gift


gift
gift n
1 Gift, present, gratuity, favor, boon, largess are comparable when they denote something, often of value but not necessarily material, given freely to another for his benefit or pleasure.
Gift is the most inclusive term, but it is not interchangeable with some of the others, for apart from the context the term carries no hint of remuneration for something done or received and excludes all suggestion of return
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a birthday gift

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a gift to a museum

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gifts to the poor

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fear the Greeks bearing gifts

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every good gift and every perfect gift is from above— J as 1:17

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Present is ordinarily applied to something tangible which is offered as a compliment or expression of goodwill
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she used to define a present, "That it was a gift to a friend of something he wanted or was fond of, and which could not be easily gotten for money "—Swift

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flowers and fruits are always fit presentsEmerson

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little odd presents of game, fruits, perhaps wineLamb

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Gratuity implies voluntary compensation, usually in money, for some service for which there is no fixed charge or for special attention or service over and beyond what is normally included in a charge
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he distributed gratuities so generously that he received more attention than any other guest of the hotel

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pays five or six dollars for his dinner in a smart Mayfair club and then distributes another dollar or so in gratuitiesJoseph

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Favor applies to something given or granted to another as a token of one's affection, regard, or partiality or as an indulgence or concession. The term is often intentionally vague, especially when what is given is not a concrete thing
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he said he did not deserve so many favors from his party

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queen's favors might be fatal gifts, but they were much more fatal to reject than to accept— Henry Adams

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Concretely the term applies to various small things (as a ribbon, a cockade, or a lady's glove) given to a lover or admirer as a token or to some knickknack or other trifle given to guests (as at a wedding, a dance, or a party). Favor, rather than gift, is used in requests for something that can be had only from the person addressed
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ask the favor of a prompt reply

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begging the favor of a copy of his beautiful book— Meredith

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Boon applies to any gift or favor either as petitioned for or prayed for as something much desired or needed yet not necessarily regarded as a right
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high emperor, upon my feeble knee I beg this boon, with tears not lightly shed— Shak.

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if you mean to please any people, you must give them the boon which they ask— Burke

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I ask justice from you, and no boonSheridan

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or as given gratuitously and bringing with it such benefits or advantages that it is regarded as a blessing or cause for gratitude
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our forefathers have given us the boon of freedom

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the boon of free and unbought justice was a boon for all— J. R. Green

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Corinth was given certain boons, since it was a Julian colony, but Athens . . . was left to academic decay— Buchan

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Largess is a somewhat pompous term for a bountiful gift (as of money or of food and drink) or a liberal gratuity; it usually suggests an ostentatious bestowal
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the newly consecrated king bestowed largesses on all the heralds and minstrels

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Contrasting his [Anthony's] meager bounty with the largess of Octavius— Buchan

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dependent for her livelihood on the largess of a moody Danish lover— Jean Stafford

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Analogous words: *donation, benefaction, contribution, alms
2 Gift, faculty, aptitude, genius, talent, knack, bent, turn are comparable when they mean a special ability or a capacity for a definite kind of activity or achievement.
Gift applies not only to an ability but also to a quality; it suggests an origin not easily explainable by natural laws and often implies that the recipient is favored by God, by nature, or by fortune. It is, therefore, precisely applied to an innate ability, capacity, or quality, especially to one not commonly found and not possible of acquirement
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a gift of humor

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she has a real gift for arranging flowers— Wharton

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men have always reverenced prodigious inborn gifts, and always will— Eliot

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an artist is the sort of artist he is, because he happens to possess certain giftsHuxley

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Faculty (see also POWER 2) applies to either an innate or acquired ability or capacity; it does not apart from the context impute an extraordinary value or rarity to that power, but it does usually imply distinction or distinctiveness in its quality and skill or facility in its exercise
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he had not that faculty of extracting the essence from a heap of statements— Dickens

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she seemed to have lost her faculty of discrimination; her power of easily and graciously keeping everyone in his proper place— Cather

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Aptitude usually implies a natural liking and taste for a particular activity or pursuit as well as a native capacity for it and the ability to master its details or technique
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there are all sorts of people today who write from all sorts of motives other than a genuine aptitude for writing— Ellis

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at fourteen education should begin to be more or less specialized, according to the tastes and aptitudes of the pupil— Russell

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Genius, when it applies to ability or capacity rather than to a person who possesses that ability or capacity, suggests an inborn gift of impressive character or a combination of such gifts. Further than this the implications of the term are various and shifting, for the word is tied up in use with psychological, aesthetic, and critical explanations of the nature of genius; however, the word often retains its original implication of a controlling spirit and may denote an inner driving energy which compels utterance or performance, often of a lofty or transcendent quality
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the claim to possess a style must be conceded to many writers — Carlyle is one —who take no care to put listeners at their ease, but rely rather on native force of genius to shock and astound— Quiller-Couch

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in the contemporary novel genius is hard to find, talent is abundant— Brit. Book News

