give up - definition and synonyms

phrasal verb
present tense
I/you/we/theygive up
he/she/itgives up
present participlegiving up
past tensegave up
past participlegiven up
  1. 1
    [transitive] to stop doing something that you do regularly

    His wife finally persuaded him to give up smoking.

    Giving up his job was the last thing we expected him to do.

    1. a.
      [transitive] to stop thinking or believing something

      It was a difficult time, but we never gave up hope.

      give up the idea of something (=to no longer want to do something):

      He had given up the idea of marriage altogether.

    2. b.
      [intransitive/transitive] to stop doing something that you are trying hard to do

      We’ve given up trying to persuade them to change.

      Decide what you want and then don’t give up until you’ve achieved it.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to allow someone to have something that was yours

    The new arrangement would mean giving up some of their political independence.

    give up to:

    They agreed to give half their office up to the temporary staff.

    1. a.
      to use your time for one activity instead of another

      Doing this course will mean giving up a lot of my spare time.

  3. 3
    [transitive] if you give yourself up, you allow yourself to be arrested by the police
  4. 4
    [transitive] if you give something up as lost, you believe that you will not find it and you stop looking for it
    give someone up for dead:

    The men who were still in the boat had given him up for dead.

See also main entry: give