from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To make a present of: We gave her flowers for her birthday.
  • transitive v. To place in the hands of; pass: Give me the scissors.
  • transitive v. To deliver in exchange or recompense; pay: gave five dollars for the book.
  • transitive v. To let go for a price; sell: gave the used car away for two thousand dollars.
  • transitive v. To administer: give him some cough medicine.
  • transitive v. To convey by a physical action: gave me a punch in the nose.
  • transitive v. To inflict as punishment: gave the child a spanking; was given life imprisonment for the crime.
  • transitive v. Law To accord by verdict: A decision was given for the plaintiff.
  • transitive v. To bestow, especially officially; confer: The Bill of Rights gives us freedom of speech.
  • transitive v. To accord or tender to another: Give him your confidence.
  • transitive v. To put temporarily at the disposal of: gave them the cottage for a week.
  • transitive v. To entrust to another, usually for a specified reason: gave me the keys for safekeeping.
  • transitive v. To convey or offer for conveyance: Give him my best wishes.
  • transitive v. Law To execute and deliver. Used especially in the phrase give bond.
  • transitive v. To endure the loss of; sacrifice: gave her son to the war; gave her life for her country.
  • transitive v. To devote or apply completely: gives herself to her work.
  • transitive v. To furnish or contribute: gave their time to help others.
  • transitive v. To offer in good faith; pledge: Give me your word.
  • transitive v. To allot as a portion or share.
  • transitive v. To bestow (a name, for example).
  • transitive v. To attribute (blame, for example) to someone; assign.
  • transitive v. To award as due: gave us first prize.
  • transitive v. To emit or utter: gave a groan; gave a muted response.
  • transitive v. To submit for consideration, acceptance, or use: give an opinion; give an excuse.
  • transitive v. To proffer to another: gave the toddler my hand.
  • transitive v. To consent to engage (oneself) in sexual intercourse with a man.
  • transitive v. To perform for an audience: give a recital.
  • transitive v. To present to view: gave the sign to begin.
  • transitive v. To offer as entertainment: give a dinner party.
  • transitive v. To propose as a toast.
  • transitive v. To be a source of; afford: His remark gave offense. Music gives her pleasure.
  • transitive v. To cause to catch or be subject to (a disease or bodily condition): The draft gave me a cold.
  • transitive v. To guide or direct, as by persuasion or behavior. Used with an infinitive phrase: You gave me to imagine you approved of my report.
  • transitive v. To yield or produce: Cows give milk.
  • transitive v. To bring forth or bear: trees that give fruit.
  • transitive v. To produce as a result of calculation: 5 × 12 gives 60.
  • transitive v. To manifest or show: gives promise of brilliance; gave evidence of tampering.
  • transitive v. To carry out (a physical movement): give a wink; give a start.
  • transitive v. To permit one to have or take: gave us an hour to finish.
  • transitive v. To take an interest to the extent of: "My dear, I don't give a damn” ( Margaret Mitchell).
  • intransitive v. To make gifts or donations: gives generously to charity.
  • intransitive v. To yield to physical force.
  • intransitive v. To collapse from force or pressure: The roof gave under the weight of the snow.
  • intransitive v. To yield to change: Both sides will have to give on some issues.
  • intransitive v. To afford access or a view; open: The doors give onto a terrace.
  • intransitive v. Slang To be in progress; happen: What gives?
  • n. Capacity or inclination to yield under pressure.
  • n. The quality or condition of resilience; springiness: "Fruits that have some give ... will have more juice than hard ones” ( Elizabeth Schneider).
  • give away To make a gift of.
  • give away To present (a bride) to the bridegroom at a wedding ceremony.
  • give away To reveal or make known, often accidentally.
  • give away To betray.
  • give back To return: gave me back my book.
  • give in To hand in; submit: She gave in her report.
  • give in To cease opposition; yield.
  • give of To devote or contribute: She really gave of her time to help. They give of themselves to improve the quality of education.
  • give off To send forth; emit: chemical changes that give off energy.
  • give out To allow to be known; declare publicly: gave out the bad news.
  • give out To send forth; emit: gave out a steady buzzing.
  • give out To distribute: gave out the surplus food.
  • give out To stop functioning; fail.
  • give out To become used up or exhausted; run out: Their determination finally gave out.
  • give over To hand over; entrust.
  • give over To devote to a particular purpose or use: gave the day over to merrymaking.
  • give over To surrender (oneself) completely; abandon: finally gave myself over to grief.
  • give over To cause an activity to stop: ordered the combatants to give over.
  • give up To surrender: The suspects gave themselves up.
  • give up To devote (oneself) completely: gave herself up to her work.
