offer

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an offer one can't refuse

An offer in which the repercussions for refusing would be so great that to do so would be either be dangerous or ill-advised. It often implies the "offer" is a threat, but this is not always the case. The phrase was coined by Mario Puzo in his 1969 novel The Godfather, and popularized by the 1972 Francis Ford Coppola film adaptation of the same name. If he's not willing to agree to the contract, I might have to bring a few men over and make him an offer he can't refuse. The buyout deal was worth $9 billion to the company, so, really, it was an offer we couldn't refuse.
See also: offer, one, refuse

offer affordance(s)

To provide the means for something to happen or take place. Of course, man-made systems of organization in any field inherently offer affordances for error and exploitation, as the human element can neither be escaped nor denied. While many see the increasing amount of technology as a detriment to children's minds, one cannot underestimate how it also offers affordance to their increased capacity to learn and access information.
See also: offer

offer the olive branch (to someone)

To extend an offer or gesture of peace, reconciliation, truce, etc. (to someone), so as to end a disagreement or dispute. (Can also be formulated as "offer someone the olive branch.") The conservatives in Congress seem to be offering the olive branch to Democrats on the issue of raising the debt ceiling. If you find yourself in a spat with a friend, try to be the bigger person and be the one to offer the olive branch. I was still hurt by the way my parents had lied to me, but I decided to offer them the olive branch at Christmas.
See also: branch, offer, olive

offer an olive branch (to someone)

To extend an offer or gesture of peace, reconciliation, truce, etc. (to someone), so as to end a disagreement or dispute. (Can also be formulated as "offer someone an olive branch.") The conservatives in Congress seem to be offering an olive branch to Democrats on the issue of raising the debt ceiling. If you find yourself in a spat with a friend, try to be the bigger person and be the one to offer an olive branch. I was still hurt by the way my parents had lied to me, but I decided to offer them an olive branch at Christmas.
See also: branch, offer, olive

offer (someone) (one's) condolences

To extend a semi-formal declaration or expression of sympathy to someone who has experienced a recent pain, grief, or misfortune, especially the death of a relative or loved one. Tom, I just heard about your wife's passing and wanted to offer my most sincere condolences. We're calling over after lunch to offer condolences to the family. Jane wasn't able to make it to the funeral, but she wanted to offer you her condolences nonetheless.
See also: offer

give chapter and verse

To provide full, specific, and authoritative information to support some quote, question, or issue at hand. Can also be used with similar verbs such as "offer," "cite," quote," etc. It is a reference to quoting scripture. Don't try to debate Sarah about physics. She'll give chapter and verse until you realize she's right. You can't be so vague if you want to convince me. You'll have to give chapter and verse.
See also: and, chapter, give, verse

hold out an olive branch (to someone)

To extend an offer or gesture of peace, reconciliation, truce, etc. (to someone), so as to end a disagreement or dispute. The conservatives in Congress seem to be holding out an olive branch to Democrats on the issue of raising the debt ceiling. If you find yourself in a spat with a friend, try to be the bigger person and be the one to hold out an olive branch.
See also: branch, hold, olive, out

*a helping hand

Fig. help; physical help, especially with the hands. (*Typically: get ~; need ~; give someone ~; offer ~; offer someone ~.) When you feel like you need a helping hand making dinner, just let me know.
See also: hand, helping

make someone an offer

to offer someone an amount of money for something. (Usually an invitation.) Do you like it? Make me an offer.
See also: make, offer

*offer one cannot refuse

Cliché a very attractive offer. (*Typically: give one ~; make ~; make one ~.) He made me an offer I could not refuse, so I sold him my car.
See also: cannot, offer, one, refuse

offer something for something

to suggest a certain amount of money as a purchase price for something. I'll offer you ten bucks for that watch. They offered me very little for my car.
See also: offer

offer something to someone (as something)

to propose giving something to someone as a gift, peace offering, payment, etc. They offered us a bunch of flowers as a peace offering. As an apology, I offered a gift to the hostess.
See also: offer

offer something up (to someone or something)

to give something to someone or something as a mark of devotion, thanks, etc. We offered our gratitude up to the ruler. We offered up our gratitude to the queen.
See also: offer, up

dangle a carrot in front of someone

or

offer someone a carrot

COMMON If you dangle a carrot in front of someone or offer them a carrot, you try to persuade them to do something by offering them a reward. The team have dangled a $17 million carrot in front of the Italian to remain in North America. He is to offer the public a new carrot by reducing petrol prices. Note: The words carrot, dangle and offer are used in other structures and expressions with a similar meaning. Tax cuts may be offered as a carrot to voters ahead of the next election. The money's dangling there like a huge carrot, and you want to grab it. Note: The image here is of someone encouraging a donkey to move forward by holding a carrot in front of it.
See also: carrot, dangle, front, of

