\ ˈərn How to pronounce earn (audio) \
earned; earning; earns

Definition of earn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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
2a : 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
earned; earning; earns

Definition of earn (Entry 2 of 2)

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Other Words from earn

Verb (1)

earner noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for earn

Synonyms: Verb (1)

Antonyms: Verb (1)

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Examples of earn in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Pac-12 tournament winner earns an automatic berth to the NCAAs. oregonlive, "Pac-12 planning a conference baseball tournament starting in 2021, report says," 22 May 2020 From Iraq to Michigan Born in Iraq, Naisan earned an engineering degree and lived with her husband in Baghdad. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, "Chaldean immigrant parents in Michigan die from coronavirus, leaving behind 3 kids," 22 May 2020 Under Arizona's current policy, recipients can earn only $30 a week on top of unemployment benefits before payments are reduced. Andrew Oxford, azcentral, "Majority of Arizonans support increase in state unemployment benefits, Morrison Institute-Republic poll finds," 21 May 2020 His Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, earned 27.2% of the vote, and Evan McMullin, an independent candidate, took home 21.3%. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "'I'll bet 90% of us vote by mail': Mitt Romney jabs Trump over mail-in voting concerns by touting Utah statistics," 21 May 2020 Samanta earned a bachelor’s degree from the university in 1994 and a master’s degree in 1995. Teri Webster, Dallas News, "UT Dallas emergency fund created to help international students impacted by COVID-19 economic downturn," 21 May 2020 Under the new format, his Mustangs would have instead earned a first-round playoff game against someone else. Matt Goul, cleveland, "OHSAA football playoff expansion in 2021 is next step of evolving the sport," 21 May 2020 All their work earned the admiration of their cast — maybe even too much in one case. Derek Lawrence, EW.com, "How White Chicks went 'A Thousand Miles' to become a surprise summer classic," 21 May 2020 The site earned praise from Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator. Arian Campo-flores, WSJ, "Florida Health Department Worker Ousted After Warnings Over Covid-19 Data," 20 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'earn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of earn

Verb (1)

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

Verb (2)

circa 1530, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for earn

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

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Time Traveler for earn

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for earn

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Earn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/earn. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for earn


\ ˈərn How to pronounce earn (audio) \
earned; earning

Kids Definition of earn

1 : to get for work done She earns her pay.
2 : to deserve as a result of labor or service He earned good grades.

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More from Merriam-Webster on earn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for earn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with earn

Spanish Central: Translation of earn

Nglish: Translation of earn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of earn for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about earn

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