View synonyms for give


[ giv ]

verb (used with object)

, gave [geyv], giv·en [giv, -, uh, n], giv·ing.
  1. to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation; bestow:

    to give a birthday present to someone.

    Synonyms: contribute, donate, supply, provide, furnish, accord, impart, vouchsafe, offer

    Antonyms: receive

  2. to hand to someone:

    Give me that plate, please.

  3. to place in someone's care:

    If you give me your coat, I'll put it in the closet.

  4. to grant (permission, opportunity, etc.) to someone:

    Give me a chance.

  5. to impart or communicate:

    to give advice; to give a cold to someone.

  6. to set forth or show; present; offer:

    He gave no reason for his lateness.

  7. 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.

  8. to furnish, provide, or proffer:

    to give evidence; Let me give you my umbrella before you go out in this rain.

  9. to provide as an entertainment or social function:

    to give a New Year's Eve party.

  10. to deal or administer:

    to give a blow to someone; to give medicine to a patient.

  11. to put forth, emit, or utter; issue:

    to give a cry; to give a command.

  12. to assign or admit as a basis of calculation or reasoning (usually used passively):

    These facts being given, the argument makes sense.

  13. to produce, yield, or afford:

    to give good results; 9 × 8 gives 72; The hen gave six eggs a week.

  14. to make, do, or perform:

    to give a start; to give a lurch.

  15. to perform or present publicly:

    to give a play; to give a concert.

  16. to cause; be responsible for (usually followed by an infinitive):

    They gave me to understand that you would be there.

  17. to care about something to the value or extent of (something fanciful):

    I don't give a hoot about his opinion.

  18. to relinquish or sacrifice:

    to give one's life for a cause.

    Synonyms: yield, cede

  19. to convey or transmit:

    Give Aunt Betty my love.

  20. to assign or allot:

    Give every man a full ration of biscuits. They gave him the name of “Joseph.”

  21. to bestow (the object of one's choice) upon, as if by providence:

    Give me the wide open spaces anytime.

  22. to be connected with, as by a telephone operator:

    Give me 235-7522.

  23. to present to an audience, as an entertainer, speaker, or act:

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the governor of Texas.

  24. to attribute or ascribe:

    to give the devil his due; After long study the critic gave the unsigned work to a minor impressionist.

  25. to cause or occasion:

    She gives me a pain in the neck.

  26. to apply fully or freely:

    He gives his free time to golf.

  27. to award by verdict or after consideration:

    A decision was given for the defendant.

  28. to inflict as a punishment on another; punish by; impose a sentence of:

    The judge gave him five years.

  29. to pledge, offer as a pledge, or execute and deliver:

    He gave her his promise. Can you give bond?

  30. to propose as the subject of a toast (followed by an indirect object):

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you our country.

  31. to bear to a man; deliver (followed by an indirect object):

    She gave him a beautiful baby boy.

  32. to sire upon a woman; father (followed by an indirect object):

    He gave her two children in the first five years of marriage.

  33. to concede or grant, as a point in an argument.

verb (used without object)

, gave [geyv], giv·en [giv, -, uh, n], giv·ing.
  1. to make a gift or gifts; contribute:

    to give to the United Way.

  2. to yield somewhat, as to influence or force; compromise:

    We can't negotiate until each side is willing to give on some points.

  3. to yield somewhat when subjected to weight, force, pressure, etc.:

    A horsehair mattress doesn't give much.

  4. to collapse; break down; fall apart; fail:

    The antique chair gave when I sat on it.

  5. to be warm and open in relationships with other persons:

    a withdrawn person who doesn't know how to give.

  6. Informal. to divulge information:

    Okay now, give! What happened?

  7. 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.


  1. the quality or state of being resilient; springiness.

verb phrase

    1. to send out; emit.
    2. to make public; announce.
    3. to distribute; issue.
    4. to become exhausted.
    5. to become used up; fail:

      The fuel gave out.

    6. to do or express something, especially unrestrainedly or easily:

      to give out with a song.

    1. to put into the care of; transfer:

      She gave over all her property to her daughter.

    2. to put an end to; stop:

      They will never give over their impossible dreams.

    3. to indulge in without restraint:

      She gave herself over to tears.

    4. to devote to a specified activity:

      The day was given over to relaxing in the sun.

    1. to acknowledge defeat; yield.
    2. to hand in; deliver:

      Please give in your timecards.

    1. to give as a present; bestow.
    2. to present (the bride) to the bridegroom in a marriage ceremony.
    3. to expose or betray (a person).
    4. to reveal (a confidence or secret, hidden motives, true feelings, etc.):

      That remark gave away his real feelings.