  • give up To cease to do or perform: gave up their search.
  • give up To desist from; stop: gave up smoking.
  • give up To part with; relinquish: gave up the apartment; gave up all hope.
  • give up To lose hope for: We had given the dog up as lost.
  • give up To lose hope of seeing: We'd given you up an hour ago.
  • give up To admit defeat.
  • give up To abandon what one is doing or planning to do: gave up on writing the novel.
  • idiom give a good account of (oneself) To behave or perform creditably.
  • idiom give birth to To bear as offspring.
  • idiom give birth to To be the origin of: a hobby that gave birth to a successful business.
  • idiom give ground To yield to a more powerful force; retreat.
  • idiom give it to Informal To punish or reprimand severely: My parents really gave it to me for coming in late.
  • idiom give or take Plus or minus a small specified amount: The chalet is close to the road, give or take a few hundred yards.
  • idiom give rise to To be the cause or origin of; bring about.
  • idiom give (someone) a hard time To make life difficult for; harass.
  • idiom give (someone) a hard time To make fun of; tease.
  • idiom give (someone) the eye To look at admiringly or invitingly.
  • idiom give the lie to To show to be inaccurate or untrue.
  • idiom give the lie to To accuse of lying.
  • idiom give up the ghost To cease living or functioning; die.
  • idiom give way To retreat or withdraw.
  • idiom give way To yield the right of way: gave way to an oncoming car.
  • idiom give way To relinquish ascendancy or position: as day gives way slowly to night.
  • idiom give way To collapse from or as if from physical pressure: The ladder gave way.
  • idiom give way To yield to urging or demand; give in.
  • idiom give way To abandon oneself: give way to hysteria.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To transfer one's possession or holding of (something) to (someone).
  • v. To make a present or gift of.
  • v. To yield slightly when a force is applied.
  • v. To estimate or predict (a duration or probability) for (something).
  • v. To collapse under pressure or force.
  • v. To provide, as, a service or a broadcast.
  • v. To lead (onto or into).
  • v. To pledge.
  • v. To provide (something) to (someone), to allow or afford.
  • v. To cause (a sensation or feeling) to exist in.
  • v. To carry out (a physical interaction) with (something).
  • v. To pass (something) into (someone's) hand or the like.
  • v. To cause (a disease or condition) in, or to transmit (a disease or condition) to.
  • n. The amount of bending that something undergoes when a force is applied to it.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To give a gift or gifts.
  • intransitive v. To yield to force or pressure; to relax; to become less rigid.
  • intransitive v. To become soft or moist.
  • intransitive v. To move; to recede.
  • intransitive v. To shed tears; to weep.
  • intransitive v. To have a misgiving.
  • intransitive v. To open; to lead.
  • transitive v. To bestow without receiving a return; to confer without compensation; to impart, as a possession; to grant, as authority or permission; to yield up or allow.
  • transitive v. To yield possesion of; to deliver over, as property, in exchange for something; to pay.
  • transitive v. To yield; to furnish; to produce; to emit.
  • transitive v. To communicate or announce, as advice, tidings, etc.; to pronounce; to render or utter, as an opinion, a judgment, a sentence, a shout, etc.
  • transitive v. To grant power or license to; to permit; to allow; to license; to commission.
  • transitive v. To exhibit as a product or result; to produce; to show.
  • transitive v. To devote; to apply; used reflexively, to devote or apply one's self; ; also in this sense used very frequently in the past participle
  • transitive v. To set forth as a known quantity or a known relation, or as a premise from which to reason; -- used principally in the passive form given.
  • transitive v. To allow or admit by way of supposition.
  • transitive v. To attribute; to assign; to adjudge.
  • transitive v. To excite or cause to exist, as a sensation
  • transitive v. To pledge.
  • transitive v. To cause; to make; -- with the infinitive
  • transitive v. To afford a view of.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To deliver, convey, or transfer to another for possession, care, keeping, or use.
  • To deliver or convey in exchange or for a consideration; deliver as an equivalent or in requital, recompense, or reward; pay: as, to give a good price; to give good wages.
  • To hand over for present use or for keeping; convey or present; place in the possession or at the disposal of another: as, to give a horse oats; to give one a seat; he gave me a book to read.
  • To deliver or convey, in various general or figurative senses.
  • To supply; furnish: as, to give aid or comfort to the enemy.
  • To impart; communicate: as, to give a twist to a rope; to give motion or currency to something; to give lessons in drawing; to give instruction in Greek; to give an opinion; to give counsel or advice.
