give 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

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

The person with the lowest bid would have to give up their shoes and walk out barefoot. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Economists calculate the true value of Facebook to its users in new study," 27 Dec. 2018 But the brand would hardly have to give up its fitness-first narrative in order to add a few curvy models to its lineup. Hilary George-parkin, Glamour, "What's Holding Victoria's Secret Back From Body Diversity on the Runway?," 9 Nov. 2018 Srinivasan gave up his own bid for governor in May, after failing to win enough support at the Republican state convention to earn a spot on the Aug. 14 primary ballot. Daniela Altimari,, "Srinivasan Backs Herbst for Governor," 11 July 2018 But behind the scenes, senior policy adviser Stephen Miller and others hadn't given up on the concept. CBS News, "Trump's "zero tolerance" policy sowed confusion from start," 1 July 2018 Tepper has to give up his Steelers' shares now that he's set to become the second owner in Panthers history. Katherine Peralta And Joseph Person, charlotteobserver, "A new chapter is about to begin for the Carolina Panthers. Here's what we know.," 29 June 2018 Sensor-laden sidewalks aren’t worth giving up our lives to the Alphabet. Mark Lamster, Curbed, "2018 in architecture: The good, the bad, and the urbanism," 27 Dec. 2018 And don’t give up if your first attempt isn't immediately wonderful: This type of play can have a bit of a learning curve, so go at your own pace, communicate with your partner, and enjoy the ride. Zoë Ligon, Allure, "9 Things You Need to Know Before You Have Anal," 5 Nov. 2018 Ayako is the second Japanese royal to give up her title to marry a commoner in recent years. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Princess Ayako of Japan Gives Up Her Royal Title in Wedding to Commoner Kei Moriya," 29 Oct. 2018

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

23 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 complex dispute or argument

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!