give and take

Idioms & Phrases

give and take

  1. The practice of compromise, as in Every contract involves some give and take. This expression was first recorded in 1778, although the verbal idiom, to give and take, was used from the early 1500s.

  2. Lively exchange of ideas or conversation, as in The legislature is famous for raucous give and take. [Second half of 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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