  1. to devote or contribute generously of:

    to give of oneself; to give of one's abundance.

  2. to put forth; emit:

    The gardenia gives off a very strong fragrance.

    1. to abandon hope; despair.
    2. to desist from; renounce:

      to give up smoking.

    3. to surrender; relinquish.
    4. to devote (oneself ) entirely to:

      She gave herself up to her job and seldom saw her old friends.

    5. South Midland U.S. to consider; deem:

      She's given up to be the kindest woman around here.

  3. to return (something), as to its owner; restore:

    You haven't given back the books you borrowed from me.


/ ɡɪv /


  1. also intr to present or deliver voluntarily (something that is one's own) to the permanent possession of another or others
  2. 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

  3. to place in the temporary possession of another

    I gave him my watch while I went swimming

  4. whenintr, foll by of to grant, provide, or bestow

    give me some advice

  5. to administer

    to give a reprimand

  6. to award or attribute

    to give blame, praise, etc

  7. to be a source of

    he gives no trouble

  8. to impart or communicate

    give a person a cold

    to give news

  9. to utter or emit

    to give a shout

  10. to perform, make, or do

    the car gave a jolt and stopped

  11. to sacrifice or devote

    he gave his life for his country

  12. to surrender

    to give place to others

  13. to concede or yield

    I will give you this game

  14. informal.
    intr to happen

    what gives?

  15. often foll by to to cause; lead

    she gave me to believe that she would come

  16. foll by for to value (something) at

    I don't give anything for his promises

  17. to perform or present as an entertainment

    to give a play

  18. to propose as a toast

    I give you the Queen

  19. intr to yield or break under force or pressure

    his courage will never give

    this surface will give if you sit on it

  20. give as good as one gets
    to respond to verbal or bodily blows to at least an equal extent as those received
  21. give battle
    to commence fighting
  22. give birth
    often foll by to
    1. to bear (offspring)
    2. to produce, originate, or create (an idea, plan, etc)
  23. give a person five or give a person some skin slang.
    to greet or congratulate someone by slapping raised hands
  24. give ground
    to draw back or retreat
  25. give it up for someone slang.
    to applaud someone
  26. give someone one slang.
    to have sex with someone
  27. give rise to
    to be the cause of
  28. give me informal.
    I prefer

    give me hot weather any day!

  29. give or take
    plus or minus

    three thousand people came, give or take a few hundred

  30. give way
    See way
  31. give a person what for informal.
    to punish or reprimand a person severely


  1. 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

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • ˈgiver, noun
  • ˈgivable, adjective

Discover More

Other Words From

  • giva·ble givea·ble adjective noun
  • giver noun
  • non·giving adjective
  • re·give verb regave regiven regiving
  • self-giving adjective
  • un·givea·ble adjective
  • un·giving adjective

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of give1

First recorded before 900; Middle English, from Old Norse gefa (compare Danish give ); replacing Middle English yeven, yiven, Old English gefan, giefan; cognate with Dutch geven, German geben, Gothic giban (the pronunciation of the Middle English and Old English forms with initial y- were replaced by Old Norse g- as early as 1200 in parts of the Danelaw ( def ) )

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of give1

Old English giefan; related to Old Norse gefa, Gothic giban, Old High German geban, Swedish giva

Discover More

Idioms and Phrases

  1. 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.

  2. give ground, to yield before superior force, as of arms or of reasoning.
  3. give it to, Informal. to reprimand or punish:

    His father really gave it to him for coming home so late.

  4. give or take, plus or minus a specified amount; more or less:

    It will cost $20, give or take a dollar or two.

  5. give battle. battle 1( def 10 ).
  6. give rise to. rise ( def 55 ).
  7. give way. way 1( def 25 ).

More idioms and phrases containing give

  • 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)
  • get
  • have

Discover More

Synonym Study

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.

Discover More

Example Sentences

But give the Kingdom credit for its sense of mercy: The lashes will be administered only 50 at a time.

With chemotherapy, her doctors give her at least an 80 percent chance of survival.

One of the other cops fired three times and those who were still able to give chase did.

Our fans have seen all our sketches, so we wanted to give them something a little deeper about each character.

Could the (thus far) timid trembling give way to a full-on, grand mal seizure?

Bacteria, when present in great numbers, give a uniform cloud which cannot be removed by ordinary filtration.

Give a sweet savour, and a memorial of fine flour, and make a fat offering, and then give place to the physician.

Finally, let me ask the general reader to put aside all prejudice, and give both sides a fair hearing.

If you have any thoughts of influencing me or my men to join the regular Confederate army, you may as well give up the idea.

It was he who first said, If thine enemy hunger give him food, if he thirst give him drink.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




giustogive a bad name to