Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “give”

give

verb  /ɡɪv/ (present participle giving, past tense gave, past participle given) us  

give verb (OFFER)

[T] to offer something of your own to another person or thing, or to allow something you own or control to be owned or used by another: We’re collecting for the Red Crossplease give what you can. We’re giving Helen a salad bowl/We’re giving a salad bowl to Helen as a wedding present. Give me back my book/Give my book back (= Return my book). Give her enough time (= Allow her to have enough time) to finish the exam.

give verb (PRODUCE)

[T] to produce or cause something: He gave me a hard push. Give me a phone call when you get home. The president is giving a speech tonight. The fresh air gave us an appetite (= made us hungry). We’re giving a birthday party for Kareem. He gave me the impression (= He made me think) that the deal would go through. This car has given (= caused) me lots of trouble ever since I got it.

give verb (STRETCH)

[I] to stretch or become looser: New shoes will give a little after you’ve worn them a few times. fig. The negotiations are completely deadlocked, and neither side will give an inch (= each refuses to change its position even a little).
give
noun [U]  /ɡɪv/ us  
A cotton sweater doesn’t have much give.
(Definition of give from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of give?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“give” in American English

Definitions of “give” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

beer mat

a small piece of cardboard that you put under a glass to protect a table surface in a pub or bar

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More