give up the ghost
(of a person) die
(of a machine) stop working
break down especially permanently
stop making an effort
give up hope
The old English meaning of ghost – the soul or spirit as the source of life – survives only in this
RELATED IDIOMS :
give and take
mutual concessions and compromises
exchange of words and views
give as good as you get
respond with equal force or vehemence when attacked
give him the best = give it the best
admit the superiority of
give way to – British
1990 - Birds Magazine - He finally decided to give us best and took himself off.
give him furiously to think
give a person cause to think hard
This is a literal translation of the French phrase donner furieusement à penser.
give the game away = give the show away
inadvertently reveal something secret or concealed
give it to him
scold or punish someone – informally used in various contexts suitable to its usage
give me it
I prefer or admire a specified thing
1998 - BBC - Vegetarian Good Food - Iceberg lettuce is a massive Eighties con - give me a round lettuce any day.
give or take it
to within it (used to express the degree or accuracy of a figure) – informal
1991 - Biyi Bandele -Thomas The Man who Came in from the Back of Beyond - Aged twenty-five give or take a few years, he spoke in a detached voice, like a judge passing the death sentence.
give someone what for
punish or scold someone severely - British informal
give yourself airs
Act pretentiously or snobbishly
1948 Christopher Bush : The Case of the Second Chance : It was said she gave herself airs and it was also hinted that she was no better - as they say - than she might be.
Air in the sense of an affected manner has been current since the mid 17th century
From the early 18th century the plural form has been more usual in this derogatory sense
not give a damn = not give a hoot
not care at all – informal
1998 - Penelope Lively - Spider web - The boys knew that the teachers didn't like them and they didn't give a damn.
give up the ghost :
give up the ghost To HOME PAGE
Idioms Index – Previous Page