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The word is often employed in current English in the sense of gift, usually with a connotation of transcendence or of uniqueness
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she made her drawing room a sort of meeting place; she had a genius for it— Woolf

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Mr. G. K. Chesterton has a genius for saying new and surprising things about old subjects— Huxley

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In ironic use the connotation of transcendence is especially strong, but that of supreme unawareness is also usually evident
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he has a genius for ineptness of remark

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the genius for illogicality of the English people— Inge

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Talent comes very close in its meaning to gift when the latter term denotes a native capacity or an innate ability. Talent, however, often carries the implication, derived from the Scriptural parable of the servants' use of the talents (pieces of money) entrusted them by their master, that the gift is a trust and that its possessor has an obligation to develop it and put it to profitable use
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it is quite probable that many . . . who would make the best doctors are too poor to take the course. This involves a deplorable waste of talentRussell

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was he to leave such talents lying idle (and that after chafing for eight years to employ them)?— Belloc

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This basic implication in talent has led inevitably to another implication: that the gift is under the control of its possessor because its proper exercise depends on industry and the acquirement of necessary knowledge and skill. Talent is sometimes opposed to genius in the most exalted sense of that word as a lesser kind of power, capable of development through study and industry, completely under the control of the will, and tending to facile, agreeable, and effective, rather than exalted, performance or utterance
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while talent gives the notion of power in a man's performance, genius gives rather the notion of felicity and perfection in it— Arnold

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to achieve conspicuous mundane success in literature, a certain degree of good fortune is almost more important than genius, or even than talentBenson

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Knack stresses ease and dexterity in performance, though it usually implies an aptitude
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she has, certainly, something of a knack at characters— Burney

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an uncommon knack in Latin verse— Eliot

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improvisation was his knack and forte; he wrote rapidly and much—sometimes an entire novel in a month— Van Doren

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Bent usually implies a natural inclination or taste; it often carries the same implications as aptitude and is sometimes preferred in general use because of technical use of aptitude in educational psychology
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it doesn't seem to me that you've shown any great bent towards a scholastic life— Archibald Marshall

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the bent thus revealed for precise observation and classification— Babbitt

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Turn not only implies a bent but its actual proof in performance and often suggests skill or proficiency
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he had a turn for mechanics; had invented a plow in his district, had ordered wheelbarrows from England— Woolf

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must possess . . . artistic sensibility and a turn for clear thinking— Clive Bell

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Analogous words: endowment, dowry (see corresponding verbs at DOWER): *power, faculty, function: *acquirement, attainment, accomplishment, acquisition

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gift- — Gift …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • gift — n 1: an intentional and gratuitous transfer of real or personal property by a donor with legal capacity who actually or constructively delivers the property to the donee with the intent of giving up dominion over the property and investing it in… …   Law dictionary

  • GIFT — GIFT, the transfer of legal rights without any consideration or payment. It is essentially no more than a sale without payment and all the principles of the law of sale apply (see sale ). The Da at of the Parties The decision (gemirat ha da at)… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • gift — W2S2 [gıft] n [Date: 1200 1300; : Old Nors] 1.) something that you give someone, for example to thank them or because you like them, especially on a special occasion = ↑present ▪ The earrings were a gift from my aunt. gift of ▪ a generous gift of …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • gift — [gɪft] noun [countable] 1. something given to someone on a special occasion or to thank them; = PRESENT: • Sales of Christmas gifts are expected to grow about 20%. gift adjective [only before a noun] : • She has several years of experience …   Financial and business terms

  • Gift — Gift, n. [OE. gift, yift, yeft, AS. gift, fr. gifan to give; akin to D. & G. gift, Icel. gift, gipt, Goth. gifts (in comp.). See {Give}, v. t.] 1. Anything given; anything voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation; a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gift — und Galle zur Bezeichnung von großem Ärger oder Haß ist eine Redensart biblischen Ursprungs. Dtn 32, 33 heißt es: »Ihr Wein ist Drachengift und wütiger Ottern Galle«. Die Redensart hat sich aus dem Bibelzitat durch Verkürzung ergeben, z.B. Gift… …   Das Wörterbuch der Idiome

  • gift — /gIft/ noun (C) 1 OBJECT something that you give someone on a special occasion or to thank them: The earrings were a gift from my aunt. | make sb a gift of sth: Grandma made me a gift of her silver. | free gift: Enjoy a free gift with any… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • gift — [ gıft ] noun count *** 1. ) something that you give to someone as a present: He bought generous gifts for all his family. The video camera was a retirement gift from colleagues. She made a $50,000 gift to charity. 2. ) a natural ability to do… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • GiFT — Internet File Transfer (giFT, signifiant transfert de fichier par internet) est un daemon permettant l utilisation de plusieurs protocoles de partage de fichiers en pair à pair avec un seul client possèdant une interface utilisateur graphique… …   Wikipédia en Français


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