Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
1. To fall apart or fail. Don't stand on that rickety old chair—it's liable to give way at any moment.
3. To succumb to something. After a long day at work, I gave way to exhaustion and fell asleep on the couch.
4. To accommodate demand for something. I finally gave way to their pleas and let the kids have ice cream for dinner.
2. To yield or give precedence to someone or something. Though we may not agree with them, we have to give way to younger voters eventually. They are the future of the country, for better or worse. This is a pedestrian shopping area, so cars and motorcycles must give way to people on foot. My grief gave way to anger when I realized that Tom had been responsible.
1. Retreat or withdraw, as in The army gave way before the enemy. [Early 1500s]
2. Yield the right of way; also, relinquish ascendancy, as in The cars must give way to the parade, or The children were called inside as day gave way slowly to night. [Early 1700s]
3. Collapse, fail, break down, as in The ladder gave way, or His health gave way under the strain. [Mid-1600s]
4. Also, give way to. Yield to urging or demand, as in At the last minute he gave way and avoided a filibuster, or The owners gave way to their demands for a pay increase. [Mid-1700s]
5. Also, give way to. Abandon oneself, lose self-control, as in She gave way to hysteria, or Don't give way to despair. [First half of 1800s]
give way1 yield to someone or something. 2 (of a support or structure) be unable to carry a load or withstand a force; collapse or break. 3 allow someone or something to go first.
give ˈway (to somebody/something)
1 allow somebody/something to go first: Give way to traffic coming from the left.
2 feel and express a strong emotion, without trying to hide it or stop it: She refused to give way to despair.
3 allow somebody to have what they want: In arguments, I’m always the first to give way. ♢ We must not give way to their demands. OPPOSITE: dig your heels in
4 be replaced by something: The storm gave way to bright sunshine.
give ˈwaybreak or fall down: The bridge gave way under the weight of the lorry. ♢ Her legs suddenly gave way and she fell to the floor.
1. To cease resisting or holding: The roof gave way under the weight of the snow, and the whole building collapsed.
2. To yield, make space for, or accommodate something: The old computer system must give way in order to meet the new hardware requirements.
1. To retreat or withdraw.
2. To yield the right of way: gave way to an oncoming car.
3. To relinquish ascendancy or position: as day gives way slowly to night.
4. To collapse from or as if from physical pressure: The ladder gave way.
5. To yield to urging or demand; give in.
6. To abandon oneself: give way to hysteria.