American English

Definition of give verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they give
    he / she / it gives
    past simple gave
    past participle given
    -ing form giving
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  1. 1[transitive] to hand something to someone so that they can look at it, use it, or keep it for a time give something to somebody Give the letter to your mother after you read it. She gave her ticket to the usher. give somebody something Give your mother the letter. They were all given a box to carry.
  2. 2[transitive, intransitive] to hand something to someone as a present; to allow someone to have something as a present give somebody something What are you giving your father for his birthday? We gave her a huge bunch of flowers. Did you give the waiter a tip? give something to somebody We don't usually give presents to people at work. give (something) They say it's better to give than to receive.
  3. 3[transitive] to provide someone with something give somebody something They were all thirsty so I gave them a drink. Give me your name and address. We've been given a 2% pay increase. I was hoping you would give me a job. He was given a new heart in a five-hour operation. She wants a job that gives her more responsibility. Can I give you a ride to the airport? They couldn't give me any more information. I'll give you (= allow you to have) ten minutes to prepare your answer. Don't give me any of that back talk (= don't be rude). give something to somebody He gives Italian lessons to his colleagues. The reforms should give a better chance to the less able children.
  4. money
  5. 4[intransitive, transitive] to pay money to a charity, etc., to help people We need your help—please give generously. give to something They both gave regularly to charity. give something (to something) I gave a small donation.
  6. 5[transitive] to pay in order to have or do something give somebody something (for something) How much will you give me for the car? give something I'd give anything to see him again.
  7. treat as important
  8. 6[transitive] to use time, energy, etc. for someone or something give somebody/something sth I gave the matter a lot of thought. give something to somebody/something I gave a lot of thought to the matter. The government has given top priority to reforming the tax system.
  9. punishment
  10. 7[transitive] to make someone suffer a particular punishment give somebody something The judge gave him a nine-month suspended sentence. give something to somebody We discussed what punishment should be given to the boys.
  11. illness
  12. 8[transitive] to infect someone with an illness give somebody something You've given me your cold. give something to somebody She gave the bug to all her colleagues.
  13. party/event
  14. 9[transitive] give something if you give a party, you organize it and invite people
  15. 10[transitive] give something to perform something in public She gave a reading from her latest volume of poetry. The President will be giving a press conference this afternoon.
  16. do/produce something
  17. 11[transitive] used with a noun to describe a particular action, giving the same meaning as the related verb give something She gave a shrug of her shoulders (= she shrug ged). He turned to us and gave a big smile (= smiled broadly). She looked up from her work and gave a yawn (= yawned). He gave a loud cry (= cried out loudly) and fell to the floor. Her work has given pleasure to (= pleased) millions of readers. give somebody something He gave her a kiss (= kissed her). I have to admit that the news gave us a shock (= shocked us). We'll give you all the help we can (= help you in every way we can). For other similar expressions, look up the nouns in each. For example, you will find give your approval at approval.
  18. 12[transitive] give somebody something to produce a particular feeling in someone All that driving has given me a headache. Go for a walk. It'll give you an appetite.
  19. telephone call
  20. 13[transitive] give somebody something to make a telephone call to someone Give me a call tomorrow. I'll give you a ring in the morning.
  21. grade
  22. 14[transitive] give somebody/something sth give something (to somebody/something) to judge someone or something to be of a particular standard She gave me an A on my essay. I give it ten out of ten for originality. I'm giving a failing grade to anyone who doesn't complete this assignment.
  23. predict how long
  24. 15[transitive] give somebody/something sth to predict that something will last a particular length of time That marriage won't last. I'll give them two years, at the most.
  25. bend
  26. 16[intransitive] to bend or stretch under pressure The branch began to give under his weight. (figurative) We can't go on like this—something's got to give.
  27. 17[intransitive] to agree to change your mind or give up some of your demands You're going to have to give a little.
  28. Idioms
    don't give me that (informal)
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    used to tell someone that you do not accept what they say “I didn't have time to do it.” “Oh, don't give me that!”
    give and take
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    to be willing, in a relationship, to accept what someone else wants and to give up some of what you want You're going to have to learn to give and take.
    give as good as you get
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    to react with equal force when someone attacks or criticizes you She can give as good as she gets.
    give it up (for somebody) (informal)
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    to show your approval of someone by clapping your hands Give it up for Eddie Murphy!
    give me something/somebody (any day/time) (informal)
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    used to say that you prefer a particular thing or person to the one that has just been mentioned We don't go out much. Give me a quiet night in front of the TV any day!
    give or take (something)
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    if something is correct give or take a particular amount, it is approximately correct It'll take about three weeks, give or take a day or so.
    give somebody to believe/understand (that)… [often passive] (formal)
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    to make someone believe/understand something I was given to understand that she had resigned.
    I give you…
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    used to ask people to drink a toast to someone Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Hal Goodwin!
    I/I'll give you that (informal)
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    used when you are admitting that something is true
    what gives? (informal)
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    what is happening?; what is the news?; what is the problem?
    Phrasal Verbsgive somebody awaygive somethingawaygive something/somebodyawaygive somebody back somethinggive in (to somebody/something)give off somethinggive outgive somethingoutgive out somethinggive somethingover to somethinggive upgive somebody upgive somethingupgive somethingup (to somebody)give up on somebodygive yourself over to somethinggive yourself/somebody up (to somebody)give yourself up to something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: give