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 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

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 California investigators didn't give up on her case The subdivision was under construction when Moldt went missing, but the pond was already there. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "Cold case solved 22 years later after Google Earth satellite image shows missing man's car," 13 Sep. 2019 Rather than giving up and driving to the store to buy a whole set of new ones, here's how to fix Christmas lights once and for all. Country Living, "Here's Exactly How to Fix Christmas Lights," 13 Sep. 2019 Bauer did not give up a hit until Kyle Lewis led off the Seattle fifth with a home run. John Fay,, "Amir Garrett gives up a two-run homer as the Cincinnati Reds fall to Seattle Mariners 4-3," 11 Sep. 2019 Get our daily newsletter But the plaintiffs did not give up on the case so easily. S.m. | New York, The Economist, "The Supreme Court mulls whether to ditch a gun-rights case," 11 Sep. 2019 Baker looked lost in his first game, giving up an early big play to Michael Gallup on a sideline go route, and a 21-yard touchdown to Amari Cooper in the third quarter. Tom Canavan,, "Analysis: Bad year looming for Giants unless defense improves quickly," 9 Sep. 2019 Disregard sick religion but please don’t give up on healthy and authentic religion. The Rev. Dr. Wm. Louis "lou" Piel,, "Piel: Don’t disregard healthy, authentic religion in spiritual search for answers," 7 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

16 Oct 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).


to fake an opponent out of position

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
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!