get away with (something)(redirected from they were getting away with)
get away with (something)
1. To avoid the consequences of one's actions. You'll never get away with cheating—one of your teachers is bound to figure it out. You got lucky when you ran that red light. Next time you might not get away with it.
2. To leave or flee with or something. The robbers got away with the TV but not much else.
get away with you
An exclamation of surprise, disbelief, or incredulity. Oh, get away with you—you know that's a ridiculous claim to make!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
get away with someone or something
to escape, taking someone or something with one. The kidnapper got away with little Brian. The burglars got away with a lot of cash and some diamonds.
get away with somethingand get by with something
to do something and not get punished for it. (See also get away with murder) You can't get away with that! Larry got by with the lie.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
get away with
1. Escape the consequences or blame for, as in Bill often cheats on exams but usually gets away with it. [Late 1800s]
2. get away with murder. Escape the consequences of killing someone; also, do anything one wishes. For example, If the jury doesn't convict him, he'll have gotten away with murder, or He talks all day on the phone-the supervisor is letting him get away with murder. [First half of 1900s]
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.
get away with, to
To escape the usual penalty. This Americanism originated in the second half of the nineteenth century and at one point also meant to get the better of someone. It was still considered slangy when it appeared in the Congressional Record in 1892: “[They] will have to be content with the pitiful $240,000 that they have already ‘got away with.’”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer