give over



give over (third-person singular simple present gives over, present participle giving over, simple past gave over, past participle given over)

  1. (transitive, now rare) To give up, hand over, surrender (something).
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970, partition II, section 2, member 4:
      Diocletian, the emperor, was so much affected with it that he gave over his sceptre and turned gardener.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 19, in The China Governess:
      As soon as Julia returned with a constable, Timothy, who was on the point of exhaustion, prepared to give over [the fight] to him gratefully. The newcomer turned out to be a powerful youngster, fully trained and eager to help, and he stripped off his tunic at once.
    • 2012, Andrew Martin, Underground Overground: A passenger's history of the Tube, Profile Books, →ISBN, page 76:
      Until 1961 the line was electrified only as far as Rickmansworth, where steam locomotives were attached or detached in place of electric ones. In the same year the stations north of Amersham were given over to British Rail.
  2. (transitive) To entrust (something) to another.
    She gave the deeds over to the solicitor.
  3. (transitive) To devote or resign to a particular purpose or activity; to yield completely.
    The factory has been entirely given over to aircraft manufacture.
    He gave himself over to a monastic life.
    • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 3, ch. II, Gospel of Mammonism
      For, as indeed was very natural in such case, all government of the Poor by the Rich has long ago been given over to Supply-and-demand, Laissez-faire and such like, and universally declared to be ‘impossible’.
  4. (transitive) To quit, to abandon.
  5. (Britain dialectal, Northern England, Scotland, intransitive) To give up; abandon; stop.
    Give over with your nonsense, will you!
    • 1681, George Fox, A journal or historical account of the life, travels, sufferings, […], published 1831, page 247:
      While he was declaring the truth, a constable came in with his great staff, and bid him give over, and come down: but William Penn held on, declaring truth in the power of God.
    • 1890, Mary Taylor, Janet Murray, Miss Miles: Or a Tale of Yorkshire Life 60 Years Ago, page 212:
      Amelia, I wish you would give over with your reading and your information, it's not for ladies to be literary; people don't like it, you silly thing!
    • 1906, Jack London, White Fang, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company:
      She was getting very heavy, and could run but slowly. Once, in the pursuit of a rabbit, which she ordinarily would have caught with ease, she gave over and lay down and rested.
    • 1962, Brendan Behan, Brendan Behan's island: an Irish sketch-book, page 151:
      My mother told him to give over and let me alone, and said she was sure it would be a lovely suit, and that Aunt Jack would never buy poor material, but stuff that would last forever.
    • 2005, Anatoly T. Fomenko, History: Fiction Or Science?, page 245:
      According to Homer, the rest of the Trojan army drew away from Troy pretending to retreat and give over with the siege in order to confuse the Trojans.
    • 2009, Eugene McEldowney, The Faloorie Man, page 143:
      "Get yourself seen to, Isaac. For God's sake. Before it's too late," Sarah would chastise him. / "Och, Sarah, would you give over with your bargeing. It's just a wee cough. It'll get better itself."