give up the ghost

(redirected from giving up the ghost)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.

give up the ghost

1. Of a person, to die. Based on how the nurses are talking, it sounds like Great-Uncle Edmund is going to give up the ghost sooner than later.
2. Of a machine, to stop working. Can you get a new coffee pot while you’re at the mall? Ours has finally given up the ghost.
3. To abandon some task because it seems doomed. I don't think anyone is coming to the lecture today, so we might as well give up the ghost.
See also: ghost, give, up

give up the ghost

Euph. to die. (Fixed order. Often used to describe machines breaking down.) The old man gave up the ghost. My poor old car finally gave up the ghost.
See also: ghost, give, up

give up the ghost

Die, as in At ten o'clock he gave up the ghost. This expression, which employs ghost in the sense of "the soul or spirit," may itself be dying out. [Late 1300s]
See also: ghost, give, up

give up the ghost

1. If you give up the ghost, you stop trying to do something, because you no longer believe that you can succeed. In Manhattan there was no Memorial Day parade this year. The organizers said they've given up the ghost after so few people came to see it last year. Even 17 points behind the leaders, the team still haven't given up the ghost.
2. If a machine gives up the ghost, it stops working. Danny's car has finally given up the ghost. This week, our water heater gave up the ghost.
3. If a person or plant gives up the ghost, they die. There was a tree at the bottom of the garden that had clearly given up the ghost a few years previously.
See also: ghost, give, up

give up the ghost

1 (of a person) die. 2 (of a machine) stop working; break down, especially permanently. 3 stop making an effort; give up hope.
The Old English meaning of ghost , ‘the soul or spirit as the source of life’, survives only in this idiom.
See also: ghost, give, up

give up the ˈghost


1 (old-fashioned) die
Ghost in this idiom means ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’.

2 (humorous) (of a machine, etc.) stop working because it is so old: My old computer has finally given up the ghost, so I’m getting a new one.
3 (of a person) stop making an effort; stop working: She persuaded me to carry on when I was tempted to give up the ghost.
See also: ghost, give, up

give up the ghost

To cease living or functioning; die.
See also: ghost, give, up