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

Individuals may give up to $2,700 to federal candidates, more than $100,000 to national party committee accounts and unlimited amounts to super PACs. Rani Molla, Recode, "Silicon Valley’s Democrats aren’t galvanized by Trump any more than Republicans are — if you look at their donation history," 5 Nov. 2018 On the night of Halloween, the most scary thing will be giving up your free will, your agency, your persona. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "MIT Media Lab will let the internet control a human’s actions for one Halloween evening," 26 Oct. 2018 After years of making fine, tossable cars such as the Celica Supra, AE86, and MR-2, Toyota gave up the sports car market at the turn of the new century. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "What To Know About the 2019 Toyota Supra," 11 Oct. 2018 Gaga’s character, Ally, is an unknown singer-songwriter who has pretty much given up on her dream to be a performer. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "The problem with Bradley Cooper asking Lady Gaga to go makeup-free in A Star Is Born," 9 Oct. 2018 Montgomery, who had four strikeouts, gave up the other CV hit, a single in the fourth inning off the bat of Mikey Herman. Nathan Cambridge,, "Burbank 8-10 All-Stars fend off Crescenta Valley again for D16 title," 12 July 2018 By December, Will had given up on IndyCar racing for the next season. Chapel Fowler, charlotteobserver, "In 2008, Will Power didn’t have a ride. He’s now the first N.C.-based Indy 500 winner.," 12 July 2018 Under President Donald Trump, Washington has largely given up that effort. Brad Heath, USA TODAY, "Baltimore police stopped noticing crime after Freddie Gray's death. A wave of killings followed.," 12 July 2018 The late reliever that the Phillies traded in 2015 for a package that included Vince Velasquez had given up 36 hits and 17 earned runs over 30 2/3 innings this season with a 4.99 ERA. Ej Smith,, "Astros send former Phillie Ken Giles down to minor leagues as his lackluster season continues," 11 July 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

13 Nov 2018

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).


obstinately defiant of authority

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

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!