give·​back | \ ˈgiv-ˌbak How to pronounce giveback (audio) \

Definition of giveback

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a previous gain (such as an increase in wages or benefits) given back to management by workers (as in a labor contract)

give back

gave back; given back; giving back; gives back

Definition of give back (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to provide help or financial assistance to others in appreciation of one's own success or good fortune … Gardner has refined the art of giving back by plowing 10 percent or more of his earnings into school and educational projects.— Ernest Holsendolph No longer on the fringes of travel, voluntourism has attracted increasing numbers of travelers looking to learn new skills, meet people, and give back to the global community.— Manya Chylinski The community had people with time to volunteer and give back.— Joshua Macht
2 archaic : retire, retreat … the enemy gave back— P. G. Wodehouse … it is certain that he gave back and ordered his soldiers to commence a slow and guarded retreat.— Nathaniel Hawthorne

Examples of giveback in a Sentence

Noun The union had to agree to certain givebacks in order to save the jobs of all its members.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The small-business uproar helps explain why so many of the givebacks are now flowing through JPMorgan. Greg Farrell,, "JPMorgan’s Publicly Traded Clients Give Back the Most PPP Loans," 10 May 2020 These were givebacks of land Israel had gained in wars started and lost by the Arabs (1948, 1967). Conrad Black, National Review, "Soleimani Killing: A Change for the Better?," 15 Jan. 2020 Every volunteer or giveback effort matters, but this night was special. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "Timberwolves’ annual Shopping for Kids event special for all involved," 24 Dec. 2019 The idea was simple: give back unneeded money to the taxpayers and provide incentives for lawmakers to increase that giveback by holding down spending, according to news accounts at the time. Rich Exner,, "Ohio used to simply refund money to taxpayers when it collected too much," 18 June 2019 Accounted for in this year’s budget is about $10 million in corporate donations and another $10 million in union givebacks. Matthew Ormseth, Courant Community, "With Council Approval, Hartford's $570 Million Budget Heads To Oversight Panel," 30 May 2018 Those savings stem from givebacks in new union contracts agreed to over the last two years. Jenna Carlesso, Courant Community, "Five Takeaways From Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin's New Budget," 17 Apr. 2018 Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, isn't up for election until the fall of 2019, and as such, may have more reason to try to extend negotiations in an effort to lessen any givebacks. Don Lee,, "Trump is pushing hard to reach NAFTA agreement, both with trading partners and with Congress," 24 Apr. 2018 Most of Hartford’s unions have agreed to substantial givebacks over the last two years, but the city is still negotiating with two groups. Jenna Carlesso, Courant Community, "Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin's Budget Will Face New Scrutiny From Oversight Board," 15 Apr. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There are plenty of ways to give back to the most vulnerable communities in need right now. Erin Corbett,, "How To Give Back To The Most Vulnerable Communities On Giving Tuesday," 5 May 2020 Capotosto, who has been out of work since the coronavirus lockdown in Italy started, was eager to find a way to give back. Coral Sisk, Condé Nast Traveler, "During Coronavirus in Italy, Bartenders Are Raising Money for an Important Cause," 17 Apr. 2020 On Twitter, the supermarket companies thanked Perry for his generosity and applauded him for giving back to his community. NBC News, "Tyler Perry surprises thousands of seniors by paying for their groceries," 8 Apr. 2020 Indeed, Schumacher has a history of giving back during hard times: During World War II, the company manufactured parachute cloth for the U.S. military. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Schumacher Donates Over 600 Yards of Fabric for Mask Making and More," 26 Mar. 2020 The company believes in giving back and works with shelters and animal non-profits across the United States to provide quality food to cats in need. Jean Chen Smith,, "2019 holiday gift guide: The swanky edition," 18 Dec. 2019 The importance of giving back and helping others in need was instilled in Erdmann by his parents. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "‘Proud to be a Johnnie’: St. John’s QB Jackson Erdmann has set high standard," 6 Dec. 2019 But in recent years, that attitude has changed to one of giving back to those who serve, even if they were bred for the purpose. National Geographic, "The rigors of war dog training and why Conan is our latest war hero," 29 Oct. 2019 But exaggerating the harms of vaping and prohibiting the products is a formula for giving back some of the gains against traditional smoking. Rich Lowry, National Review, "The Ridiculous Anti-Vaping Crusade," 20 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'giveback.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of giveback


1978, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of giveback was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

20 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Giveback.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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English Language Learners Definition of giveback

US, business : a previous gain (such as increased wages or benefits) that is given back to a company by workers as part of an agreement


give·​back | \ ˈgiv-ˌbak How to pronounce giveback (audio) \

Legal Definition of giveback

: a previous gain (as an increase in wages or benefits) given back to management by workers (as in a labor contract)

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