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give definition


This page has 33 definitions of give with English translations in 4 languages. Give is a verb and noun. Examples of how to use give in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

English give definition

Etymology 1

From Middle English given, from Old Norse gefa (to give), from Proto-Germanic *gebaną (to give). Merged with native Middle English yiven, ȝeven, from Old English ġiefan, from the same Proto-Germanic source (compare the obsolete inherited English doublet yive).



give (third-person singular simple present gives, present participle giving, simple past gave, past participle given)

  1. (ditransitive) To move, shift, provide something abstract or concrete to someone or something or somewhere.
    1. To transfer one's possession or holding of (something) to (someone).
      Synonyms: see Thesaurus:give
      Antonyms: get, obtain, receive, take
      I gave him my coat.
      I gave my coat to the beggar.
      When they asked, I gave my coat.
    2. To make a present or gift of.
      I'm going to give my wife a necklace for her birthday.
      She gave a pair of shoes to her husband for their anniversary.
    3. To pledge.
      I gave him my word that I'd protect his children.
    4. To provide (something) to (someone), to allow or afford.
      I gave them permission to miss tomorrow's class.
      Please give me some more time.
    5. To cause (a sensation or feeling) to exist in (the specified person, or the target, audience, etc).
      It gives me a lot of pleasure to be here tonight.
      The fence gave me an electric shock.
      My mother-in-law gives me nothing but grief.
      It's giving me bad vibes.
      • 2022 October 25, Medina Azaldin, ELLE Beauty Team, “30 Halloween Nail Art Trends To Get You In The Mood For Trick Or Treat”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name):
        [subtitle:] It's giving Wednesday Addams at the salon...
      • 2023 February 21, Lakita Wilson, Last Chance Dance, Penguin, →ISBN, page 81:
        "The outfit is giving me eighties fitness video vibes, but you wear it well."
    6. To carry out (a physical interaction) with (something).
      I want to give you a kiss.
      She gave him a hug.
      I'd like to give the tire a kick.
      I gave the boy a push on the swing.
      She gave me a wink afterwards, so I knew she was joking.
    7. To pass (something) into (someone's hand, etc.).
      Give me your hand.
      On entering the house, he gave his coat to the doorman.
    8. To cause (a disease or condition) in, or to transmit (a disease or condition) to.
      My boyfriend gave me chlamydia.
      He was convinced that it was his alcoholism that gave him cancer.
      • a. 1700, William Temple, “Heads, Designed for an Essay on Conversation”, in Miscellanea. The Third Part. [...], London: [] Jonathan Swift, [] Benjamin Tooke, [], published 1701, →OCLC, page 331:
        Study gives strength to the mind; conversation, grace: the first apt to give stiffness, the other suppleness: one gives substance and form to the statue, the other polishes it.
    9. To provide or administer (a medication)
      The doctors gave me morphine for the pain.
  2. (transitive) To provide, as, a service or a broadcast.
    They're giving my favorite show!
    • 1993, Business Law Today:
      We hope that the need to "give good e-mail" in response to questions from clients and potential clients will in fact induce firms to get serious about storing and reusing their expertise – and even become open to tailoring  []
    • 2003, Iain Aitken, Value-Driven IT Management: Commercializing the IT Function, page 153:
      [] who did not have a culture in which 'giving good presentation' and successfully playing the internal political game was the way up.
    • 2006, Christopher Matthew Spencer, The Ebay Entrepreneur, page 248:
      A friendly voice on the phone welcoming prospective new clients is a must. Don't underestimate the importance of giving good "phone".
    • 2012 January 1, George Zinkan, Advertising Research: The Internet, Consumer Behavior, and Strategy, Marketing Classics Press, →ISBN, page 28:
      Social skills are required to meet new people in a chat room and maintain contact over time (“Do you give good e-mail?”). The Internet provides people with an opportunity to reinvent or misrepresent themselves.
    • 2016 November 25, Gabrielle Jamela Hosein, Lisa Outar, Indo-Caribbean Feminist Thought: Genealogies, Theories, Enactments, Springer, →ISBN, page 54:
      He gives good face too, posing for the camera with hands on waist, eyes forward, legs crossed (Fig. 4.1).
  3. (ditransitive) To estimate or predict (a duration or probability) for (something).
    I give it ten minutes before he gives up.
    I give it a 95% chance of success.
    I'll give their marriage six months.
  4. (intransitive) To yield or collapse under pressure or force.
    Synonyms: give way, bend, cede, flex, move, yield
    Antonym: resist
    • 1992, Garry Wills, “prologue”, in Lincoln at Gettysburg, page 21:
      A soldier noticed how earth "gave" as he walked over the shallow trenches.
    One pillar gave, then more, and suddenly the whole floor pancaked onto the floor below.
  5. (intransitive) To lead (onto or into).
    The master bedroom gives onto a spacious balcony.
    • 2022 February 3, Terry Marsh, Walking the Dales Way: Ilkley to Bowness-on-Windermere through the Yorkshire Dales, Cicerone Press Limited, →ISBN:
      Beyond the stile stands an attractive row of riverside trees – alder, hazel, beech, hawthorn and ash. Go across to the far corner of a field, where a through-stile gives onto a small, lightly wooded hill, []
  6. (transitive, dated) To provide a view of.
    His window gave the park.
    • 2006, Pierre Lagayette, Nature et progrès: interactions, exclusions, mutations, Presses Paris Sorbonne, →ISBN, page 61:
      Columbus dwellers of Woodland Meadow Apts may not find themselves in a perfectly bucolic setting, as the residential complex gives onto a military defense logistics ground.
  7. To exhibit as a product or result; to produce; to yield.
    The number of men, divided by the number of ships, gives four hundred to each ship.
  8. To cause; to make; used with the infinitive.
  9. To cause (someone) to have; produce in (someone); effectuate.
    • 1997, Jim Smoke, How a Man Measures Success, page 82:
      "Can do" gives me a choice, while "should do" gives me a complex.
  10. To allow or admit by way of supposition; to concede.
    Synonyms: allow, concede, grant
    He can be bad-tempered, I'll give you that, but he's a hard worker.
  11. To attribute; to assign; to adjudge.
  12. To communicate or announce (advice, tidings, etc.); to pronounce or utter (an opinion, a judgment, a shout, etc.).
    The umpire finally gave his decision: the ball was out.
  13. (dated or religion) To grant power, permission, destiny, etc. (especially to a person); to allot; to allow.
  14. (reflexive) To devote or apply (oneself).
    The soldiers give themselves to plunder.
    That boy is given to fits of bad temper.
  15. (obsolete) To become soft or moist.
    • 1590, John Smyth, A Discourse [] concerning [] weapons:
      Some moyst weather hath‥caused the powder to give and danke.
  16. (obsolete) To shed tears; to weep.
  17. (obsolete) To have a misgiving.
  18. (slang) To give off (a certain vibe or appearance).
    • 2023 May 30, Sophie Williams, “Kylie Jenner is giving Marilyn Monroe vibes in her latest Instagram post”, in Cosmopolitan[1], New York, N.Y.: Hearst Communications, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 10 September 2023:
      It's giving old Hollywood
    • 2023 June 12, Wilson Wong, “Gov Ball Raves on in Pink, Amid Rain and Smoke”, in The New York Times[2], New York, N.Y.: The New York Times Company, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 12 June 2023:
      Your outfit is giving more romance than bloodshed. Are you currently in love?
    • 2023 July 20, Rachel Krause, quoting Gabby Ragsdale, “4 Students On The Back-To-School Outfits They're Shopping Their Closets For”, in Refinery29[3], archived from the original on 10 September 2023:
      This outfit gives 'college girl that knows what she's doing' and even though I am the furthest from that, I'll take it.
  19. (Can we verify(+) this sense?) (slang) To exceed expectations.
    Your outfit is giving!
    • 2022 August 29, Stixx M, “Latto's French Chrome Manicure Was "Giving" at the MTV VMAs”, in Hypebae[4]:
      There were lots of statement nail moments at the 2022 MTV VMA‘s, and Latto‘s metallic french tip manicure was one of them. [see title]
    • 2022 October 30, Roisin Chapman, “I’m mid-size – my Shein haul included multiple dupes of Kim Kardashian’s Skims with prices from $13”, in The Sun[5]:
      Next, the TikTok user showed her followers the $15 solid scoop neck tank dress in mocha brown. / "This one is giving. I love this, this is so cute. I think my body shape looks really cute in it," she told her followers.
    • 2023 January 26, Roisin Chapman, “Trolls tell me my work skirts are ‘too short’ for the office – but my boss doesn’t care, so I don’t know why they do”, in The Irish Sun[6]:
      The fashion influencer also posts content showing off her corporate looks, demonstrating how she can be professional and stylish. / In the comments, people seemed less concerned with her outfit than her hair styling. / "Okay but the fringe is giving," wrote one person.
Derived terms

