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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Most of the gains wrought by the government’s early investment, though, are captured entirely by the companies that go on to patent and copyright the results. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "America’s Deadly Obsession With Intellectual Property," 21 May 2020 European bourses tumbled sharply at the open, wiping out much of yesterday's big gains. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Markets rally hits pause ahead of U.S. jobs data," 21 May 2020 The intermingling of viral and antibody tests suggests that some of those gains might be illusory. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "‘How Could the CDC Make That Mistake?’," 21 May 2020 That led to a flood of applications from homeowners looking to lower their rates, or to take advantage of equity gains delivered by a decade of rising home values. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Refinancing your mortgage in a pandemic: Expect longer waits, virtual process," 21 May 2020 But those who do commute may prefer to do so alone in their cars, offsetting some of those gains. The Economist, "The other crisis Can covid help flatten the climate curve?," 21 May 2020 That put both on course for their fourth straight day of gains. Frances Yoon, WSJ, "Coronavirus Updates: Companies Pivot as Consumer Habits Shift," 20 May 2020 The trip up had been a profitable one, though, and high multiples were no obstacle to five straight years of double-digit gains starting in 1995. Sarah Ponczek, Bloomberg.com, "Extreme Valuation Cases Wanted for a Red-Hot Rally in Equities," 19 May 2020 Nearly two-thirds of those job gains have been wiped out over the last two months. Diego Mendoza-moyers, ExpressNews.com, "Unemployment claims in San Antonio area top 106,000," 14 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The shares gained as much as 4.6% Monday, according to Tradegate. Tim Loh, Fortune, "Bayer reaches verbal deal to settle up to 85,000 Roundup cancer lawsuits," 25 May 2020 In 2008, the Fed gained explicit authority from Congress to pay commercial banks interest on reserve balances deposited at the central bank. Simon Kennedy, Bloomberg.com, "Why the U.S. Has Shunned Negative Interest Rates," 24 May 2020 Born into a staunchly secular family in 1950, Dr Collins gained his doctorate from Yale at 24. The Economist, "Jesus is not his vaccine Francis Collins on science and faith," 23 May 2020 America continues to face the worst labor market since the Great Depression, with the official unemployment figure already at over 20 million, representing a total loss of all jobs gained since the Great Recession. NBC News, "Feds charge Chinese national in $20 million PPP fraud scheme," 22 May 2020 Perkins gained widespread attention after referencing QAnon in an Election Day video Tuesday. oregonlive, "Oregon Republican Senate nominee reiterates support for ‘QAnon’ in national interview, then declines to verify stance," 22 May 2020 The idea of using seismometers to track urban noise gained popularity in March when Belgian seismologist Thomas Lecocq posted some of his urban noise data from Brussels on Twitter. Anna Kuchment, Dallas News, "‘Bored’ seismologists find a new hobby: Tracking silence," 21 May 2020 Netflix gained nearly 16 million subscribers during the same period—a new record. Judy Berman, Time, "What Will TV Look Like After the Pandemic?," 21 May 2020 Biden gained 4 points since mid-March in Morning Consult polling on the issue of who is more trusted to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "Voters trust Biden over Trump to handle coronavirus: Poll," 20 May 2020

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.

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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.

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Time Traveler for gain

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for gain

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gain. Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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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
How to pronounce gain (audio)

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.

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\ 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on gain

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gain

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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