Definition of give or take — in English:

give or take —


  • 1To within a specified amount.

    ‘three hundred and fifty years ago, give or take a few’
    • ‘Although no one knows for certain, most authorities agree that the pug originated in China around 2,500 years ago, give or take a few centuries.’
    • ‘The standard indoor track is 200m long give or take 20m or so.’
    • ‘Eight hours ago - give or take a couple minutes - his aunt had flown to California to visit an old roommate from her college years.’
    • ‘Which, give or take five minutes or so, is when we got there.’
    • ‘After doing that we discovered that a extinction event we think occurred 46,500 years ago, give or take a couple of thousand years.’
    • ‘They found that the mass extinction occurred 46,400 years ago, give or take 3,000 years.’
    • ‘The deficit is about £200,000, give or take £20,000.’
    • ‘He departed this vale two decades or so ago, give or take a few years.’
    • ‘In fact, I think you could probably watch this movie within about fifteen minutes, give or take thirty seconds.’
    • ‘So that means that for every year we operate, the government debt grows by $200 million, give or take $30 million.’
    1. 1.1 Apart from.
      ‘it's a process that runs fairly smoothly, give or take the occasional glitch’
      • ‘I spent almost my entire first 17 years, give or take a day out or the odd holiday, within a one mile radius of the house that's been our home for over 50 years.’
      • ‘Six years ago he was about where he is now, give or take a law degree and the snappy suit.’
      • ‘Nothing too substantial can happen to them, either good or bad, so you know the novel will be left tied up in a neat package which leaves them roughly where they began, give or take a scar.’
      • ‘I'm still essentially the same as I was 20 years ago, give or take a few stone - but there are some dodgy areas for women of my age.’
      • ‘That's the plot, give or take a few details.’