gain

noun
\ ˈgān How to pronounce gain (audio) \

Definition of gain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : resources or advantage acquired or increased : profit made substantial gains last year
2 : the act or process of acquiring something
3a : 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

gain

verb
gained; gaining; gains

Definition of gain (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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
2a : to make an increase of (a specified amount) gained three percent in the past month
b : to increase in (a particular quality) gain momentum
3 : to win to one's side : persuade gain adherents to a cause
4 : to cause to be obtained or given : attract gain attention
5 of a timepiece : to run fast by the amount of the clock gains a minute a day

intransitive verb

1 : to get advantage : profit hoped to gain by the deal
2a : increase the day was gaining in warmth
b : to increase in weight
c : to improve in health or ability
3 of a timepiece : to run fast
4 : to get closer to something pursued usually used with on or upon
gain ground
: to make progress

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from gain

Verb

gainer noun

Examples of gain in a Sentence

Noun

The medication can cause nausea and weight gain. attributed her recent weight gain to the medication she was taking

Verb

They stand to gain an advantage over their competitors by getting an early start. What do you hope to gain from this? gain control of the territory Investigators are trying to gain access to the group's financial records. We were unable to gain admission to the club. We need to gain a better understanding of the problem. They had nothing to lose and everything to gain. He first gained attention as a young writer. Her theories are slowly gaining acceptance. I took the job to gain experience.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The network’s students made impressive gains and the majority showed growth beyond officials' expectations, according to a NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune report from 2009. nola.com, "Southern University graduate named CEO of Algiers Charter network," 6 June 2019 Yes, the Democrats picked up five House seats—the only off-year gain for a presidential incumbent’s party since FDR in 1934. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "1998 Was a Seinfeld Election—Not an Impeachment Referendum," 6 June 2019 Some markets saw big year-over-year percentage gains in home flips including Columbus, Georgia (up 83%); Raleigh, North Carolina (up 73%), and Charlotte, North Carolina (up 65%). Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Home flipping becoming less common and less profitable in Dallas-Fort Worth," 6 June 2019 Facebook lagged the market and swayed between small gains and losses. Washington Post, "US stocks move broadly higher; Dow jumps 400 points," 4 June 2019 Elsewhere, the Supra TRD claims a gain in downforce thanks to front and rear valances with taller side flaps at each corner, plus revised side skirts with new flaps aft of the front. Clifford Atiyeh, Car and Driver, "Toyota Releases TRD Performance Styling Parts for the 2020 Supra," 20 May 2019 Four years later, Democrats kept the Congress and won the White House, but with light gains in the former and a very narrow margin in the latter. Julia Azari, Vox, "Narratives are simple. Elections are complicated.," 8 Nov. 2018 Overall, the company is claiming about a 20-percent performance improvement over the current Xeon SPs and 240 percent over AMD's Epyc, with bigger gains coming in workloads that are particularly memory bandwidth intensive. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Intel announces Cascade Lake Xeons: 48 cores and 12-channel memory per socket," 5 Nov. 2018 Meanwhile, tech workers in the Valley have seen their incomes go up across every bracket — with the highest gains in real wages at the 80th and 90th percentile of tech’s income earners, at around 38 and 35 percent, respectively. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "Inequality in Silicon Valley is getting worse: Wages are down for everyone but the top 10 percent," 13 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After nearly three months of inactivity, the case has gained momentum in recent weeks with a flurry of filings and motions as settlement talks appear to have ceased. (chadd Cady), San Diego Union-Tribune, "Jalen McDaniels makes admissions in video case," 8 June 2019 The city also has gained a new hipness factor with the arrival of several trendy restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Jc Reindl, Detroit Free Press, "These are metro Detroit's top 5 places for first-time home buyers," 7 June 2019 In recent years, however, an opposing view has gained strength: The restriction reinforces inequality because Medicaid and other federal programs covered by the amendment mostly serve poor women. David Lauter, latimes.com, "On abortion, Joe Biden decides it’s better to switch than fight," 7 June 2019 The company’s stock, which hit a record closing price of $82.27 a share on May 3, has gained nearly a third of its value this year, compared with Nasdaq’s 15% gain. Maria Armental, WSJ, "Discover Financial Seeks New Finance Chief to Drive Next Phase of Growth," 6 June 2019 Aurora has gained about 40,000 residents in each of the past two decennial censuses. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora geared to push U.S. Census count," 5 June 2019 The killings have exacerbated a surge in violent crime in Dallas that has gained national attention with last month’s 41 homicides — the city’s highest monthly tally since the 1990s. Marc Ramirez, Dallas News, "Dozens gather to remember 13-year-old slain in Pleasant Grove as Dallas' violent crime surge continues," 5 June 2019 The bill was first introduced years ago and has slowly gained momentum as more lawmakers came out in support. Fox News, "New York passes bill outlawing cat declawing, prompting pro-life outcry on state's liberal abortion practices," 5 June 2019 His music has gained traction quickly since the release of his first song in 2016. Juliana Kim, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore rapper YBS Skola receives 5-year prison sentence for guns, drugs," 5 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of gain

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for gain

Noun

Middle English gain, borrowed from Anglo-French gain, gaigne, gaaing "tillage, winning, profit," derivative of gaainer, gaaigner "to till, secure (profit, advantage)" — more at gain entry 2

Note: See note at gain entry 2.

