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

Gold prices held on to their gains Wednesday, after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s most recent monetary-policy meeting showed that officials saw little need to change interest rates this year. Ira Iosebashvili, WSJ, "Gold Retains Gains after Fed Minutes," 10 Apr. 2019 It can be argued that every board member the Shed gains is one another arts organization loses. Chloe Malle, Town & Country, "Is the Shed the Defining Arts Institution of a New New York City?," 14 Mar. 2019 Enter Jake Gyllenhaal’s Morf Vandewalt (even his name is pretentious), the pompous, obnoxious art critic who has the power to manipulate the art world conversation for his own gain, making and breaking the careers of artists and dealers with glee. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "Netflix's Velvet Buzzsaw Shouldn't Work—But It (Mostly) Does," 3 Feb. 2019 Amazon isn’t the only company using freelance labor for its own gain. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "Amazon is cutting costs with its own delivery service — but its drivers don’t receive benefits," 26 Dec. 2018 Those who hold the public’s offices and use them for their own personal gain and enrichment should beware. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Ex-Troy city manager Kischnick in trouble again; faces bribery charges," 6 July 2018 The broad index ticked up 10.07 points, or 0.4%, to 2815.44, after flipping between gains and losses during the session. Jessica Menton, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks Close Higher as Investors Weigh Growth Concerns," 28 Mar. 2019 Here’s a look at the gains Nvidia saw when activating DLSS in Anthem on a Core i9-9900K system: Nvidia Note that Nvidia’s numbers cite 4K performance alone, even with the more mainstream GeForce RTX 2060. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "BioWare's Anthem adds DLSS support as Nvidia's RTX push continues," 26 Mar. 2019 But a year later, many of the students at the bottom of the class had made big learning gains: the share of students who could not read a single letter fell from 33 percent to 8 percent. Meagan Neal, Vox, "It’s hard to design good policies. This simple idea can help governments do it.," 21 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Though the majority of runners qualify for the race by besting difficult time standards, there are more than a thousand participants who gain entry by raising money for charities and non-profits. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "6 Things You Should Know Before Watching the 2019 Boston Marathon," 11 Apr. 2019 As the term has gained wider resonance, however, a few distinct parameters have emerged that more clearly align hopepunk with specific aesthetic and literary trends, and paint it as a counter to others. Aja Romano, Vox, "In the era of Trump and apocalyptic change, Hopepunk is a storytelling template for #resistance — and hanging onto your humanity at all costs.," 27 Dec. 2018 The history of this particular feud goes back decades—with both patterns gaining notoriety thanks to iconic hotels on opposite sides of the country. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Inside the Biggest Feud in Interior Design," 22 Mar. 2019 Macbooks, which recently got center stage when the Macbook Pro gained a flashy touchpad, are traditionally announced quietly whenever Intel's newest chips hit the market to upgrade Macs and PCs alike. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "For Apple's Big Event on Monday, Hardware Is Just a Sideshow," 21 Mar. 2019 Moreover, Milo reveals that some of his close friends, who are veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, shared their own experiences in combat, which helped him gain perspective. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Milo Ventimiglia: Jack Pearson Is Great, But He's Not Me," 19 Mar. 2019 Homocystinuria can lead to a number of health problems if left untreated, including developmental delays, seizures, and difficulty gaining weight or muscle. Tara C. Smith, SELF, "Why You Don't Actually Need to Test for MTHFR Gene Variants," 18 Mar. 2019 Many Friends fans think that Ross' instability in the second half of the series could easily have led to Ben's mother gaining full custody of her son. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "“Riverdale”’s Cole Sprouse Has a Crazy Theory About the Disappearance of His “Friends” Character," 19 Feb. 2019 Anti-seizure drugs that can calm muscle movements are also gaining prominence in RLS treatment. Kristin Auble, SELF, "9 Facts to Know About Restless Legs Syndrome," 16 Mar. 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

18 Apr 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

to move or proceed with twists and turns

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!