1. as a measure or portion.
(a) [late 18C–1970s] (also goe) a measure (of alcohol), e.g. a go of gin; esp. a three-halfpenny bowl of gin and water, available at a go shop; also used of portions of food.
(b) [early 19C+] a portion, ‘a time’.
(c) [late 19C–1900s] (Aus.) a helping of food.
(d) [1930s–50s] (US drugs) a measure of drugs; an injection of a given drug.
(e) [1940s] (US drugs) a very small quantity of drugs wrapped in paper.
2. in the context of fashion, sophistication [SE go, spirit, energy, dash].
(a) [late 18C+] the height of fashion.
(b) [early 19C] a dandy, a fashionable man.
(c) [mid-19C] a wonderful person, esp. an attractive woman.
3. [late 18C+] (also goe) an event or state of affairs, usu. seen as exceptional or notable in some way and thus worthy of comment, e.g. ‘here’s a go’; also as rum go, an odd situation.
4. [late 18C+] a success.
5. [early 19C+] an enjoyable time, a spree.
6. [early 19C] the status quo.
7. as a single instance.
(a) [mid-19C+] an attempt, a try, e.g. have a go (at), to make an attempt.
(b) [mid-19C+] a turn in a game, an opportunity to do something; thus at/in one go, at/in one attempt; have a go, take a turn.
(c) [late 19C–1930s] a bout of, a spell of.
8. [late 19C–1930s] a bargain, an agreement, a ‘deal’; usu. in phr. it’s a go, that’s settled.
9. as a physical or verbal set-to.
(a) [late 19C+] a contest, a fight, esp. a boxing-match or a street fight.
(b) [1950s+] an argument, a verbal attack; usu. as have a go
10. [early 19C] a casino.
11. [early 19C] (Aus.) a disaster.
12. [late 19C–1930s] a bet.
13. [1940s+] (Aus.) a chance; an opportunity.
14. [1960s+] (Aus.) news, information.
15. [1960s+] (Aus./US) the important, relevant thing.
16. [1980s+] (Aus. prison) a plan.
17. [l990s+] (Aus.) a swindle.
18. in drug uses.
(a) [2000s] (drugs) amphetamine.
[1950s–60s] (US) a pill or capsule of amphetamine.
[late 18C+] fashionable.
[20C+] (orig. Aus.) to try something or someone out, to take a chance on, to make an attempt.
[late 19C–1900s] three pennyworth of spirits, usu. mixed with water.
1. to fight; usu. with at.
2. to attack verbally; usu. with at.
3. to pick a fight.
1. [1920s+] to succeed (despite the odds).
2. [1930s] to put up with, to tolerate.
[mid 19C] unfashionable.
1. [late 17C–early 18C] on the verge of destruction.
2. [early 19C] about to depart.
3. [early-mid-19C] slightly drunk, tipsy.
4. [early 19C+] active, lively.
5. [1900s] in a state of decline.
6. [1940s] nervous.
7. [1950s+] happening, going on.
[late 19C+] a fair or well-matched fight or other contest, a fight without weapons; also attrib.
[1990s+] (Aus. Und.) an easy crime.
[late 19C] (US) a toast that precedes drinking.