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.
to make a gift 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.
to give as a present; bestow.
to present (the bride) to the bridegroom in a marriage ceremony.
to expose or betray (a person).
to reveal (a confidence or secret, hidden motives, true feelings, etc.): That remark gave away his real feelings.
give back, to return (something), as to its owner; restore: You haven't given back the books you borrowed from me.
give birth to. birth (def. 10).
to acknowledge defeat; yield.
to hand in; deliver: Please give in your timecards.
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.
to send out; emit.
to make public; announce.
to distribute; issue.
to become exhausted.
to become used up; fail: The fuel gave out.
to do or express something, especially unrestrainedly or easily: to give out with a song.
to put into the care of; transfer: She gave over all her property to her daughter.
to put an end to; stop: They will never give over their impossible dreams.
to indulge in without restraint: She gave herself over to tears.
to devote to a specified activity: The day was given over to relaxing in the sun.
to abandon hope; despair.
to desist from; renounce: to give up smoking.
to surrender; relinquish.
to devote (oneself) entirely to: She gave herself up to her job and seldom saw her old friends.
South Midland U.S. to consider; deem: She's given up to be the kindest woman around here.
Idioms about give
give and take,
to compromise in order to cooperate: A willingness to give and take is important for success in marriage.
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).
- giv·a·ble, give·a·ble, adjective, noun
- giver, noun
- non·giv·ing, adjective
- re·give, verb re·gave, re·giv·en, re·giv·ing.
- self-giving, adjective
- un·give·a·ble, adjective
- un·giv·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use give in a sentence
Not every advice giver works under the aegis of an organization.Sex, Suicide, and Homework: The Secret World of the Telephone Hotline | Tim Teeman | November 20, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Sheldon Adelson is expected to be the single largest giver to those committees so his role is very important.Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson Takes $100 Million Gamble on GOP Senate | Peter Stone | September 3, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Fire first gave us comfort against the cold, light against the darkness, a giver of both life and death.
The Giver, in a pivotal moment, tells Jonas that releasing is actually a form of euthanizing.Why 'The Giver' Movie Will Disappoint the Book's Fans | Kevin Fallon | August 15, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The Giver is, oversimplified to a simple nut, about a boy who remembers things.Why 'The Giver' Movie Will Disappoint the Book's Fans | Kevin Fallon | August 15, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The gift demands the voluntary use of it for the end intended; and the Giver requires that the gift be consecrated to him.The Ordinance of Covenanting | John Cunningham
A courteous manner, and graceful offer of service are valued highly when offered, and the giver loses nothing by her civility.The Ladies' Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness | Florence Hartley
On the first page was written in ink, in an elegant hand, an inscription on the part of the giver.Camille (La Dame aux Camilias) | Alexandre Dumas, fils
We have tried to decide upon the prize winner in a way that will satisfy the giver of the prize, tooMrs.The Girls of Central High on the Stage | Gertrude W. Morrison
In all the ancient nations the sun-god was a prominent deity, as the giver of heat and light, and hence of fertility to the earth.Beacon Lights of History, Volume I | John Lord
British Dictionary definitions for give
(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 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
(intr) 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
(intr) 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
give birth (often foll by to)
to bear (offspring)
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 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 (def. 24)
give a person what for informal 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
- givable or giveable, adjective
- giver, noun
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
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
- 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.