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1. To distribute. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "give" and "out." Volunteers will come around and give out pamphlets before the lecture.
2. To suddenly fail or collapse. Be careful—that rickety old ladder is liable to give out while you're on it. With just a mile to go in the race, my legs just gave out.
3. To announce or publicize something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "give" and "out." Please don't give out news of our engagement just yet.
4. To emit or release something. I guess we need to change the batteries in the smoke detector because it's giving out a dreadful sound.
5. To become depleted. Enthusiasm for this project has really given out after all the delays.
6. To gripe, complain, or sulk (about someone or something). Primarily heard in Ireland. Instead of just giving out all the time, why don't you actually take steps to improve your situation? Some customers are giving out about the new waiter.
7. To scold or chastise (someone). Primarily heard in Ireland. Would you stop giving out already? I said I was sorry! Don't give out to Brian about something he couldn't have controlled.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
give something out
1. Lit. to distribute something; to pass something out. The teacher gave the test papers out. The teacher gave out the papers.
2. Fig. to make something known to the public. When will you give the announcement out? The president gave out the news that the hostages had been released.
1. to wear out and stop; to quit operating. My old bicycle finally gave out. I think that your shoes are about ready to give out.
2. to be depleted. The paper napkins gave out, and we had to use paper towels. The eggs gave out, and we had to eat cereal for breakfast for the rest of the camping trip.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Allow to be known, declare publicly, as in They gave out that she was ill. [Mid-1300s]
2. Send forth, emit, as in The machine gave out a steady buzzing. [Mid-1400s]
3. Distribute, as in They gave out surplus food every week. [c. 1700]
4. Stop functioning, fail; also, become exhausted or used up. For example, The motor gave out suddenly, or My strength simply gave out. [First half of 1500s]
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.
1. To allow or cause something to be known; declare something publicly: The professor gave out the bad news.
2. To emit or radiate something; give something off: My car engine gave out a steady buzzing.
3. To distribute something: The homeless shelter gave out food and blankets. The teacher gave the homework assignment out.
4. To stop functioning; fail: The dishwasher finally gave out last week.
5. To become used up or exhausted; run out: Their determination finally gave out.
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.