Meaning of “give sth away” in the English Dictionary

"give sth away" in British English

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give sth away

phrasal verb with give uk /ɡɪv/ us /ɡɪv/ verb gave, given


B1 to give something to someone without asking for payment:

The shop is giving away a sample to every customer.
Nobody wants this type of heater any more - I can't even give it away!
See also

More examples

  • It's so cheap, we're practically giving it away.
  • The shop gave away a bottle of champagne to their 100th customer.
  • They've given away all their old books.
  • He gave away all his old records when he moved abroad.
  • If I can't sell it, I'll give it away.


B2 to tell people something secret, often without intending to:

The party was meant to be a surprise, but Sharon gave it away.
I won't give the game (= the information or plan) away.

More examples

  • The smoke from the fire gave their position away to the enemy.
  • He had inadvertently given away details of the bid to a rival firm.
  • The venue for their wedding is supposed to be a secret, so try not to give it away.
  • The company goes to great lengths not to give away details of their secret recipe.
  • The letter is supposed to be anonymous, but the handwriting gives it away.

(Definition of “give sth away” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"give sth away" in Business English

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give sth away

phrasal verb with give uk /ɡɪv/ us verb [ I or T ] past tense gave, past participle given

to provide or offer something to someone for free:

We're giving away thousands of free DVDs if you spend over $50!
He gave over half of his personal fortune away before he died.

(Definition of “give sth away” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)