give way

[give way] {v.} 1. To go back; retreat.

The enemy army is givingway before the cannon fire.

Compare: FALL BACK. 2. To make room, getout of the way.

The children gave way and let their mother throughthe door.

Compare: MAKE WAY. 3. To lose control of yourself; loseyour courage or hope; yield.

Mrs. Jones didn't give way during theflood, but she was very frightened.

Compare: GIVE UP, LOSE ONE'SHEAD. 4. To collapse; fail.

The river was so high that the dam gaveway.

Mary's legs gave way and she fainted.

Compare: GIVE OUT(4),LET GO(1a). 5. To let yourself be persuaded; give permission.

Billykept asking his mother if he could go to the movies and she finallygave way.

Compare: GIVE IN.