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to get ahead
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Get \Get\ (g[e^]t), v. i. 1. To make acquisition; to gain; to profit; to receive accessions; to be increased. [1913 Webster] We mourn, France smiles; we lose, they daily get. --Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. To arrive at, or bring one's self into, a state, condition, or position; to come to be; to become; -- with a following adjective or past participle belonging to the subject of the verb; as, to get sober; to get awake; to get beaten; to get elected. [1913 Webster] To get rid of fools and scoundrels. --Pope. [1913 Webster] His chariot wheels get hot by driving fast. --Coleridge. [1913 Webster] Note: It [get] gives to the English language a middle voice, or a power of verbal expression which is neither active nor passive. Thus we say to get acquitted, beaten, confused, dressed. --Earle. [1913 Webster] Note: Get, as an intransitive verb, is used with a following preposition, or adverb of motion, to indicate, on the part of the subject of the act, movement or action of the kind signified by the preposition or adverb; or, in the general sense, to move, to stir, to make one's way, to advance, to arrive, etc.; as, to get away, to leave, to escape; to disengage one's self from; to get down, to descend, esp. with effort, as from a literal or figurative elevation; to get along, to make progress; hence, to prosper, succeed, or fare; to get in, to enter; to get out, to extricate one's self, to escape; to get through, to traverse; also, to finish, to be done; to get to, to arrive at, to reach; to get off, to alight, to descend from, to dismount; also, to escape, to come off clear; to get together, to assemble, to convene. [1913 Webster] To get ahead, to advance; to prosper. To get along, to proceed; to advance; to prosper. To get a mile (or other distance), to pass over it in traveling. To get among, to go or come into the company of; to become one of a number. To get asleep, to fall asleep. To get astray, to wander out of the right way. To get at, to reach; to make way to. To get away with, to carry off; to capture; hence, to get the better of; to defeat. To get back, to arrive at the place from which one departed; to return. To get before, to arrive in front, or more forward. To get behind, to fall in the rear; to lag. To get between, to arrive between. To get beyond, to pass or go further than; to exceed; to surpass. "Three score and ten is the age of man, a few get beyond it." --Thackeray. To get clear, to disengage one's self; to be released, as from confinement, obligation, or burden; also, to be freed from danger or embarrassment. To get drunk, to become intoxicated. To get forward, to proceed; to advance; also, to prosper; to advance in wealth. To get home, to arrive at one's dwelling, goal, or aim. To get into. (a) To enter, as, "she prepared to get into the coach." --Dickens. (b) To pass into, or reach; as, " a language has got into the inflated state." --Keary. To get loose or To get free, to disengage one's self; to be released from confinement. To get near, to approach within a small distance. To get on, to proceed; to advance; to prosper. To get over. (a) To pass over, surmount, or overcome, as an obstacle or difficulty. (b) To recover from, as an injury, a calamity. To get through. (a) To pass through something. (b) To finish what one was doing. To get up. (a) To rise; to arise, as from a bed, chair, etc. (b) To ascend; to climb, as a hill, a tree, a flight of stairs, etc. [1913 Webster]