A dictionary definition of "sharp-tongued" reads:

(of a person) given to using cutting, harsh, or critical language."

What does "given to" mean?

I don't understand why "given to" is used here.


A person is "given to" something if they have a tendency or likelihood of doing that thing.

| improve this answer | |
  • Got it. Ok. then, if I say someone is likely to nurish feelings of hatred, can I say he is given to a hatred? – dennylv Oct 24 '13 at 8:00
  • 2
    @dennylv - I might say he is "given to feelings of hate," or maybe even "given to hatred," but not "given to a hatred. (You wouldn't use an article when saying someone is given to a particular emotion.) I'd probably just say, "He tends to hate things," though. – J.R. Oct 24 '13 at 9:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.