give way

give way  {v.}
1. To go back; retreat.
The enemy army is giving way before the cannon fire.
Compare: FALL BACK.
2. To make room, get out of the way.
The children gave way and let their mother through the door.
Compare: MAKE WAY.
3. To lose control of yourself; lose your courage or hope; yield.
Mrs. Jones didn't give way during the flood, but she was very frightened.
4. To collapse; fail.
The river was so high that the dam gave way.
Mary's legs gave way and she fainted.
Compare: GIVE OUT (4), LET GO (1a).
5. To let yourself be persuaded; give permission.
Billy kept asking his mother if he could go to the movies and she finally gave way.
Compare: GIVE IN.
Categories: {v.}