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Difference between Give one’s life for something and Give one’s life to something

give one’s life for something—(also: lay down one’s life for something) allow oneself to die for a good cause, etc.:

  • This monument is to honor soldiers who gave their life for the cause of liberty.

give one’s life to something—dedicate one’s whole life to smth.:

  • Socrates gave his life to the study of questions that have seized the minds of thinking people down the ages.

Note: The expression does not correlate in meaning with the phrase give life to something—impart interest, energ y, or enthusiasm to smth.:

  • Experienced actors could be contracted to give life to the play so that the work stands the best chance of attracting an audience.