giv·​en | \ˈgi-vən \

Definition of given 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : prone, disposed given to swearing

2 : presented as a gift : bestowed without compensation

3a : particular, specified at a given time

b : assumed as actual or hypothetical : granted given that all are equal before the law

4 of an official document : having been executed : dated

5 : immediately present in experience



Definition of given (Entry 2 of 3)

: something given especially : something taken for granted : a basic condition or assumption It is a given that we are in an age of relentless competition.



Definition of given (Entry 3 of 3)

: in view of : considering given what she knew about others' lives, how could she complain about her own?— Marilyn French

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Synonyms & Antonyms for given

Synonyms: Adjective

accustomed, habituated, used, wont

Synonyms: Noun

assumption, if, postulate, premise (also premiss), presumption, presupposition, supposition

Antonyms: Adjective

unaccustomed, unused, unwonted

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Examples of given in a Sentence


a quiet man not given to loud expressions of emotion candidates for the quiz show must complete the qualifying test within a given amount of time


In our system it is a given that all are equal before the law. it's a given that television viewers are influenced by advertising, even consciously or subconsciously
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

That was particularly important for evading state-level censorship, which might try to block all the traffic sent to a given service. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Google just created a big problem for anti-censorship tools," 18 Apr. 2018 At any given auction, as many as several hundred dogs and puppies might be sold, with bidding starting in the morning and running until dinnertime, even past sundown. The Washington Post,, "Dog rescuers from Alabama and elsewhere buy animals from breeders they scorn," 13 Apr. 2018 At any given moment, about 80,000 to 100,000 people are held in solitary confinement in the US; in many states, the average stint in solitary lasts years. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "America under Brett Kavanaugh," 11 July 2018 One can imagine industry advocates raising good-faith objections to the conclusions of any given study. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "The EPA Is Hiding Proof That a Widely Used Chemical Causes Leukemia: Report," 6 July 2018 Those in the study had to assess whether a given face was a threat or not. Helen Shen, Scientific American, "The Despondent Mind: Are Our Brains Wired for Doom and Gloom?," 28 June 2018 At any given wedding or patio party, there are so many whiskering about the shoulders. Maggie Lange, The Cut, "Some Thoughts on the Tassel Earring," 28 June 2018 And figuring out how much any given service will cost — important details to people with high-deductible plans — can be nearly impossible, even for people such as Tahir, who has years of experience dealing with insurers through her private practice. Sarah Gantz,, "A bundle of joy, a pile of bills: Childbirth can cost thousands in out-of-pocket expenses," 13 June 2018 Germplasm is a broad term that encompasses any living plant tissue that contains the genetic information for a given plant type and can therefore be used for breeding. Sena Christian, Newsweek, "Breakfast in Post-Apocalypse America: Inside Colorado's Fort Knox of Food," 19 Nov. 2015

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Of that group, Friedrich and Cosart are far from givens to return – at least on major league deals. Jeff Sanders,, "Friar talk: Early look at Padres' 2018 payroll," 11 Oct. 2017 To Jones, there are two givens, his enduring love for South Florida, with an upcoming return to his Southwest Ranches home in summer, and an abiding respect for the Heat's culture. Ira Winderman,, "Winderman: Faith in Heat future extends beyond organization itself | Commentary," 14 July 2018 Tennessee's defense will be one of the great givens of the 2018-19 season. Patrick Stevens,, "Way-too-early projection of the 2019 NCAA tournament field: Loyola the only team from Illinois again," 3 Apr. 2018 Although people are born with some biological givens, the brain has many blank pages. Rob Verger, Newsweek, "Newsweek Rewind: 15 Years After Columbine, a Nation Still Asks ‘Why?’," 17 Apr. 2014 As the second half of the bill will explain, the emotional givens are only part of the equation. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: In a Double Bill of Physical Comedy, Laughter Is the Best Reflex," 1 Nov. 2017 The school has a very active group of parents and emphasizes science and technology — things that are not givens in many city schools. Kristen A. Graham,, "9 local schools win coveted National Blue Ribbon honor," 28 Sep. 2017 Social media is all a curated view, and good taste and judgment aren’t, let’s say, givens. Carolyn Hax, The Mercury News, "Carolyn Hax: Why won’t anyone tell her that her kid isn’t so special?," 17 May 2017 Social media is all a curated view, and good taste and judgment aren’t, let’s say, givens. Carolyn Hax, The Mercury News, "Carolyn Hax: Why won’t anyone tell her that her kid isn’t so special?," 17 May 2017

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

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First Known Use of given


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1879, in the meaning defined above


1904, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for given


see give entry 1

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Statistics for given

Last Updated

26 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for given

The first known use of given was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for given



English Language Learners Definition of given

 (Entry 1 of 2)

—used to refer to a particular time, place, etc., that has been, will be, or might be specified



English Language Learners Definition of given (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is regarded or accepted as true or real : a basic fact or assumption


giv·​en | \ˈgi-vən \

Kids Definition of given

1 : being likely to have or do something They are given to quarreling.

2 : decided on beforehand We meet at a given time.

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Comments on given

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


something that serves to warn or remind

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