give up


gave up; given up; giving up; gives up

transitive verb

: to yield control or possession of : surrender
forced to give up his job
: to desist from : abandon
refused to give up her efforts
: to declare incurable or insoluble
: to abandon (oneself) to a particular feeling, influence, or activity
gave himself up to despair
: to devote to a particular purpose or use
: to despair of seeing
we'd given you up
: 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 After reassuring the owner that the dog had been found and taken into their care, the shelter acknowledged the owner's difficult decision to give up their beloved pet. Erin Clack, Peoplemag, 20 Sep. 2023 In July, Wood decided to give up his law license rather than face disciplinary proceedings that would have likely resulted in his disbarment. Tori Otten, The New Republic, 20 Sep. 2023 The Azerbaijani presidential administration responded by calling on the breakaway government to give up arms and dissolve itself by raising a white flag. Ivan Nechepurenko, New York Times, 20 Sep. 2023 For years, the union gave up general pay raises and lost cost-of-living wage increases to help the companies control costs. Anne Marie Lee, CBS News, 19 Sep. 2023 And the team’s October rotation might depend on a rookie, Bobby Miller, who has fewer than 20 career starts and a veteran, Lance Lynn, who has given up more than 40 home runs this year. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 18 Sep. 2023 Smith, one of the baby boomers who never gave up the good fight, still has plenty to scream about. Chris Kelly, Washington Post, 17 Sep. 2023 Bochy pulled Smith in favor of José Leclerc, who gave up consecutive two-out, run-scoring singles to No. 9 hitter Tyler Freeman and leadoff hitter Steven Kwan to make it 2-1. Shawn McFarland, Dallas News, 17 Sep. 2023 The Chargers forced no turnovers, gave up 5.4 yards per play and allowed the Titans to convert six of 13 third downs (46.2 percent) a week after Tennessee was 2-for-12 (16.7 percent). Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'give up.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near give up

Cite this Entry

“Give up.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition

give up

: to abandon (oneself) to a feeling, influence, or activity

More from Merriam-Webster on give up

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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