hold out an olive branch

or

offer an olive branch

COMMON If you hold out an olive branch or offer an olive branch to someone, you say or do something to show that you want to end a disagreement with them. We are holding out an olive branch, inviting the landowners to talk to us. The authorities have offered an olive branch to the community. Note: You can say that someone accepts an olive branch if they accept the thing that has been said or done to end the disagreement. It would be some time before he would accept the olive branch offered to him. Note: You can use olive branch to mean an offer of peace or friendship. I think the olive branch will have to come from both sides. He invited the world to choose between the gun and the olive branch. Note: The story of the Flood in the Bible tells how Noah sent out first a raven, then a dove, to see if there was any sign of land. If they found some land, it would mean that God had forgiven man: `And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off; so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.' (Genesis 8:11)
See also: branch, hold, olive, out

hold out (or offer) an olive branch

offer a token of peace or goodwill.
A branch of an olive tree is an emblem of peace. In the Bible, it was the token brought by a dove to Noah to indicate that God's anger was assuaged and that the flood had abated (Genesis 8:11).
See also: branch, hold, olive, out

a ˌhelping ˈhand

help: The new charity tries to offer a helping hand to young people who have become addicted to drugs.A helping hand would be very welcome at the moment.
See also: hand, helping

have something to ˈoffer

have something available that somebody wants: Barcelona has a lot to offer its visitors in the way of entertainment.He’s a young man with a great deal to offer (= who is intelligent, has many skills, etc.).
See also: have, offer, something

on ˈoffer


1 that can be bought, used, etc: The following is a list of courses currently on offer.Prizes worth more than $20 000 are on offer to the winner.
2 (especially British English) on sale at a lower price than normal for a short period of time: Italian coffee is on (special) offer this week.
See also: offer, on

under ˈoffer

(British English) if a house or building is under offer, somebody has agreed to buy it at a particular price: They’ve already sold two of their properties, and the third is currently under offer.
See also: offer

hold out/offer an ˈolive branch (to somebody)

show that you want to make peace with somebody: After their argument, he was the first one to hold out an olive branch. OPPOSITE: throw down the gauntletThe olive branch is an ancient symbol of peace.
See also: branch, hold, offer, olive, out

offer up

v.
To submit something as an offering, especially in worship or devotion: At the memorial, they offered prayers up for the victims. Let's offer up free meals during the holidays.
See also: offer, up
References in classic literature ?
I can offer you nothing else, for I haven't liv'd so long in the wilderness, not to know the scrupulous ways of a gentleman.
However, I shook them off, and still flattered myself that something or other might offer for my advantage.
He made no professions to be but of an extraordinary respect, and he had such an opinion of my virtue, that, as he often professed, he believed if he should offer anything else, I should reject him with contempt.
It seemed to Philip an added kindness that he did not press him to accept his offer.
I want you to remember that if you change your mind my offer still stands.
I am only one of the masters employed in the school; but I don't think--let me say, I hope I am not guilty of presumption--if I offer to be of some small service to one of my pupils--"
I could offer to lend the scoundrel the money that he wanted at an hour's notice, and he was the man to accept my proposal quite as easily as I could make it.
Nevertheless, I cannot help thinking that if we would put an improved breed of polliwogs in our drinking water, construct shallower roadways, groom the street cows, offer the stranger within our gates a free choice between the poniard and the potion, and relinquish our private system of morals, the other measures of public safety would be needless.
I have stated in the preface to the first Edition of this work, and in the Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle, that it was in consequence of a wish expressed by Captain Fitz Roy, of having some scientific person on board, accompanied by an offer from him of giving up part of his own accommodations, that I volunteered my services, which received, through the kindness of the hydrographer, Captain Beaufort, the sanction of the Lords of the Admiralty.
I shall have the pleasure of acknowledging the great assistance which I have received from several other naturalists, in the course of this and my other works; but I must be here allowed to return my most sincere thanks to the Reverend Professor Henslow, who, when I was an undergraduate at Cambridge, was one chief means of giving me a taste for Natural History, -- who, during my absence, took charge of the collections I sent home, and by his correspondence directed my endeavours, -- and who, since my return, has constantly rendered me every assistance which the kindest friend could offer.
My attitude," Rebecca said, "when you came in, ma'am, did not look as if I despised such an honour as this good--this noble man has deigned to offer me.
The two ladies in the dining-room (where worthy Miss Briggs was delighted to be admitted once more to confidential conversation with her patroness) wondered to their hearts' content at Sir Pitt's offer, and Rebecca's refusal; Briggs very acutely suggesting that there must have been some obstacle in the shape of a previous attachment, otherwise no young woman in her senses would ever have refused so advantageous a proposal.
When Oblonsky asked Levin what had brought him to town, Levin blushed, and was furious with himself for blushing, because he could not answer, "I have come to make your sister-in-law an offer," though that was precisely what he had come for.
The man that had the lance or dart did not fly from them, but the rest did; however, as the two creatures ran directly into the water, they did not offer to fall upon any of the negroes, but plunged themselves into the sea, and swam about, as if they had come for their diversion; at last one of them began to come nearer our boat than at first I expected; but I lay ready for him, for I had loaded my gun with all possible expedition, and bade Xury load both the others.
Presents are made to the Boffin servants, and bland strangers with business- cards meeting said servants in the street, offer hypothetical corruption.