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 ondon't give up on the project
give up the ghost
: to cease to live or function : die

Keep scrolling for more

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 While some may be tempted to throw up their hands and give up, forward-thinking scientists, engineers, politicians, even students have seized the challenge of a lifetime: saving the planet. The Christian Science Monitor, "the viability of centrism in U.S. politics," 16 Sep. 2019 At this point, people might be getting at each other or giving up. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City embraces high stakes as Lions chase playoff bid," 12 Sep. 2019 Hell, even Californians, who’ve been carrying the nation’s environmental flag for decades, refuse to give up coastal land. Wired, "Retreat? Pish. Democrats Dare Not Speak Climate Change's ‘R’ Word," 5 Sep. 2019 He was told to put a big chorus after each verse, but after half-heartedly toying with the suggestion, Webb gave up. Longreads, "The Story of Country Music’s Great Songwriting Duo," 3 Sep. 2019 In 2011, he was spotted not only riding the subway like mere mortals but giving up his seat. Aja Romano, Vox, "Keanu Reeves, explained," 16 Aug. 2019 But Batio kept putting off his invoices, and when the second campaign rolled around, Chris finally gave up on getting paid. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "The crowdfunded phone of the future was a multimillion-dollar scam," 13 Aug. 2019 Only the motion concerning the librarian position passed, yet Ibsen did not give up the fight. Andrew Katzenstein, Harper's magazine, "The Radical Conservative," 16 Sep. 2019 Three reasons Notre Dame won: OPPORTUNISTIC DEFENSE Since giving up game-opening touchdown drives of 88 and 75 yards on Labor Day night on the road, Clark Lea’s revamped defense has buckled down. Mike Berardino, Indianapolis Star, "Ian Book, defense lead Notre Dame football demolition of New Mexico," 14 Sep. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of give up

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about give up

Statistics for give up

Last Updated

30 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for give up

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on give up

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


a calculated move

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!