give (one) to understand(redirected from give them to understand)
give (one) to understand
To cause one to understand or believe something. Why should I worry? The boss has never given me to understand that she's displeased with my work.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
give someone to understand something
to explain something to someone; to imply something to someone. (Possibly misleading someone, accidentally or intentionally. See also given to understand.) Mr. Smith gave Sally to understand that she should be home by midnight. The mayor gave the citizens to understand that there would be no tax increase. He didn't promise, though.
given to understand
[of someone] made to believe [something]. (See also give someone to understand.) They were given to understand that there would be no tax increase, but after the election taxes went up. She was given to understand that she had to be home by midnight.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
give to understand
Lead one to think, as in I was given to understand that the President was coming here. [Mid-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.