Definition of give someone up for lost in US English:

give someone up for lost


  • Stop expecting that a missing person will be found alive.

    • ‘Meantime the people in England gave him up for lost, and the hand of the wealthy and beautiful countess became the aim of the greedy courtiers.’
    • ‘For a full hour nothing was seen of him, and every one gave him up for lost.’
    • ‘If a warrior didn't return for a very, very long time, about ten years, then the family would mourn and give them up for lost.’
    • ‘Now, it seems to me that anyone in the USA writing as late as October, ought to be well aware that Amelia Earhart had been given up for lost long before.’
    • ‘Cherokee searchers were unable to find him and gave him up for lost.’
    • ‘Now, after months of searching, she gave him up for lost.’
    • ‘He had disappeared into the jungle with an Indian woman and was gone so long, weeks, that the explorer gave him up for lost and was ready to move on when he finally reappeared out of the forest.’
    • ‘He had searched for her, but eventually had to give her up for lost.’
    • ‘He fell ill, so deathly ill, that the doctors gave him up for lost, and the mullahs prepared to give him the last rites.’
    • ‘They heard me twice and then lost sight of me and gave me up for lost.’