give (someone) a run for his/her/your/their money

idiom

Definition of give (someone) a run for his/her/your/their money

: to make it difficult for (someone) to win a game or contest by trying hard and playing or performing well
  • Though they lost, they gave last year's champions a run for their money.

Word by Word Definitions

give play
  1. : to make a present of

  2. : to grant or bestow by formal action

  3. : to accord or yield to another

  1. : capacity or tendency to yield to force or strain : flexibility

  2. : the ability of a material to bend or stretch

someone play
  1. : some person : somebody

run play
  1. : to go faster than a walk

  2. : to move at a fast gallop

  3. : flee, retreat, escape

  1. : an act or the action of running : continued rapid movement

  2. : a quickened gallop

  3. : a migration of fish (as up or down a river) especially to spawn

  1. : being in a melted state

  2. : made from molten material : cast in a mold

  3. : having made a migration or spawning run

her play
  1. : of or relating to her or herself especially as possessor, agent, or object of an action — compare 1she

  1. : objective case of she

your play
  1. : of or relating to you or yourself or yourselves especially as possessor or possessors, agent or agents, or object or objects of an action

  2. : of or relating to one or oneself

  3. used with little or no meaning almost as an equivalent to the definite article the

money play
  1. : something generally accepted as a medium of exchange, a measure of value, or a means of payment: such as

  2. : officially coined or stamped metal currency

  3. : money of account

  1. : involving or reliable in a crucial situation


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