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noun \ˈgān\

Simple Definition of gain

  • : something wanted or valued that is gotten : something that is gained; especially : money gotten through some activity or process

  • : something that is helpful : advantage or benefit

  • : an increase in amount, size, or number

Full Definition of gain

  1. 1 :  resources or advantage acquired or increased :  profit <made substantial gains last year>

  2. 2 :  the act or process of gaining

  3. 3 a :  an increase in amount, magnitude, or degree <a gain in efficiency> b :  the increase (as of voltage or signal intensity) caused by an amplifier; especially :  the ratio of output over input c :  the signal-gathering ability of an antenna

Examples of gain

  1. The medication can cause nausea and weight gain.

  2. <attributed her recent weight gain to the medication she was taking>

Origin of gain

Middle English gayne, from Anglo-French gaigne, gain, from gaaigner to till, earn, gain, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German weidanōn to hunt for food, Old English wāth pursuit, hunt

First Known Use: 14th century




Simple Definition of gain

  • : to get (something wanted or valued)

  • : to win (something) in a competition, battle, etc.

  • : to gradually get (something) or more of (something) as time passes

Full Definition of gain

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to acquire or get possession of usually by industry, merit, or craft <gain an advantage> <he stood to gain a fortune> b :  to win in competition or conflict <the troops gained enemy territory> c (1) :  to arrive at :  reach, attain <gained the river that night> (2) :  traverse, cover <gained 10 yards on the play> d :  to get by a natural development or process <gain strength> e :  to establish a specific relationship with <gain a friend>

  3. 2 a :  to make an increase of (a specified amount) <gained three percent in the past month> b :  to increase in (a particular quality) <gain momentum>

  4. 3 :  to win to one's side :  persuade <gain adherents to a cause>

  5. 4 :  to cause to be obtained or given :  attract <gain attention>

  6. 5 of a timepiece :  to run fast by the amount of <the clock gains a minute a day>

  7. intransitive verb
  8. 1 :  to get advantage :  profit <hoped to gain by the deal>

  9. 2 a :  increase <the day was gaining in warmth> b :  to increase in weight c :  to improve in health or ability

  10. 3 of a timepiece :  to run fast

  11. 4 :  to get closer to something pursued —usually used with on or upon

gain·er noun
gain ground
  1. :  to make progress

Examples of gain

  1. They stand to gain an advantage over their competitors by getting an early start.

  2. What do you hope to gain from this?

  3. gain control of the territory

  4. Investigators are trying to gain access to the group's financial records.

  5. We were unable to gain admission to the club.

  6. We need to gain a better understanding of the problem.

  7. They had nothing to lose and everything to gain.

  8. He first gained attention as a young writer.

  9. Her theories are slowly gaining acceptance.

  10. I took the job to gain experience.

14th Century

First Known Use of gain

14th century

Medical Dictionary


intransitive verb \ˈgān\

Medical Definition of gain

  1. :  to improve in health <the patient gained daily>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up gain? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

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