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 House Republicans on Monday pressed witnesses on the constitutionality of making D.C. a state and accused Democrats of seeking statehood for political gain. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, "What would statehood for Washington, DC mean — and could it finally happen?," 25 Mar. 2021 Under Donald Trump’s presidency, the forces of hate were abetted for short-term political gain. Los Angeles Times, "Representation isn’t just about visibility. Shootings remind us it’s about life and death," 23 Mar. 2021 Biden cannot fire DeJoy; postal operations are purposefully insulated from the presidency and Congress to prevent politicians from tinkering with the mail system for political gain. BostonGlobe.com, "USPS chief DeJoy said to cut post office hours, lengthen delivery times in 10-year-plan," 22 Mar. 2021 Trump showed us that clearly with his sowing of hate and pitting communities of color against one another for political gain. Sam Dorman, Fox News, "San Francisco school official attacks Trump, faces growing calls to resign over anti-Asian tweets," 22 Mar. 2021 Ford’s goal in the appointment was to restore public trust in the idea that federal officials would enforce the law equally, not abuse it for political gain, as Nixon’s allies had. David Rohde, The New Yorker, "Garland Is the Last, Best Chance to Uncover Trump’s Role on January 6th," 21 Mar. 2021 Biden cannot fire DeJoy; postal operations are purposefully insulated from the presidency and Congress to prevent politicians from tinkering with the mail system for political gain. Washington Post, "USPS chief DeJoy said to cut post office hours, lengthen delivery times in 10-year-plan," 3 Mar. 2021 Former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke accused Texas’s Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of intentionally sacrificing the lives of Texans for political gain via his decision to completely reopen the state’s economy. Andrew Mark Miller, Washington Examiner, "Beto O'Rourke accuses Texas governor of 'sacrificing lives' for political gain," 3 Mar. 2021 The rise of any new technology can attract people who try to exploit it for personal gain. Alyssa Fernandez, Dallas News, "Dallas radio detectives once policed the air and fended off wavelength criminals," 18 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb One Broadway source asserted that the shows that get their touring business together first will gain crucial liquidity, which would mean a springboard to Broadway. Helen Shaw, Vulture, "What Happens to New York Theater on April 2?," 2 Apr. 2021 The mRNA system also can be more rapidly modified to fight variants, and production times are being driven down as manufacturers gain expertise. Washington Post, "Advocates want NIH to use its Moderna vaccine patent to push for global access," 25 Mar. 2021 Christie’s has decided that there’s more to gain than to lose by lending its name and reputation to the nascent N.F.T. market. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, "How Beeple Crashed the Art World," 22 Mar. 2021 Demand for oil is rebounding as vaccine rollouts gain traction and the economy returns to something resembling normalcy. Nicolás Rivero, Quartz, "Saudi Aramco has lost the title of world’s most profitable company," 21 Mar. 2021 Instead, the inoculation, a collaboration between University of Oxford researchers and one of the world's biggest drug companies, has been plagued with missteps as other vaccines gain speed. BostonGlobe.com, "AstraZeneca, once touted as a pandemic slayer, faces challenges," 21 Mar. 2021 Magufuli's death, the first of a Tanzanian leader while in office, opens the prospect that the country will gain its first female president. NBC News, "Tanzania's Covid-skeptic leader Magufuli dies after weeks of rumors about his health," 18 Mar. 2021 President Joe Biden is engineering a sharp shift in policy toward China, focused on gathering allies to counter Beijing's coercive diplomacy around the world and ensuring that China does not gain a permanent advantage in critical technologies. David E. Sanger And Michael Crowley New York Times, Star Tribune, "Biden forms plan to counter China," 18 Mar. 2021 As more families and unaccompanied minors gain entry to the United States, news is swirling that America’s borders are opening, encouraging others to come. The Economist, "Joe Biden faces a humanitarian crisis at the southern border," 16 Mar. 2021

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

Time Traveler for gain

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for gain

Last Updated

4 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gain. Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gain

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.
\ ˈgān How to pronounce gain (audio) \

Medical Definition of gain

: to improve in health the patient gained daily

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!