What does the idiom "get rid of sth" mean?

Are you using the idiom get rid of sth but not sure about its meaning? Using idioms, which are important elements of spoken and written language, in the right place strengthens your language skills. Examine the meaning of the get rid of sth idiom and the situations in which it is used.

Meaning of "get rid of sth"


The idiom 'get rid of something' is an English phrase used to refer to the act of throwing something away, disposing of it, or generally removing it from one's possession. It can also be used when referring to getting rid of a problem or issue, meaning to solve or address it in some way.


The phrase 'get rid of something' has been used in English since the 1800s, with the earliest known written record of its use appearing in the 1848 book 'The Tailor of Gloucester' by author Beatrix Potter. Prior to this, there are records of similar phrases being used in a similar context, such as 'get quit of something' which can be found in writings from the 1500s. It is thought to be of Anglo-Saxon origin, and may have been derived from the Old English phrase 'geget of Ă¾ing'.


The phrase 'get rid of something' is commonly used in both informal and formal English conversations and writing. It is often used in the context of one person advising another on how to solve a problem or issue they are facing. It can also be used to suggest removing something that is unwanted, such as when someone is decluttering their home. It is also often used when discussing ways to reduce the amount of waste produced, such as when recycling or donating old items.

Example Sentences

  • If you want to get rid of that old couch, why not try selling it online?
  • I need to get rid of this headache if I'm going to be able to concentrate today.
  • If we're going to reduce our waste, we need to find ways to get rid of our unwanted items without throwing them away.

The meanings of the words in the "get rid of sth" idiom

Idioms have a common language

"The early bird catches the worm" is an English idiom that means that those who wake up early and start their day early are more likely to succeed. A similar idiom in Spanish is "El que madruga, Dios le ayuda," which translates to "God helps those who rise early." This idiom emphasizes the importance of starting the day early in order to achieve success.


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