Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
be no quarter given
To have no mercy, concession, or indulgence offered. We are at war with barbarians, soldier. There will be no quarter given if you are taken captive, and you shall give them no quarter should you capture them. The match would determine which team made it to the finals of the tournament, so there was no quarter given by either side.
be given no quarter
To be offered no mercy, concession, or indulgence. We are at war with barbarians, soldier. You will be given no quarter if you are taken captive; likewise, you shall give them no quarter should you take them alive. This match determines if we're heading to the finals of the tournament, so make sure they are given no quarter!
give (someone) the horn
To cause someone to become lustful or sexually excited; to sexually arouse someone. It's a little embarrassing to admit, but men in uniform totally give me the horn!
(a) quarter of (a given hour in time)
A quarter of an hour (15 minutes) before the named hour in time (e.g., "quarter of six" would mean 5:45). Primarily heard in US. A: "What time does the movie start?" B: "Not until a quarter of eight, so we've got plenty of time!" I thought I'd be home already, but with this traffic, it'll be quarter of before I'm back.
quarter past (a given hour in time)
A quarter of an hour (15 minutes) after the named hour in time. A: "What time does the movie start?" B: "Not until a quarter past eight, so we've got plenty of time!" I thought I'd be home already, but with this traffic, it'll be quarter past before I'm back.
give (one) the sack
To fire someone from a job or task. The new secretary is so rude—I need to give her the sack. I tried so hard to do a good job in Mrs. Smith's garden, but she gave me the sack anyway.
give (one) a run for (one's) money
To challenge one's ability, fortitude, or patience. Don't underestimate our opponents today—I think they'll give us a run for our money. Having an infant and a toddler sure is giving me a run for my money.
give (one) a taste of (one's) own medicine
To do something (usually unpleasant) to someone who usually acts in the same way. Bill is always excluding me from things, so I'm going to give him a taste of his own medicine and not invite him to my party. This team likes to play tough defense, so let's give them a taste of their own medicine and not give them any space to score.
give (someone) the length of (one's) tongue
To voice one's opinion, often in an aggressive or abusive way. I thought Paul was unhappy, but I did not expect him to lash out and give me the length of his tongue like that. I can't stand being around my mom when she starts giving us the length of her tongue.
give a basket
To reject a fiancé; to refuse to get married. The phrase comes from an old German custom of leaving a basket on a former lover's roof. I thought for sure that Denise and I were going to get married—I never expected her to give a basket to me in the end. I love Peter, but ultimately I had to give a basket to him because we just want different things in life.
give a black eye to (someone or something)
To make someone or something look bad; to damage one's reputation. That food critic's negative review really gave a black eye to my restaurant.
A special privilege or authority bestowed upon someone by a higher power. Many feel that the law prohibits something that is their God-given right.
See also: right
given to doing something
likely to do something; inclined to do something habitually. Mary is given to singing in the shower. Bob is given to shouting when things don't go his way.
given to understand
[of someone] made to believe [something]. (See also give someone to understand.) They were given to understand that there would be no tax increase, but after the election taxes went up. She was given to understand that she had to be home by midnight.
Nothing is given so freely as advice.
Prov. People will give you advice more willingly than they give you anything else. Although no one in my family was willing to give me a loan, they all had suggestions about how I could get the money from elsewhere. Nothing is given so freely as advice. Don't hesitate to ask people what they think you ought to do. Nothing is given so freely as advice.
given half a chance
allowed any opportunity Given half a chance, most writers would rather talk about a project than work on it.
Usage notes: also used in the form give someone/something half a chance: If we give Geoff half a chance, he could paint that kind of portrait.
given to doing something
to be likely to do something Members of the academic community are given to attending meetings and conferences.
Usage notes: usually used after be, as in the example
See also: given
get the axealso be given the axe
1. if a person gets the axe, they lose their job Senior staff are more likely to get the axe because the company can't afford their high salaries.
2. if a plan or a service gets the axe, it is stopped My research project was the first thing to be given the ax when the new boss took over.
get the chopalso be given the chop
1. (British informal) if a person gets the chop, they lose their job Anyone who argued with the foreman was liable to be given the chop.
2. (British informal) if a plan or a service gets the chop, it is stopped Our local bus service got the chop, so I have to walk to work or use the car.
a God-given right
if someone thinks they have a God-given right to do something, they think they should be allowed to do it even if other people do not like it (often + to do sth) He seems to think he has a God-given right to tell us all what to do.
See also: right
given half a/the chance(informal)
if someone would do something given half a chance, they would certainly do it if they had the opportunity He'd steal from his own grandmother, given half the chance. Given half a chance I'd leave this job today.
Tending toward, inclined to, as in She was given to eating crackers in bed. [Late 1500s]
See also: given