What's the meaning of "give" in this context? (...at least they give a little) Emily's husband is hospitalized and she tried to find him some nice down pillows, (since they're very rich and she thinks the hospital pillows are cheap and unacceptable) but couldn't in the end and says as below to him. Emily: I've finally found you some decent pillows. They're not down, but at least they *give* a little. What's the meaning of "give" here? I of course looked it up in the dictionary for definitions I might not be familiar with, but I couldn't find one and still don't understand what the sentence means here.
Oct 1, 2019 9:04 AM
Answers · 2
The meaning here is the seventh under give in the Oxford English Dictionary: “Alter in shape under pressure rather than resist or break” It may be literal changing shape like your example or an example they list is a country’s negotiating position doesn’t have much give in it. For your pillows it’s just another way to say they will compress a bit and aren’t hard and unyielding. It could have been phrased the other way, “at least these have a little give in them”. That use might be American English, but it’s not uncommon.
October 1, 2019
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