give to understand

[give to understand] {v. phr.}, {informal} 1. To make a personthink that something is true but not tell him; suggest; hint.

Mr.Johnson gave Billy to understand that he would pay him if he helpedhim clean the yard.

2. To make a person understand by telling himvery plainly or boldly.

Frank was given to understand in a shortnote from the boss that he was fired.