  • To accord; allow: as, to give one a hearty reception; to give the accused a fair trial, or the benefit of a doubt; to give permission.
  • To ascribe, attribute, or impute to.
  • To administer: as, to give one a blow; to give medicine
  • To yield.
  • To be a source, cause, or occasion of: as, to give offense or umbrage; to give trouble
  • To yield or concede; allow: as, to give odds in a game.
  • To yield or relinquish to another; surrender: as, to give ground; to give one's self up to justice; to give way.
  • To emit; utter: as, to give a sigh or a shout; to give the word to go.
  • To take or allow as granted; concede; permit; admit
  • To grant permission or opportunity to; give leave to; allow; enable.
  • To grant as a supposition; suppose; assume: as, let AB be given as equal to CD.
  • To devote; addict: as, to give one's self to study; to be much given to idleness.
  • To provide or supply, as something demanded, or obligatory, or required by the circumstances: as, to give bonds or bail; to give evidence in court; to give chapter and verse.
  • To show or put forth, hold forth, or present.
  • To present to the eye or mind; exhibit; manifest: as, to give promise of a good day; to give hope of success; to give evidence of ability.
  • To put forth, or present the appearance of putting forth, an effort resulting in; perform: as, the ship gave a lurch.
  • [In these and similar locutions in which give is followed by a noun, it corresponds in sense to a verb derived from that noun: thus, to give assent, attention, battle, chase, occasion, warning, etc., = to assent, attend, battle, chase, occasion, warn, etc.]
  • To cause; make; enable: as, give him to understand that I cannot wait longer.
  • To put; bestow or place; set: as, to give fire to a thing. See below.
  • To misgive.
  • To bear as a cognizance.
  • To grant an interview or a hearing: said of sovereigns, judges, and other persons in authority: as, to give audience to an envoy.
  • To cause or permit to be known; let out; betray: as, to give away a secret; to give the whole thing away.
  • To allow to be lost; lose by neglect.
  • To give the word to fire.
  • To resign; abandon; relinquish; give up: as, they gave off the voyage.
  • To despair of one's recovery; conclude one's self to be lost.
  • To resign or devote one's self.
  • To emit; send out: as, it gives out a bad odor.
  • To issue; assign; announce; publish; report: as, to give out the lessons for the day; it was given out that he was bankrupt.
  • To represent; represent as being; declare or pretend to be.
  • In music, to enunciate or play over; of a voice-part in a contrapuntal work, to enunciate (a theme); of an organist, to play over (a hymn-tune) before it is sung.
  • To abandon; relinquish.
  • To abandon all hope of.
  • To devote or addict.
  • To surrender; relinquish; cede: as, to give up a for-tress to an enemy; in this treaty the Spaniards gave up Louisiana.
  • To deliver; make public; show up.
  • To despair of the recovery of; abandon hope in regard to: as, the doctors gave him up.
  • To yield assent; give permission.
  • To fail; yield to force; break or fall; break down: as, the ice gave way, and the horses were drowned; the scaffolding gave way; the wheels or axletree gave way.
  • Nautical, to begin or resume rowing, or to increase one's exertions: chiefly in the imperative, as an order to a boat's crew.
  • Synonyms Give, Confer, Bestow, Present, Grant. Give is generic, covering the others, and applying equally to things tangible and intangible: as, to give a man a penny, a hearing, one's confidence. Conferring is generally the act of a superior allowing that which might be withheld: as, to confer knighthood or a boon. Bestow and grant emphasize the gratuitousness of the gift somewhat more than the others. Present implies some formality in the act of giving and considerable value in the gift. Grant may presuppose a request, may imply formality in the giving, and may express an act of a sovereign or a government: as, to grant land for a hospital; but it has broader uses: as, to grant a premise.
  • To transfer or impart gratuitously something valuable; transfer that which is one's own to another without compensation; make a gift or donation.
  • To yield, as from pressure, failure, softening, decay, etc.; fall away; draw back; relax; become exhausted.
  • To open, or afford an opening, entrance, or view; lead: with into, on, or upon.
  • To become moist, as dry salted fish when the salt deliquesces in a damp place.
  • See gyve.
  • n. Capacity for yielding to pressure; yielding character or quality; yieldingness; elasticity.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. convey or communicate; of a smile, a look, a physical gesture
  • v. allow to have or take
  • v. bestow, especially officially
  • v. give or convey physically
  • v. proffer (a body part)
  • v. emit or utter
  • v. estimate the duration or outcome of something
  • v. execute and deliver
  • v. bestow
  • v. propose
  • v. move in order to make room for someone for something
  • v. bring about
  • v. contribute to some cause
  • v. manifest or show
  • v. leave with; give temporarily
  • v. be the cause or source of
  • v. deliver in exchange or recompense