See also given, giver and giving



give (uncountable)

  1. The amount of bending that something undergoes when a force is applied to it; a tendency to yield under pressure; resilience.
    This chair doesn't have much give.
    There is no give in his dogmatic religious beliefs.
    • 1945 January and February, A Former Pupil, “Some Memories of Crewe Works—III”, in Railway Magazine, page 13:
      The striker's job was onerous, too, because there was so little "give" in the metal, and the perpetual jarring was indeed trying to the muscles.

Etymology 2


give (plural gives)

  1. Alternative form of gyve


  • give”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.
  • Isaac Livingstone Asamoah (2016-06-23) Digestive Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs, Partridge Africa, →ISBN: “Give onto: If a window, door, or building gives onto a particular place, it leads to that place or you can see that place from it.”

Chinese give definition


Probably from clipping of English give a shit.




  1. (Hong Kong Cantonese, neologism, chiefly in the negative) to give a shit; to care about; to pay attention to someone

Danish give definition

Alternative forms

  • gi' (representing the spoken language)


From Old Norse gefa, from Proto-Germanic *gebaną, cognate with English give and German geben. The Germanic verbs go back to Proto-Indo-European *gʰebʰ- (to give) (hence Sanskrit गभस्ति (gábhasti, arm)); rather than *gʰeh₁bʰ- (to grab) (whence Latin habeō (to have)).



give (imperative giv, present tense giver, past tense gav, past participle givet, c given, givne)

  1. to give


Derived terms

Swedish give definition



  1. (archaic) present subjunctive of giva