[ giv-uhn-teyk ]
See synonyms for give-and-take on
  1. the practice of dealing by compromise or mutual concession; cooperation.

  2. good-natured exchange of talk, ideas, etc.

Origin of give-and-take

First recorded in 1760–70

Words Nearby give-and-take Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use give-and-take in a sentence

  • The girl was an enigmatic creature, silent, self-absorbed, shrinking from the give-and-take of social life.

    The Open Question | Elizabeth Robins
  • It's beastly dull, that's what it is—none of the give-and-take humour and practical fun you get in Paris or Vienna!

  • To the perusal of the “give-and-take” passage of arms I cordially commend my readers.

  • Your hand may go back and forth with a give-and-take movement, but not from side to side on any account.

    Riding for Ladies | Mrs. Power O'Donoghue
  • He could talk nonsense charmingly and could hold his own in the jolly give-and-take of repartee.

    Oh, You Tex! | William Macleod Raine

British Dictionary definitions for give-and-take


  1. mutual concessions, shared benefits, and cooperation

  2. a smoothly flowing exchange of ideas and talk

verbgive and take (intr)
  1. to make mutual concessions

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with give-and-take


The practice of compromise, as in Every contract involves some give and take. This expression was first recorded in 1778, although the verbal idiom, to give and take, was used from the early 1500s.

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