give up for dead(redirected from given them up for dead)
give up for dead
1. To abandon or leave one behind because someone assumes one is dead or is going to die. A noun or pronoun can be used between "give" and "up" or after "up." The injuries were so severe that we had no choice but to give up the wounded soldiers for dead. The other members of his climbing expedition had given him up for dead, but he survived the fall and managed to crawl his way back to camp.
2. To abandon or ignore something, such as a project, company, plan, etc., because it is expected to fail or is not important enough to succeed. A noun or pronoun can be used between "give" and "up" or after "up." I'm worried that this glitch will cause investors to give up our company for dead. We tried our best to get into the smartphone racket, but after we failed to gain any real traction in the market, app developers gave our new operating system up for dead after just six months.
give someone up for dead
1. Lit. to give up hope for someone who is dying; to abandon a dying person as already dead. The cowboys gave up their comrade for dead and rode off. We gave up the poor old man for dead and went to telephone the police.
2. Fig. to abandon hope for someone to appear or arrive. We were delighted to see you. We had almost given you up for dead. After an hour, they gave up their guest for dead.