give away

(redirected from give themselves away)

give (oneself) away

To reveal or make known—usually unintentionally—something about oneself, such as one's actions, intentions, ideas, guilt, etc. Margaret had been embezzling money from the corporate account for years, but she finally gave herself away when she claimed her two-month trip to Paris as a business expense. I wanted my acceptance to Harvard to be a surprise, but I gave myself away when I mentioned about moving in the autumn.
See also: away, give

give someone or something away

to reveal a secret about someone or something. I thought no one knew where I was, but my loud breathing gave me away. We know that Billy ate the cherry pie. The cherry juice on his shirt gave him away. I had planned a surprise, but John gave away my secret.
See also: away, give

give someone away

 (to someone)
1. Fig. [for the bride's father] to give the bride away to the groom. (Customarily done just prior to the actual marriage ceremony.) Mr. Franklin gave Amy away to Terry just as he had done in the rehearsal. He was reluctant to give his daughter away.
2. Fig. to reveal something secret about someone to someone else. Please don't give me away. I don't want anyone to know my plans. Alice did everything she could to keep from giving herself away.
See also: away, give

give something away

 (to someone)
1. to donate to, or bestow something upon, someone. I gave the old clothing away to Tom. I gave away my coat to Tom.
2. to tell a secret to someone. Please don't give the surprise away to anyone. Don't give away my secret.
3. to reveal the answer to a question, riddle, or problem to someone. Don't give the answer away to them! Don't give away the answer!
See also: away, give

give away

1. Make a gift of, bestow, as in I decided to give away all my plants. [c. 1400]
2. Present a bride to the groom in a marriage ceremony, as in Her father gave Karen away. [c. 1700]
3. Reveal or make something known, often unintentionally; also, betray or expose someone. For example, She gave away her true feelings, or He gave away his accomplices. This idiom is sometimes put as give oneself away, as in If you don't want the family to know about your gambling, don't give yourself away by spending your winnings . [Late 1800s]
See also: away, give

give away

v.
1. To relinquish something; give something to another: The store is giving away free samples of cheese. I gave my old clothes away to charity.
2. To present a bride to her bridegroom at a wedding ceremony: Very often, the father gives away the bride. I gave my daughter away at her wedding.
3. To reveal something or make something known, often accidentally; divulge something: The preview gave away the film's surprise ending. The tone of the teacher's voice gave the answer away.
4. To betray someone: I tried to pass for a local resident, but my accent gave me away.
See also: away, give
References in classic literature ?
They want to drop Kentish Town; but they give themselves away every time they open their mouths.
Now they arrive at the full flowering of that quest, to give themselves away in humble submission.
PSYCHOPATHS may give themselves away by showing how well they can lie, new research suggests.
These poems call to each other, syllable by syllable, and they are so pleased with their circuitry of sound and sense that readers--if they just give themselves away to the pleasure of being exactly nowhere but in the unscripted place all authentic' poetry provides--will experience the paradise the book proposes.
The Trolls have managed to keep themselves hidden from the Bergens for 20 years, but when they hold a raging party that throws off a great big beam of light, they give themselves away, and the Bergens go on a rampage, looking for Trolls to capture and chomp.
Some give themselves away with mobile phone selfies showing them holding AK-47s.
Suspended fish are some of the hardest to locate and catch, but sometimes they will come up to the surface to feed, and give themselves away.
And leftists give themselves away with the regularity of a progressive politician giving away tax dollars, as they live lives of rationalization and justification.
Unlike other species, they don't give themselves away by flying towards light," he said.
until they give themselves away with their shining "propellers.
Be patient because they'll sometimes stay put for a long time, but sooner or later they will stir and give themselves away.
Testify is also a book that knows good books necessarily give themselves away because poetry is an act of trust.
Schwartz says that the trouble with absolutes and muskies--even when they give themselves away on a camera--is that whenever you think you're on to something, along comes a non-conformist fish.