Verb

Middle English gaynen "to prevail against," borrowed from Anglo-French gaainer, gaaigner "to cultivate, till, secure (profit, advantage), capture, acquire, be victorious," going back to Old Low Franconian *waiđanjan, of uncertain meaning and origin

Note: The presumed Old Low Franconian verb *waiđanjan has no exact counterpart in neighboring Germanic languages, and given the diverse meanings of the French verb, hypotheses that explain it are all somewhat tenuous. The base has traditionally been taken to be that of Old High German weida "pasture," Old Saxon weiđa, from which a verb meaning "to pasture" was derived, which then hypothetically developed the sense "to cultivate, till" and further derived senses. Alternatively, the verb could be linked to Old High German weidenōn "to hunt," a derivative of weida "hunt, quantity of game taken, catch" (corresponding to Old English wāth "hunt, chase, wandering," Old Norse veiðr "catch, haul of fish"). In Middle English both the noun and verb are presumed to have crossed with borrowings of Old Norse gagn "advantage, victory." Early Modern English gain has acquired senses directly from Middle French and French gagner.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gain

Dictionary Entries near gain

Gaillard

gaillardia

gaily

gain

gaincope

gaine

Gaines

Statistics for gain

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gain

The first known use of gain was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gain

gain

noun

Financial Definition of gain

What It Is

A gain, also called a capital gain, is an increase in the value of an investment. It is the difference between the purchase price (the basis) and the sale price of an asset. Thus the formula for gain is:

Sale Price - Purchase Price = Gain

Note that this formula assumes the sale price is higher than the purchase price. If an investor sells an asset for less than he or she paid, this is called a loss.

How It Works

Let's assume you purchase 100 shares of Company XYZ for $1 per share. After three months, the share price increases to $5. This means the value of the investment has increased from $100 to $500, for a gain of $400.

Why It Matters

Gains are taxable, but only when they are realized. That is, they only become taxable when the asset is sold. Until that point, any gains are considered unrealized and are not taxable. The IRS considers nearly every asset owned by individuals and companies as capital assets and thus subject to capital gains taxes.

Taxpayers report capital gains on IRS Schedule D, but these gains are subject to different tax rates depending on whether they are short-term or long-term (and in some cases depending on the type of asset). In the example above, if you sold the Company XYZ shares after a year, the IRS would consider your $400 profit a long-term capital gain and tax it at one of several flat rates. However, if you sold the Company XYZ shares after just three months, the IRS would consider your $400 profit a short-term capital gain and tax that $400 at your ordinary income tax rate, which varies by several factors, including which state you live in, and is generally higher than the long-term capital gains tax rate. This system encourages long-term investing, but there are still many logical reasons an investor might want to sell an asset before a year has passed.

Some retirement vehicles, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, allow investors to buy and sell assets within these vehicles without becoming subject to capital gains tax. This tax deferral effectively gives investors a larger balance on which to compound interest or returns, with capital gains tax applying only when the investor begins to make withdrawals.

An investor's capital losses sometimes will offset all or a portion of his or her capital gains, lowering the investor's tax bill. There is a limit, however, to how much the investor can offset. Note also that the IRS does not treat the distributions of net realized long-term capital gains, like those from a mutual fund, for example, as capital gains. The IRS treats those as ordinary dividends.

Source: Investing Answers

gain

noun

English Language Learners Definition of gain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

gain

verb

English Language Learners Definition of gain (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

gain

noun
\ ˈgān How to pronounce gain (audio) \

Kids Definition of gain

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something valuable or desirable that is obtained or acquired : profit financial gains
2 : an increase in amount, size, or degree

gain

verb
gained; gaining

Kids Definition of gain (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to get or win often by effort You gain knowledge by study. He exercised to gain strength.
2 : to get or acquire in a natural or gradual way He gained ten pounds.
3 : to increase in The car gained speed.
4 : to get to : reach The swimmer gained the shore.
5 : to get an advantage : profit We all gained from the lesson.

Keep scrolling for more

\ ˈgān How to pronounce gain (audio) \

Medical Definition of gain

: to improve in health the patient gained daily

gain

noun

Legal Definition of gain

1 : an increase in value, capital, or amount — compare loss
capital gain
: a gain realized on the sale or exchange of a capital asset (as a stock or real estate)
casualty gain
: a gain realized by an insured because property insurance benefits paid for a loss from a casualty or theft are greater than the adjusted value of the insured asset
long-term capital gain
: a capital gain realized on the sale or exchange of an asset held for more than a specified period (as a year)
ordinary gain
: a gain from the exchange or sale of an asset that is not capital
short-term capital gain
: a capital gain realized on the sale or exchange of an asset held for less than a specified period (as a year) that is treated as ordinary income under federal income tax laws
2  plural, in the civil law of Louisiana : a class of community property that reflects the increase in property value contributed by the common skill or labor of the spouses

Other Words from gain

gain verb

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on gain

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gain

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gain

Spanish Central: Translation of gain

Nglish: Translation of gain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gain for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gain

Comments on gain

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

WORD OF THE DAY

behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!