give up

gave up; given up; giving up; gives up

Definition of give up

transitive verb

1 : to yield control or possession of : surrender forced to give up his job
2 : to desist from : abandon refused to give up her efforts
3 : to declare incurable or insoluble
4a : to abandon (oneself) to a particular feeling, influence, or activity gave himself up to despair
b : to devote to a particular purpose or use
5 : to despair of seeing we'd given you up
6 : to allow (a hit or run in baseball) while pitching

intransitive verb

: to cease doing or attempting something especially as an admission of defeat : quit often used with on don't give up on the project
give up the ghost
: to cease to live or function : die

Examples of give up in a Sentence

was in so much debt he had to give up his house and move into a cheaper apartment I hope you won't give up playing the piano.
Recent Examples on the Web The Nasdaq — which has been heavily battered by sell-offs of highflying tech companies — is poised to give up another 1 percent after Thursday’s 5 percent dive. Washington Post, 6 May 2022 To avoid cash flow problems, the couple decided in 2016 to give up their wholesale business and focus only on their own pastry shops and online sales via their website ( and Amazon. San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 May 2022 Hogan, 65, taunted Trump, musing about whether the 75-year-old former president would be inclined to give up his retirement and risk losing another election. Robert Costa, CBS News, 4 May 2022 Kyle Milliken told then Roy of his dream to be a Navy Seal, and offered to give up his spot on the team, since his training might be the best thing for a track athlete. Dom Amore, Hartford Courant, 4 May 2022 The hardest thing in trying to give up plastic for me was actually giving up my bottles of liquid fabric softener. Celia Ellenberg, Vogue, 29 Apr. 2022 Although Karen had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, a condition that forced her to give up coffee and sweets, among other things, the pregnancy had been fairly easy. Mark Johnson,, 29 Apr. 2022 Despite the many challenges, those who live in Princeville aren't ready to give up. Tom Foreman Jr., USA TODAY, 28 Apr. 2022 Normally, early rounds are dominated by valuation-sensitive Angel investors and founders who are reluctant to give up large swaths of still-forming equity. Zain Jaffer, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of give up

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for give up

Time Traveler

The first known use of give up was in the 13th century

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Statistics for give up

Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Give up.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on give up

Nglish: Translation of give up for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of give up for Arabic Speakers


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