give up the ghost
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From Middle English "gaf up þe gost", "ʒave up þe gost", from Old English phrases as "hēo āġeaf hire gāst" (literally, "she gave up her ghost [spirit]"), "þæt iċ gāst mīnne āġifan mōte" (literally, "that I must give up my ghost [spirit]").
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- (intransitive, idiomatic) To cease clinging to life; to die.
- (intransitive, idiomatic, figurative) To quit; to cease functioning.
- My old computer finally gave up the ghost the other day.
- (intransitive, with of) To cede a commitment to or identification with.
- 1993 February 8, “A Magical History Tour”, in Time:
- But McCartney, 50, is hardly ready to give up the ghost of his creative past.
- 1995, Bad Boys
- Burnett holds the door while Lowrey holds Francine. She's broken, crying, and giving up the ghost of her past.
- 2000 January 14, Kevin Maney, “Gates closes an era Microsoft prepares to lay out a road map”, in USA Today:
- Its Windows CE, ostensibly for consumer electronics, is flailing, largely because Microsoft has taken a PC mentality to develop CE, unable to give up the ghost of its heritage.