verb (used with object), gave, given, giving.
to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation; bestow:
to give a birthday present to someone.
to hand to someone:
Give me that plate, please.
to place in someone’s care:
If you give me your coat, I’ll put it in the closet.
to grant (permission, opportunity, etc.) to someone:
Give me a chance.
to impart or communicate:
to give advice; to give a cold to someone.
to set forth or show; present; offer:
He gave no reason for his lateness.
to pay or transfer possession to another in exchange for something:
They gave five dollars for the picture. He gave me the car for $800.
to furnish, provide, or proffer:
to give evidence; Let me give you my umbrella before you go out in this rain.
to provide as an entertainment or social function:
to give a New Year’s Eve party.
to deal or administer:
to give a blow to someone; to give medicine to a patient.
to put forth, emit, or utter; issue:
to give a cry; to give a command.
to assign or admit as a basis of calculation or reasoning (usually used passively):
These facts being given, the argument makes sense.
to produce, yield, or afford:
to give good results; 9 × 8 gives 72; The hen gave six eggs a week.
to make, do, or perform:
to give a start; to give a lurch.
to perform or present publicly:
to give a play; to give a concert.
to cause; be responsible for (usually followed by an infinitive):
They gave me to understand that you would be there.
to care about something to the value or extent of (something fanciful):
I don’t give a hoot about his opinion.
to relinquish or sacrifice:
to give one’s life for a cause.
to convey or transmit:
Give Aunt Betty my love.
to assign or allot: Give every man a full ration of biscuits. They gave him the name of “Joseph.”.
to bestow (the object of one’s choice) upon, as if by providence:
Give me the wide open spaces anytime.
to be connected with, as by a telephone operator:
Give me 235-7522.
to present to an audience, as an entertainer, speaker, or act:
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the governor of Texas.
to attribute or ascribe:
to give the devil his due; After long study the critic gave the unsigned work to a minor impressionist.
to cause or occasion:
She gives me a pain in the neck.
to apply fully or freely:
He gives his free time to golf.
to award by verdict or after consideration:
A decision was given for the defendant.
to inflict as a punishment on another; punish by; impose a sentence of:
The judge gave him five years.
to pledge, offer as a pledge, or execute and deliver:
He gave her his promise. Can you give bond?
to propose as the subject of a toast (followed by an indirect object):
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you our country.
to bear to a man; deliver (followed by an indirect object):
She gave him a beautiful baby boy.
to sire upon a woman; father (followed by an indirect object):
He gave her two children in the first five years of marriage.
to concede or grant, as a point in an argument.
verb (used without object), gave, given, giving.
to make a or gifts; contribute:
to give to the United Way.
to yield somewhat, as to influence or force; compromise:
We can’t negotiate until each side is willing to give on some points.
to yield somewhat when subjected to weight, force, pressure, etc.:
A horsehair mattress doesn’t give much.
to collapse; break down; fall apart; fail:
The antique chair gave when I sat on it.
to be warm and open in relationships with other persons:
a withdrawn person who doesn’t know how to give.
Informal. to divulge information:
Okay now, give! What happened?
to afford a view or passage; face, open, or lead (usually followed by on, onto, etc.):
The window gives on the sea. This door gives onto the hallway.
the quality or state of being resilient; springiness.
give back, to return (something), as to its owner; restore:
You haven’t given back the books you borrowed from me.
give birth to. (def 10).
give of, to devote or contribute generously of:
to give of oneself; to give of one’s abundance.
give off, to put forth; emit:
The gardenia gives off a very strong fragrance.
give and take,
give battle. 1 (def 10).
give ground, to yield before superior force, as of arms or of reasoning.
give it to, Informal. to reprimand or punish:
His father really gave it to him for coming home so late.
give or take, plus or minus a specified amount; more or less:
It will cost $20, give or take a dollar or two.
give rise to. (def 55).
give way. 1 (def 25).
verb (mainly transitive) gives, giving, gave (ɡeɪv), given (ˈɡɪvən)
(also intransitive) to present or deliver voluntarily (something that is one’s own) to the permanent possession of another or others
(often foll by for) to transfer (something that is one’s own, esp money) to the possession of another as part of an exchange: to give fifty pounds for a painting
to place in the temporary possession of another: I gave him my watch while I went swimming
when intr, foll by of. to grant, provide, or bestow: give me some advice
to administer: to give a reprimand
to award or attribute: to give blame, praise, etc
to be a source of: he gives no trouble
to impart or communicate: to give news, give a person a cold
to utter or emit: to give a shout
to perform, make, or do: the car gave a jolt and stopped
to sacrifice or devote: he gave his life for his country
to surrender: to give place to others
to concede or yield: I will give you this game
(intransitive) (informal) to happen: what gives?
(often foll by to) to cause; lead: she gave me to believe that she would come
(foll by for) to value (something) at: I don’t give anything for his promises
to perform or present as an entertainment: to give a play
to propose as a toast: I give you the Queen
(intransitive) to yield or break under force or pressure: this surface will give if you sit on it, his courage will never give
give as good as one gets, to respond to verbal or bodily blows to at least an equal extent as those received
give battle, to commence fighting
(often foll by to) give birth
(slang) give a person five, give a person some skin, to greet or congratulate someone by slapping raised hands
give ground, to draw back or retreat
(slang) give it up for someone, to applaud someone
(Brit, slang) give someone one, to have sex with someone
give rise to, to be the cause of
(informal) give me, I prefer: give me hot weather any day!
give or take, plus or minus: three thousand people came, give or take a few hundred
give way, See way (sense 24)
(informal) give a person what for, to punish or reprimand a person severely
a tendency to yield under pressure; resilience: there’s bound to be some give in a long plank, there is no give in his moral views
Old English giefan (W. Saxon) “to give, bestow; allot, grant; commit, devote, entrust,” class V strong verb (past tense geaf, past participle giefen), from Proto-Germanic *gebanan (cf. Old Frisian jeva, Middle Dutch gheven, Dutch geven, Old High German geban, German geben, Gothic giban), from PIE *ghabh- “to take, hold, have, give” (see habit). It became yiven in Middle English, but changed to guttural “g” by influence of Old Norse gefa “to give,” Old Danish givæ. Meaning “to yield to pressure” is from 1570s.
Give in “yield” is from 1610s; give out is mid-14c., “publish, announce;” meaning “run out, break down” is from 1520s. Give up “surrender” is mid-12c. To give (someone) a cold seems to reflect the old belief that one could be cured of disease by deliberately infecting others. What gives? “what is happening?” is attested from 1940. Give-and-take (n.) is originally from horse racing (1769) and refers to races in which bigger horses were given more weight to carry, lighter ones less. General sense attested by 1778.
A command to speak, to explain, etc: She said, ”Give!,” so I told all (1956+)
- Give short shrift
see: short shrift
- Give someone
see other entries beginning with give someone , or under give one , or look up the expression by its other words, as give the benefit of the doubt
- Give someone a blank check
verb phrase To give someone leave to do whatever he or she wishes; give carte blanche: The man gave me a blank check to order whatever I needed (1884+)
- Give someone a break
1. Give someone a chance or special consideration. For example, She begged the professor for an extension on her term paper, saying “Please give me a break.” [ c. 1900 ] Also see: get a break 2. give me a break. Stop trying to fool or upset or bother me. For example, Don’t tell me […]