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English given, from Old English giefan and Old Norse gefa; see ghabh- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English given, from Old Norse gefa ("to give"), from Proto-Germanic *gebanan (“to give”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰab(ʰ)- (“to take, hold, have”). Displaced or merged with native Middle English yiven, ȝeven, from Old English ġiefan, from the same Proto-Germanic source (cf. the inherited now obsolete English doublet yive). Cognate with Scots gie ("to give"), Danish give ("to give"), Swedish giva, ge ("to give"), Icelandic gefa ("to give"), North Frisian jiw, jiiw, jeewe ("to give"), West Frisian jaan ("to give"), Dutch geven ("to give"), German geben ("to give"), Latin habeō ("have, hold"), Old Irish gaibim ("I hold"), Albanian jep ("to give, allow, lend"), Lithuanian gabenti ("to carry, transport"), Polish chapać ("to grab, snatch"), Sanskrit  (gabhasti, "hand").


  • As I feel exonerated from the last charge, and being in a certain degree called on to give my evidence relative to 21st February last; and as the rank I hold in society will _give weight_ to my _testimony, with the witnesses_ I shall bring forward on the occasion, I feel justified in the steps I am about to take, nor can your

    The Trial of Charles Random de Berenger, Sir Thomas Cochrane, commonly called Lord Cochrane, the Hon. Andrew Cochrane Johnstone, Richard Gathorne Butt, Ralph Sandom, Alexander M'Rae, John Peter Holloway, and Henry Lyte for A Conspiracy In the Court of King's Bench, Guildhall, on Wednesday the 8th, and Thursday the 9th of June, 1814

  • Putting the animal out to grass for a couple of months will generally renovate the constitution and remove the tendency to hove; and after being taken up from grass, with a man in charge who knows what to give and _what not to give_, the animal may go on for a few months longer, and with great attention may at last prove a winner.

    Cattle and Cattle-breeders

  • For not only do all the radioactive substances give off particles of helium gas positively electrified, but _all bodies, no matter what their composition_, can by suitable treatment, such as exposing them to ultra-violet light, or raising them to incandescence, be made to _give off electrons_ or negatively charged particles, and _these electrons are always the same no matter from what kind of substance they come_.

    Q. E. D., or New Light on the Doctrine of Creation

  • You give me the impression -- I do not say you mean it, I say you _give_ it -- of suddenly and without due cause or just im -- just opportunity, trying to _bounce_ me into taking you into partnership.

    If Winter Comes

  • QUOTATION: To one that promised to give him hardy cocks that would die fighting, “Prithee, ” said Cleomenes, “give me cocks that will kill fighting.


  • He now sent a letter, offering to give Halonnesus to Athens, but not to _give it back_ (since this would concede their right to it); or else to submit the dispute to arbitration.

    The Public Orations of Demosthenes, volume 2

  • Yet if those to whom it is, or might be, would take it, -- if those who might give it, in many forms, _would give_, -- who knows what relief and loosening would come to others in the hard jostle and press?

    The Other Girls

  • I give you back your faith -- I _give_ you back your promises -- you have _taken_ back your heart.

    Tales and Novels — Volume 08

  • No one living has any claim upon me: I can leave or give my own just as I please; and you and yours are, of course, my first objects -- and for the how, and the what, and the when, I must consult you; and only beg you to keep it in mind, that I would as soon _give_ as

    Tales and Novels — Volume 05

  • _ Speech of Autolycus: — “Let me have no lying; it becomes none but tradesmen, and they often give us soldiers the lie; but we pay them for it with stamped coin, not stabbing steel; — therefore they do not _give_ us the lie.”

    Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher


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