earn

1 of 2

verb (1)

earned; earning; earns

transitive verb

1
a
: to receive as return for effort and especially for work done or services rendered
b
: to bring in by way of return
bonds earning 10 percent interest
2
a
: to come to be duly worthy of or entitled or suited to
she earned a promotion
b
: to make worthy of or obtain for
the suggestion earned him a promotion
earner noun

earn

2 of 2

verb (2)

earned; earning; earns

Examples of earn in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
On this week’s edition of the TikTok Billboard Top 50, Coldplay earns their first top 10 hit. Hugh McIntyre, Forbes, 19 Feb. 2024 This includes earning a bachelor’s degree, additional education to meet the 150 semester hours requirement, gaining practical experience, preparing for the CPA exam, and applying for licensure. Bryce Welker, Miami Herald, 19 Feb. 2024 Upon its release in 1972, Deliverance became the fifth-highest grossing film of the year at the U.S. box office, earning nominations for best picture and director as well as film editing. Rhett Bartlett, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Feb. 2024 Bhut jolokia, or 'ghost pepper,' earned the Guinness World Records title in 2007 but has since been replaced by the painfully fiery Carolina Reaper. Deb Wiley, Better Homes & Gardens, 19 Feb. 2024 Fanny’s host is practically hostile when this uninvited foreigner first shows up, but that’s before a disarmingly candid (and frequently dishonest) Fanny starts to share stories invented to earn sympathy. Peter Debruge, Variety, 19 Feb. 2024 Ross Chastain, whose daring last-lap pass while riding against the wall at Martinsville in 2022 went viral and earned him a bid in that year’s championship final, drives for the team co-owned by music star Pitbull and will start 21st in the No. 1 Chevrolet. Travis Caldwell, CNN, 18 Feb. 2024 City Council members serve part time and earn an annual pay of $62,900. Tammy Murga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Feb. 2024 The album was released on Feb. 9 and earned 91,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Feb. 15. Keith Caulfield, Billboard, 18 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'earn.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb (1)

Middle English ernen, from Old English earnian; akin to Old High German arnōn to reap, Czech jeseň autumn

Verb (2)

probably alteration of yearn

First Known Use

Verb (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (2)

circa 1530, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of earn was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near earn

Cite this Entry

“Earn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/earn. Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

earn

verb
ˈərn
1
: to get for services given
earn a good salary
2
: to deserve as a result of labor or service
earned good grades
earner noun

More from Merriam-Webster on earn

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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