give (v.)

Old English giefan (West Saxon) "to give, bestow, deliver to another; allot, grant; commit, devote, entrust," class V strong verb (past tense geaf, past participle giefen), from Proto-Germanic *geban (source also of Old Frisian jeva, Middle Dutch gheven, Dutch geven, Old High German geban, German geben, Gothic giban), from PIE root *ghabh- "to give or receive." It became yiven in Middle English, but changed to guttural "g" by influence of Old Norse gefa "to give," Old Danish givæ.

Meaning "to yield to pressure" is from 1570s. Give in "yield" is from 1610s; give out is mid-14c. as "publish, announce;" meaning "run out, break down" is from 1520s. Give up "surrender, resign, quit" is mid-12c. To give (someone) a cold seems to reflect the old belief that one could be cured of disease by deliberately infecting others. What gives? "what is happening?" is attested from 1940. To not give a (some thing regarded as trivial and valueless) is from c. 1300 (early examples were a straw, a grass, a mite).

give (n.)

"capacity for yielding to pressure," 1868, from give (v.). The Middle English noun yeve, meant "that which is given or offered; a contribution of money," often as tribute, or in expectation of something in return.

updated on December 06, 2018

Definitions of give from WordNet
give (v.)
cause to have, in the abstract sense or physical sense;
She gave him a black eye
The draft gave me a cold
give (v.)
be the cause or source of;
He gave me a lot of trouble
Synonyms: yield / afford
give (v.)
transfer possession of something concrete or abstract to somebody;
She gave the children lots of love and tender loving care
I gave her my money
can you give me lessons?
give (v.)
convey or reveal information;
give (v.)
convey, as of a compliment, regards, attention, etc.; bestow;
give the orders
Synonyms: pay
give (v.)
organize or be responsible for;
give a course
Synonyms: hold / throw / have / make
give (v.)
convey or communicate; of a smile, a look, a physical gesture;
She gave me a dirty look
Synonyms: throw
give (v.)
give as a present; make a gift of;
What will you give her for her birthday?
Synonyms: gift / present
give (v.)
cause to happen or be responsible for;
His two singles gave the team the victory
Synonyms: yield
give (v.)
give priority to
give thought to
Synonyms: pay / devote
give (v.)
give or supply;
Synonyms: render / yield / return / generate
give (v.)
transmit (knowledge or skills);
give a secret to the Russians
Synonyms: impart / leave / pass on
give (v.)
bring about;
Synonyms: establish
give (v.)
leave with; give temporarily;
Can I give you my keys while I go in the pool?
Can I give you the children for the weekend?
give (v.)
emit or utter;
give a yelp
give (v.)
endure the loss of;
He gave his life for his children
I gave two sons to the war
Synonyms: sacrifice
give (v.)
place into the hands or custody of;
Synonyms: pass / hand / reach / pass on / turn over
give (v.)
give entirely to a specific person, activity, or cause;
give one's talents to a good cause
Synonyms: dedicate / consecrate / commit / devote
give (v.)
give (as medicine);
I gave him the drug
give (v.)
give or convey physically;
I gave him a punch in the nose
She gave him First Aid
Synonyms: apply
give (v.)
give homage
Synonyms: render
give (v.)
bestow, especially officially;
give a divorce
Synonyms: grant
give (v.)
move in order to make room for someone for something;
The park gave way to a supermarket
Synonyms: move over / give way / ease up / yield
give (v.)
give food to;
don't give the child this tough meat
Synonyms: feed
give (v.)
contribute to some cause;
I gave at the office
Synonyms: contribute / chip in / kick in
give (v.)
break down, literally or metaphorically;
The roof finally gave under the weight of the ice
The wall gave in
Synonyms: collapse / fall in / cave in / give way / break / founder
give (v.)
estimate the duration or outcome of something;
I gave him a very good chance at success
He gave the patient three months to live
give (v.)
execute and deliver;
give (v.)
deliver in exchange or recompense;
I'll give you three books for four CDs
give (v.)
afford access to;
The French doors give onto a terrace
Synonyms: afford / open
give (v.)
present to view;
He gave the sign to start
give (v.)
perform for an audience;
give (v.)
be flexible under stress of physical force;
This material doesn't give
Synonyms: yield
give (v.)
He gave the first of many toasts at the birthday party
give (v.)
accord by verdict;
give a decision for the plaintiff
give (v.)
manifest or show;
This student gives promise of real creativity
The office gave evidence of tampering
give (v.)
offer in good faith;
He gave her his word
give (v.)
submit for consideration, judgment, or use;
give one's opinion
give an excuse
give (v.)
guide or direct, as by behavior of persuasion;
You gave me to think that you agreed with me
give (v.)
allow to have or take;
I give you two minutes to respond
give (v.)
inflict as a punishment;
The judge gave me 10 years
She gave the boy a good spanking
give (v.)
what gives?
give (v.)
consent to engage in sexual intercourse with a man;
She gave herself to many men
give (v.)
proffer (a body part);
She gave her hand to her little sister
give (n.)
the elasticity of something that can be stretched and returns to its original length;
Synonyms: spring / springiness
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.