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See also: give away and give-away


Alternative forms[edit]


From give +‎ away.


giveaway (plural giveaways)

  1. Something that is given away or handed out for free.
    • 1983, Teleconnect: The Voice of the Telephone Interconnect Industry:
      Then there's ole' reliable: the giveaway. Everyone loves a giveaway (with the notable exceptions of key chains and nail clippers which have been rendered nearly meaningless by repetition).
    • 1984, Journal of Property Management - Volumes 49-50 - Page 21:
      Perhaps the most frequently used giveaway is "free rent," an abatement of rent for a specific period of tenancy.
    • 2005, Paulette Wolf, Jodi Wolf, Donielle Levine, Event Planning Made Easy:
      These giveaway bags cost tens of thousands of dollars, but the sentiment of a thank you for your guests is at the heart of those giveaway bags.
    The T-shirt was a giveaway from the company that sells the software.
    Synonym: freebie
  2. An event at which things are given away for free.
    • 1987, Sun Bear, Edward B. Weinstock, The Path of Power, page 233:
      In this giveaway a person who has had something special happen to him gives gifts to others around him, so that they can share in his feelings.
    • 2001, Kathleen Glenister Roberts, Giving Away: The Performance of Speech and Sign in Powwow Ritual Exchange, page 104:
      His counterpart Tom Wiles also speaks directly for the honored persons in giveaways; in Shannon's outgoing princess giveaway, he addresses a woman named Rose as Shannon gives her a dance shawl: "Shannon says/ now you can kick up your heels" (Wiles 1999)
    • 2012, Chad Hamill, Songs of Power and Prayer in the Columbia Plateau, page 124:
      Following the feast the tables were cleared, making room for the giveaway.
    • 2015, Sarah Mayberry, Kelly Hunter, Megan Crane, The Great Wedding Giveaway:
      This has been such a rewarding exercise for so many of us involved in the giveaway.
  3. The act of giving something away for free.
    • 1955, Ammunition - Volume 13, page 30:
      Frankly, I think extension of this policy to the nation through the Eisenhower administration policy of 'partnership' with private power monopoly would be the most colossal giveaway in history — 20 or 30 times as big as Teapot Dome or Tideland Oil.
    • 1965, Florist & Nursery Exchange - Volume 143, page 29:
      Late May is the target date for giveaway of the new NPP FloraCopter game by retail Aorists to increase their “in-store traffic" and sales.
    • 1990, Good Packaging - Volume 51, page 4:
      Nothing kills profits like product giveaway.
  4. An indicator that makes something obvious or apparent.
    • 2006, Jonathan Petropoulos, John K. Roth, Gray Zones, page 140:
      Their skin was the real giveaway: again and again it turned out to be fattier and softer than average and therefore warmer.
    • 2009, Robin Le Poidevin, Simons Peter, McGonigal Andrew, The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics, page 452:
      The real giveaway is its showing time's arrows pointing the wrong way: the universe contracting, or entropy spontaneously decreasing (as in the separation, with no energy input, of brine into fresh water and solid salt).
    • 2017, Brock Bloodworth, H. Claire Taylor, Shift Work:
      It was as obvious a giveaway as the deep slash marks across the human part of the torso, shredding the werewolf's clothes and staining the cloth with a deep burgundy of blood.
    • 2018, John W. Barnhill, Approach to the Psychiatric Patient, page 451:
      Therapeutic zeal is express in a number of ways, some of them quite obvious, others subtle. A therapeutic manner that is too self-assured and controlling is a dead giveaway. Other obvious signs of therapeutic zeal include getting annoyed or openly frustrated with patients who do not change in the way the therapist desires; "blaming" the patient by vidictively attributing lack of results to more severe pathology than was intially assumed; or overusing such terms as passive aggressive and poorly motivated.
    • 2021, Alfonso K. Fillon, Green Anoles - How to Raise Green Anoles as a Real Life Hobby:
      In my research, I learned that the male had a little differently shaped head but that the real giveaway was that the male would periodically exhibit a bright orange to reddish colored "dewlap" extended under its throat while bobbing it's [sic] head as an exhibition of his maleness.
    The frosting in his beard was a giveaway that he had been munching the cake.

Usage notes[edit]

Derived terms[edit]


giveaway (not comparable)

  1. (attributive) free of charge, at no cost.
  2. (attributive, of prices) very low.
    • 2023 March 8, Howard Johnston, “Was Marples the real railway wrecker?”, in RAIL, number 978, page 51:
      There was also the influx of a third of a million road lorries, sold at giveaway prices after their war roles ceased and used by competing one-man businesses to skim off sundry agricultural freight.