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 ?
A long time passed before I asked for them, for I would not put him to any greater straits to return them than he was in when I lent them to him; but thinking he was growing careless about payment I asked for them once and several times; and not only will he not give them back, but he denies that he owes them, and says I never lent him any such crowns; or if I did, that he repaid them; and I have no witnesses either of the loan, or the payment, for he never paid me; I want your worship to put him to his oath, and if he swears he returned them to me I forgive him the debt here and before God."
Suppose that a friend when in his right mind has deposited arms with me and he asks for them when he is not in his right mind, ought I to give them back to him?
"They're mine, give them back to me," he shouted at the councillor, as other Labour members looked on in amazement.
People are supposed to give them back and generally it seems to be part of the British tennis scene that we do ask for the ball back," The Telegraph quoted Mardling, as saying.
To the one who found my lost sunglasses, I hope you'll be kind enough to give them back.
A devout Mennonite, Cindy says that she lets people know that she is a Christian, and that she uses the talents God gives her to give them back to Him for His glory.
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