toward achieving a goal," as in Our competitors are going for broke to get some of our accounts. The first expression dates from the mid-1500s; the two colloquial variants from the first half of the 1900s. Also see all out; go out for.
4. Attack, as in We have to tie up our dog, because he loves to go for letter carriers. A hyperbolic variant, go for the jugular, is used for an all-out attack on the most vital part, as in In political arguments he always goes for the jugular. The jugular is a blood vessel whose rupture is life-threatening. [Colloquial; late 1800s]
5. Have a special liking for, as in I really go for progressive jazz. [Colloquial; first half of 1900s]
6. Be valid for or applicable to, as in Kevin hates broccoli, and that goes for Dean, too. [Early 1900s] Also see have going for one.
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 reach or move toward something or someone: When the police officer looked away, the thief went for the door.
2. To reach or move toward something or someone in order to attack or injure: The angry dog went straight for my leg. The debater went for her opponents weaknesses.
3. To try to grab something quickly, especially a weapon: The soldier went for the knife on the table, but slipped and fell down.
4. To make a concerted effort to achieve some goal: I am going for my second tournament win. If you think you have a chance of winning, go for it. The running back saw an opening and went for it. Whenever I see an opportunity to make more money, I go for it.
5. To try to attain or produce some condition: The restaurant is going for a rustic atmosphere. Today's fashions are going for a colorful look.
6. To choose something: After trying all the different flavors, I went for the vanilla ice cream.
7. To have a special liking for something; enjoy something: My parents go for the older styles of jazz. I could really go for a beer right now.
8. To leave temporarily in order to fetch or get something: We're going for pizza; do you want to come along?
9. To apply or be relevant to someone or something: These rules go for the adults as well as the children. It's hard to eat pizza without making a mess, and the same goes for ice cream cones.
10. To be sold or available for purchase at some price: This phone normally goes for $100, but we'll give it to you for $60. How much did that old house finally go for? That painting will probably go for $1000 at auction, but I wouldn't pay one cent.
11. To be of support or value to someone: She had everything going for her after the success of her last album, but she threw it all away on drugs and alcohol. The team has a lot going for them. The one thing going for him is his talent for making people laugh; otherwise he's a failure.
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.