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English definition of “give up the ghost”

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give up the ghost

to die humorous If a machine gives up the ghost, it stops working: We've had the same TV for over ten years and it's just given up the ghost. to stop trying to do something because you know that you will not succeed: All I'd cherished from early childhood had been denied me, so I simply gave up the ghost.
(Definition of give up the ghost from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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