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mid-13c. (c.1100 in surnames), from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse gift, gipt "gift, good luck," from Proto-Germanic *giftiz (cf. Old Saxon gift, Old Frisian jefte, Middle Dutch ghifte "gift," German Mitgift "dowry"), from PIE root *ghabh- "to give or receive" (see habit).
For German Gift "poison," see poison (n.). Old English cognate gift meant "bride-price, marriage gift (by the groom), dowry" (Old English noun for "giving, gift" was related giefu). Sense of "natural talent" is c.1300, perhaps from earlier sense of "inspiration" (late 12c.). As a verb from 16c., especially in gifted. As a verb, giftwrap (also gift-wrap) attested by 1936.
(1.) An gratuity (Prov. 19:6) to secure favour (18:16; 21:14), a thank-offering (Num. 18:11), or a dowry (Gen. 34:12). (2.) An oblation or proppitatory gift (2Sa 8:2,6; 1Ch 18:2,6; 2Ch 26:8; Ps. 45:12; 72:10). (3.) A bribe to a judge to obtain a favourable verdict (Ex. 23:8; Deut. 16:19). (4.) Simply a thing given (Matt. 7:11; Luke 11:13; Eph. 4:8); sacrifical (Matt. 5:23, 24; 8:4); eleemosynary (Luke 21:1); a gratuity (John 4:10; Acts 8:20). In Acts 2:38 the generic word dorea is rendered "gift." It differs from the charisma (1 Cor. 12:4) as denoting not miraculous powers but the working of a new spirit in men, and that spirit from God. The giving of presents entered largely into the affairs of common life in the East. The nature of the presents was as various as were the occasions: food (1 Sam. 9:7; 16:20), sheep and cattle (Gen. 32:13-15), gold (2 Sam. 18:11), jewels (Gen. 24:53), furniture, and vessels for eating and drinking (2 Sam. 17:28); delicacies, as spices, honey, etc. (1 Kings 10:25; 2 Kings 5: 22). The mode of presentation was with as much parade as possible: the presents were conveyed by the hands of servants (Judg. 3:18), or still better, on the backs of beasts of burden (2 Kings 8:9). The refusal of a present was regarded as a high indignity; and this constituted the aggravated insult noticed in Matt. 22:11, the marriage robe having been offered and refused.
in law, a present or thing bestowed gratuitously. The term is generally restricted to mean gratuitous transfers inter vivos (among the living) of real or personal property. A valid gift requires: (1) a competent donor; (2) an eligible donee; (3) an existing identifiable thing or interest; (4) an intention to donate; (5) delivery; i.e., a transfer of possession to or for the donee and a relinquishment by the donor of ownership, control, and power to revoke (except in gifts mortis causa; i.e., those that are made by someone believing himself to be near death and that become final only if the giver dies); and (6) acceptance by the donee. Formal acceptance is necessary under French law, but Anglo-American law acknowledges implied acceptance