give back

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give back

1. To return or restore something to someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "give" and "back." Give me back my sweater, you brat! Did I ever give you your pen back?
2. To act in a charitable manner, often by donating money or volunteering. I like to give back to my community by working with other volunteers to clean up our local parks.
See also: back, give
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

give someone or something back (to someone or something)

to return someone or something to someone or something. Please give it back to me. You took my lunch away from me. You had better give it back. Give back the book right now!
See also: back, give

give something back

 (to someone) (with interest)
1. Lit. to return money to someone with an additional amount for interest. You are going to have to give that money back to me with interest. Please give back the proper amount... with interest!
2. Fig. to return something to someone in excess of what was received. We will give back all your kindness to you with interest. We will give it all back with interest.
See also: back, give
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

give back

v.
To return something: Don't forget to give the books back when you're done with them. I gave back the hammer when the job was done.
See also: back, give
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
The king gave back his freedom to Monk, and the grateful general, in return, gave Charles II.
The pure air, and the long summer hours in the open, gave back life and elasticity to Mattie, and Zeena, with more leisure to devote to her complex ailments, grew less watchful of the girl's omissions; so that Ethan, struggling on under the burden of his barren farm and failing saw-mill, could at least imagine that peace reigned in his house.
The whole army of the enemy (though near a hundred in number), seeing the fate of their general, gave back many paces, and retired behind a new-dug grave; for the churchyard was the field of battle, where there was to be a funeral that very evening.
And this also did I learn among them: the praiser doeth as if he gave back; in truth, however, he wanteth more to be given him!
But whether the oppressor were overawed by the Gray Champion's look, or perceived his peril in the threatening attitude of the people, it is certain that he gave back, and ordered his soldiers to commence a slow and guarded retreat.
For an instant the blacks pressed close to reach me with their shorter swords, but presently they gave back, and the esteem in which they suddenly had learned to hold my sword arm was writ large upon each countenance.
I must have hit one of them, for he sang out and gave back a step, and the rest stopped as if a little disconcerted.
He said: "You gave back our country its freedom and dignity.
Louis gave back to their community by volunteering to organize the storage space for a local non-profit, Angels Arms.
Guardian Credit Union, Montgomery, Ala., gave back over $800,000 in the form of interest rebates and dividend bonuses.
Markets opened higher, but some benchmarks gave back gains on renewed selling.
Tell you what, how about you also give me the 40 the cowgave back, the 10 the monkey gave back and the 10 the dog gave back.