Definition of give verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɡɪv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɡɪv//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they give
    BrE BrE//ɡɪv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɡɪv//
    he / she / it gives
    BrE BrE//ɡɪvz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɡɪvz//
    past simple gave
    BrE BrE//ɡeɪv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɡeɪv//
    past participle given
    BrE BrE//ˈɡɪvn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡɪvn//
    -ing form giving
    BrE BrE//ˈɡɪvɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɡɪvɪŋ//
    Being ill, Helping others
    jump to other results
  1. 1  [transitive] to hand something to somebody 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 when you've read it. She gave her ticket to the woman at the check-in desk. give somebody something Give your mother the letter. They were all given a box to carry.
  2. 2  [transitive, intransitive] to hand something to somebody as a present; to allow somebody to have something as a present give somebody something What are you giving your father for his birthday? She was given 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 somebody 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 station? 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 backchat (= 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. See related entries: Helping others
  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. give something for something I gave £50 for the lot.
  7. treat as important
  8. 6  [transitive] to use time, energy, etc. for somebody/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 somebody 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 somebody with an illness give somebody something You've given me your cold. give something to somebody She'd given the bug to all her colleagues. See related entries: Being ill
  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 (= shrugged). 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 somebody 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 somebody Give me a call tomorrow. I'll give you a ring.
  21. mark/grade
  22. 14  [transitive] give somebody/something sth | give something (to somebody/something) to judge somebody/something to be of a particular standard She had given the assignment an A. I give it ten out of ten for originality.
  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 outside.
  25. in sport
  26. 16[transitive] give somebody/something + adj. to say that a player or the ball is in a particular position The umpire gave the ball out.
  27. bend
  28. 17[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.
  29. 18[intransitive] to agree to change your mind or give up some of your demands You're going to have to give a little. More Like This Verbs with two objects bet, bring, build, buy, cost, get, give, leave, lend, make, offer, owe, pass, pay, play, post, promise, read, refuse, sell, send, show, sing, take, teach, tell, throw, wish, writeSee worksheet.
  30. Word OriginOld English giefan, gefan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch geven and German geben.Extra examples Give the letter to your mother when you’ve read it. Go for a walk. It’ll give you an appetite. I’’ll give you ten minutes to prepare your answer. I’d give anything to see him again. Let me give you a word of advice. She gave a reading from her latest novel. She gave me some medicine that sent me off to sleep. The Chancellor will be giving a press conference later today. The dark glasses gave him an air of mystery. They couldn’t give me any more information. They say it’s better to give than to receive. This shampoo will give your hair a nice healthy sheen. We don’t usually give presents to people at work. We want to give you the best possible care. We’re giving a party to celebrate our silver wedding. We’ve been given a 2% pay increase. You’ve given me your cold.Idioms Most idioms containing give are at the entries for the nouns and adjectives in the idioms, for example, give rise to something is at risen. (informal) used to tell somebody that you do not accept what they say ‘I didn't have time to do it.’ ‘Oh, don't give me that!’ to be willing, in a relationship, to accept what somebody 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
    jump to other results
    to react with equal force when somebody attacks or criticizes you She can give as good as she gets.
    give it up (for somebody)
    jump to other results
    (informal) to show your approval of somebody by clapping your hands Give it up for Eddie Murphy!
    give me something/somebody (any day/time)
    jump to other results
    (informal) 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)
    jump to other results
    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)…
    jump to other results
    [often passive] (formal) to make somebody believe/understand something I was given to understand that she had resigned.
    used to ask people to drink a toast to somebody Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Geoff Ogilby! (informal) used when you are admitting that something is true (informal) what is happening?; what is the news?
    Phrasal Verbsgive somebody awaygive somethingawaygive away somebodygive somebody somethingbackgive ingive something in (to somebody)give off somethinggive on to somethinggive outgive somethingoutgive out somethinggive overgive somethingover to somethinggive upgive somebody upgive somethingupgive somethingup (to somebody)give somebody upgive up on somebodygive yourself over to somethinggive yourself up to something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: give