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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.
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!
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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.
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.