Idioms

    give and take,
    1. to compromise in order to cooperate: A willingness to give and take is important for success in marriage.
    2. to exchange ideas: an informal meeting in which there would be opportunities to give and take.
    give battle. battle1(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. rise(def 55).
    give way. way1(def 25).

Origin of give

before 900; Middle English < Old Norse gefa (compare Danish give); replacing Middle English yeven, yiven, Old English gefan, giefan; cognate with Dutch geven, German geben, Gothic giban
Related formsgiv·a·ble, give·a·ble, adjective, noungiv·er, nounnon·giv·ing, adjectivere·give, verb re·gave, re·giv·en, re·giv·ing.self-giv·ing, adjectiveun·give·a·ble, adjectiveun·giv·ing, adjective

Synonyms for give

Synonym study

1. Give, confer, grant, present may mean that something concrete or abstract is bestowed on one person by another. Give is the general word: to give someone a book, permission, etc. Confer usually means to give an honor or a favor; it implies courteous and gracious giving: to confer a degree. Grant is limited to the idea of acceding to a request; it may apply to the bestowal of privileges, or the fulfillment of an expressed wish: to grant a charter, a prayer, permission, etc. Present, a more formal word than give, usually implies a certain ceremony in the giving: to present a citation to a regiment.

Antonyms for give

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for give

Contemporary Examples of give

Historical Examples of give

  • My very blood boiled in my veins, that such an one as he could give me pain.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • Give your heart up to it, as a little child led by its mother's hand!

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • This cop that found me in a hallway, he says I must have been give a dose of Peter.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • I don't think it will, mind, but it's best to be prepared, so give me the key.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • “Master Headley will give us work, mayhap,” said Stephen, turning to Tibble.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge


British Dictionary definitions for give

give

verb gives, giving, gave (ɡeɪv) or given (ˈɡɪvən) (mainly tr)

(also intr) 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 exchangeto give fifty pounds for a painting
to place in the temporary possession of anotherI gave him my watch while I went swimming
(when intr, foll by of) to grant, provide, or bestowgive me some advice
to administerto give a reprimand
to award or attributeto give blame, praise, etc
to be a source ofhe gives no trouble
to impart or communicateto give news; give a person a cold
to utter or emitto give a shout
to perform, make, or dothe car gave a jolt and stopped
to sacrifice or devotehe gave his life for his country
to surrenderto give place to others
to concede or yieldI will give you this game
(intr) informal to happenwhat gives?
(often foll by to) to cause; leadshe gave me to believe that she would come
(foll by for) to value (something) atI don't give anything for his promises
to perform or present as an entertainmentto give a play
to propose as a toastI give you the Queen
(intr) to yield or break under force or pressurethis 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
give birth (often foll by to)
  1. to bear (offspring)
  2. to produce, originate, or create (an idea, plan, etc)
give a person five or give a person some skin slang to greet or congratulate someone by slapping raised hands
give ground to draw back or retreat
give it up for someone slang to applaud someone
give someone one British slang to have sex with someone
give rise to to be the cause of
give me informal I prefergive me hot weather any day!
give or take plus or minusthree thousand people came, give or take a few hundred
give way See way (def. 24)
give a person what for informal to punish or reprimand a person severely

noun

a tendency to yield under pressure; resiliencethere's bound to be some give in a long plank; there is no give in his moral views
Derived Formsgivable or giveable, adjectivegiver, noun

Word Origin for give

Old English giefan; related to Old Norse gefa, Gothic giban, Old High German geban, Swedish giva
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for give
v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with give

give

In addition to the idioms beginning with give

  • give a bad name to
  • give a break
  • give a damn
  • give a good account of oneself
  • give a hand
  • give a hang
  • give a hard time
  • give a hoot
  • give a leg up
  • give and take
  • give an inch and they'll take a mile
  • give a pain
  • give a piece of one's mind
  • give as good as one gets
  • give a shit
  • give away
  • give a wide berth
  • give bad marks to
  • give birth to
  • give chase
  • give color to
  • give credit
  • give free rein to
  • give ground
  • give in
  • give it one's best shot
  • give it to
  • give me a break
  • give notice
  • given to
  • give off
  • give of oneself
  • give one
  • give oneself airs
  • give oneself away
  • give oneself up
  • give one's eyeteeth
  • give or take
  • give out
  • give over
  • give pause
  • give rein to
  • give rise to
  • give short shrift
  • give someone
  • give someone a break
  • give someone a ring
  • give someone heart failure
  • give someone hell
  • give someone his or her due
  • give someone his or her head
  • give someone the air
  • give someone the evil eye
  • give someone the once-over
  • give someone enough rope
  • give someone fits
  • give something a whirl
  • give thanks for small blessings
  • give the back of one's hand
  • give the benefit of the doubt
  • give the business
  • give the creeps
  • give the devil his due
  • give the eye
  • give the finger
  • give the go-ahead
  • give the lie to
  • give the shirt off one's back
  • give the slip
  • give the time of day
  • give the word
  • give the works
  • give to understand
  • give up
  • give up the ghost
  • give vent to
  • give voice to
  • give way
  • give way to
  • give what for

also see:

  • hard time (give someone a)
  • Indian giver
  • never give a sucker an even break
  • not care (give) a rap
  • not give someone the time of day
  • what's cooking (gives)

Also see under idioms beginning withget and have.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.