Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


noun \ˈgift\

Simple Definition of gift

  • : something that is given to another person or to a group or organization

  • : a special ability

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of gift

  1. 1 :  a notable capacity, talent, or endowment

  2. 2 :  something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation

  3. 3 :  the act, right, or power of giving

Examples of gift in a sentence

  1. The money was a gift, not a loan.

  2. She considers her voice a God-given gift.

Origin and Etymology of gift

Middle English, from Old Norse, something given, talent; akin to Old English giefan to give

First Known Use: 12th century

Synonym Discussion of gift

gift, faculty, aptitude, bent, talent, genius, knack mean a special ability for doing something. gift often implies special favor by God or nature <the gift of singing beautifully>. faculty applies to an innate or less often acquired ability for a particular accomplishment or function <a faculty for remembering names>. aptitude implies a natural liking for some activity and the likelihood of success in it <a mechanical aptitude>. bent is nearly equal to aptitude but it stresses inclination perhaps more than specific ability <a family with an artistic bent>. talent suggests a marked natural ability that needs to be developed <has enough talent to succeed>. genius suggests impressive inborn creative ability <has no great genius for poetry>. knack implies a comparatively minor but special ability making for ease and dexterity in performance <the knack of getting along>.




Simple Definition of gift

  • : to present (someone) with a gift

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of gift

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to endow with some power, quality, or attribute

  3. 2 :  present <gifted her with flowers>


play \ˌgif-ˈtē\ noun

Examples of gift in a sentence

  1. <gifted with an uncanny ability to persuade people to do things they ordinarily wouldn't>

Circa 1550

First Known Use of gift

circa 1550



Definition of GIFT

  1. gamete intrafallopian transfer; gamete intrafallopian tube transfer

GIFT Defined for Kids


noun \ˈgift\

Definition of gift for Students

  1. 1 :  a special ability :  talent <a gift for music>

  2. 2 :  something given :  present <I gave my mother her birthday gift.>

Medical Dictionary



Medical Definition of GIFT

  1. gamete intrafallopian transfer; gamete intrafallopian tube transfer

Law Dictionary



Legal Definition of gift

  1. 1 :  an intentional and gratuitous transfer of real or personal property by a donor with legal capacity who actually or constructively delivers the property to the donee with the intent of giving up dominion over the property and investing it in the donee who accepts it; broadly :  a voluntary transfer of property without compensation — see also delivery — compare donation, sale class gift :  a usually testamentary gift of a sum to a group of unspecified persons whose number and identity and share of the gift will be determined sometime in the future (as at the death of the donor) completed gift :  a gift in which the dominion and control of the property is placed beyond the donor's reach gift causa mortis \-ˈkȯ-zə-ˈmȯr-tis, -ˈkau̇-sä-ˈmȯr-tēs\ plural gifts causa mortis :  a gift of especially personal property made in contemplation of impending death that is delivered with the intent that the gift take effect only in the event of the donor's death and that it be revoked in the event of survival — compare donation inter vivos and donation mortis causa at donation gift inter vivos and testamentary gift in this entry gift inter vivos \-ˈin-tər-ˈvī-vōs; -ˈin-ter-ˈvē-vōs, -ˈwē-wōs\ plural gifts inter vivos :  a gift made during the lifetime of the donor and delivered with the intent of surrendering immediately and irrevocably dominion and control over the property — compare donation inter vivos at donation gift causa mortis and testamentary gift in this entry gift over plural gifts over :  a gift especially by will of property that takes effect upon the termination or failure of a preceding estate (as a life estate) in the property manual gift :  a gift especially under the civil law of Louisiana made of a movable corporeal object by actual delivery and involving no formalities split gift :  a gift made by a spouse to a third person that for purposes of gift tax may be considered as given one-half by each spouse to take advantage of tax avoidance devices (as the annual exclusion) substitutional gift \ˌsəb-stə-ˈtü-shə-nəl-, -ˈtyü-\ :  a gift to a legatee or devisee in substitution for another devisee or legatee who cannot take under the will (as because of death) —called also substitute gift testamentary gift :  a gift that does not become effective until the death of the donor; specifically :  a gift made in a will — compare gift causa mortis and gift inter vivos in this entry

  2. 2 :  something voluntarily transferred without compensation

  3. 3 :  a transfer of property for less than adequate consideration other than in the ordinary course of business —used in the law of gift tax

Additional Notes on gift

The amount by which the value of property so transferred exceeds the consideration paid is included in the total amount of taxable gifts made during a calendar year.

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up gift? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to permeate or influence as if by dyeing

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • bride-of-dracula-in-cat-form-surrounded-by-candles-and-somewhat-bewilderingly-orange-sacks-instead-of-surely-much-cheaper-and-easier-to-find-actual-pumpkins
  • Which is a synonym of phlegmatic?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.