give oneself up
1. To yield or relinquish something. A noun of pronoun can be used between "give" and "up." This is a prime parking space—I'm not giving it up! It would be a shame if you had to give up this apartment—it's such a great location.
2. To abandon some task or goal. Oh, don't give up—you'll get this boiler fixed eventually.
3. To stop doing something in particular, often a habit. Lots of people have given up smoking, so I'm confident that you can too.
4. To surrender or yield someone or oneself. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "give" and "up." You need to give yourself up to the cops before an innocent person gets caught in the crossfire. I know he's done some really heinous things, but he's still my brother—I can't just give him up to the authorities!
5. To lose faith in someone or something; to no longer believe in someone or something's potential for betterment. Always followed by "on." I know I've failed a lot in the past year, but please, don't give up on me. Don't give up on this team just yet.
6. To fully pledge or devote oneself to something. In this usage, a reflexive pronoun is used between "give" and "up," and the phrase is always followed by "to." To deal with the grief, I gave myself up to my research.
7. To consider lost or without hope. A noun or pronoun can be used between "give" and "up." Nearly always followed by "as lost" or "for lost." I gave the package up for lost when it didn't arrive in two weeks. We had nearly given up the situation as lost when help arrived.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
give oneself up(to someone or something)
1. Lit. to surrender to someone or something. Fran gave herself up to the disease. Walter gave himself up to the police.
2. Fig. to devote oneself to someone or something; to give oneself over to someone or something. She gave herself up to her children and their care. Fran gave herself up to tennis. Jane refused to give herself up to weight lifting, which is a full-time hobby.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
give oneself up
1. Surrender, as in They gave themselves up to the police. [Second half of 1500s]
2. Devote or abandon oneself completely, as in She gave herself up to her research. [Second half of 1500s] Also see give up.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.