give me a break


Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.

give (one) a break

1. To make a concession or allowance for one. I just need someone at this company to give me a break. I'll take any job here, even cleaning the bathrooms.
2. A plea for someone else to stop doing something annoying or troublesome. Guys, I told you I needed you to be quiet for five minutes while I made a call, and you couldn't even do it for 10 seconds! Give me a break, will you?
3. A scoffing retort to something that seems unbelievable or ridiculous. You, the night owl, are getting up at 5 AM tomorrow? Give me a break!
See also: break, give

give me a break

INFORMAL, mainly AMERICAN
COMMON
1. You use give me a break after someone has said or done something to show that you think that they are being very annoying or ridiculous. The news item ended with comments from `South Australian feminists' who were `satisfied' by the finding. Give me a break! Why do they have to quote feminists on a decision that concerns the rights of all women? Why can't they quote mothers, teachers, nurses, or dancers?
2. You use give me a break to tell someone to stop criticizing or annoying you and leave you alone. Anxious families on the estate begged youngsters, `Give us a break', after dozens of cars were wrecked by the gangs.
See also: break, give

give me a break

That’s preposterous, you can’t expect me to believe that. This exasperated reply to a statement, usually made half-jokingly, dates from the second half of the 1900s. For example, “She’s planning a luncheon at the Ritz? Give me a break!” This expression is not the same as to give someone a break, meaning to give someone an opportunity or special consideration, which dates from about 1900.
See also: break, give