given


given
given, given that
These are used as a preposition and conjunction (introducing a subordinate clause) respectively with the meaning ‘(it being) granted or assumed (that)’. The history of their use shows them to be free of the need to be attached to a particular subject, and so they are not so-called ‘unattached participles’ (see participles 3, 4). In the following modern examples, given is grammatically free of the subject of the main clause in each case: (preposition)

• He didn't think that, given her ambitions and temperament, she would enjoy it —A. West, 1984

• There are doubts over the quality of the player he will be able to attract, given the uncertainty hanging over the north London club —Daily Telegraph, 2007

• (conjunction) Given how busy the Spanish monarchs were in the 1480s, it's a wonder they gave Columbus any notice at all —Chicago Tribune, 1988

• The sectors which are now almost wholly dependent on crude…will be forced to contract. Given that climate change caused by burning oil is cooking the planet, this might appear to be a good thing —Guardian, 2003.

A given (as a noun) is a term from philosophy evidently first used by William James in 1879 (If the philosopher fails to find a satisfactory formula of exorcism for his datum, the only thing he can do is to…assume the Given as his necessary ultimate) and now used more generally in the sense ‘a known or established fact or situation’.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • given — pp. adj., late 14c., allotted, predestined, from GIVE (Cf. give); also with a noun sense of fate, reflecting an important concept in pagan Germanic ideology (O.E. had giefeðe in this sense). The modern sense of what is given, known facts is from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • given — [giv′ən] vt., vi. pp. of GIVE adj. 1. bestowed; presented 2. accustomed, as from habit or inclination; prone [given to lying] 3. stated; specified [a given date] 4. taken as a premise; assumed; granted [given that ABC is a right trian …   English World dictionary

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  • given to — (doing something) to be likely to do something. Members of the academic community are given to attending meetings and conferences. Usage notes: usually used after be, as in the example …   New idioms dictionary