\ 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

Examples of earn in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Pareja earned his first senior head coaching role in 2012 with the Colorado Rapids. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City names Óscar Pareja new head coach," 5 Dec. 2019 Tatcha: Choose a card and earn a mystery gift, now through December 1 at the super-luxe skincare brand. Staff, CNN Underscored, "Cyber Monday 2019: 100+ of the best deals you can start shopping now," 1 Dec. 2019 Screen Junkies—an online movie magazine and YouTube channel, owned and operated by Fandom—earned Internet fame for their snarky Honest Trailer series, mercilessly skewering overwrought film trailers. Ars Technica, "Never Surrender is a heartfelt tribute to sci-fi action comedy Galaxy Quest," 30 Nov. 2019 In 2018, their divorce was finalized and Kimberly earned a $2 million pay-out, not to mention nearly $14,000 a month for child support. Rebecca Norris, Country Living, "A Timeline of Dennis Quaid’s Relationships, Including His Engagement to Laura Savoie," 28 Nov. 2019 Their public struggles with mental health earned them both a horrifying amount of vitriol. Self, "No, You Shouldn’t Call Someone ‘Crazy.’ But Do We Have to Ban the Word Entirely?," 27 Nov. 2019 Gannett may earn revenue from audience referrals to betting services. Joe Williams, Boxing Junkie, "Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz weigh-in: Wilder 219½, Ortiz 236½," 22 Nov. 2019 Donald Trump proved in 2016 that breaking political norms every night earned him more sustained TV coverage than any campaign ad could. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "The Media’s Irrational Obsession With Campaign War Chests," 22 Nov. 2019 Public Eye argues the wages workers in its supply chain earn would need to nearly double or triple in some instances to hit that mark. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "Zara’s sustainable sweatshirt raises troubling fashion ethics issues," 21 Nov. 2019

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

8 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Earn.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/earning. Accessed 14 December 2019.

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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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