gain·​ful | \ ˈgān-fəl How to pronounce gainful (audio) \

Definition of gainful

: productive of gain : profitable gainful employment

Other Words from gainful

gainfully \ ˈgān-​fə-​lē How to pronounce gainful (audio) \ adverb
gainfulness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for gainful



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of gainful in a Sentence

graduated from school and went looking for gainful employment
Recent Examples on the Web Lifting the barrier to gainful employment, along with the recognition that businesses desperately need more workers, companies are changing their tune on job seekers who have criminal records. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 28 June 2022 We will not be rendered invisible, made to hide our family pictures at our work desks for fear of reprisal if our right to gainful employment gets stripped. Allison Hope, CNN, 1 June 2022 With very few means of gainful employment or in-town entertainment, painting was both a popular pastime and a potential source of income. Anthony Ham, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 May 2022 One not-so-subtle data point illuminates the challenge employers face as U.S. employees, especially those between the ages of 20 to 34, are willingly leaving gainful employment. Rod Berger, Forbes, 5 May 2022 Huddleston said that although the unemployment rate is low, Arkansans are still struggling to get and maintain gainful employment because of child care, housing, transportation and other expenses. Stephen Simpson, Arkansas Online, 23 Apr. 2022 Is there some sustainable within gainful employment that all Americans are able to achieve? Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 16 Apr. 2022 The department has started rewriting a federal rule, known as gainful employment, that aims to prevent students from taking on too much debt to attend predatory for-profit colleges. Katie Lobosco, CNN, 27 Mar. 2022 However, the department would still strip federal funding from career education programs that fail to meet the gainful-employment standard. Steven Taylor, National Review, 10 Feb. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of gainful

1553, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gainful

gain entry 1 + -ful entry 1

Learn More About gainful

Time Traveler for gainful

Time Traveler

The first known use of gainful was in 1553

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near gainful



gainfully employed

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for gainful

Last Updated

11 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gainful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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

More Definitions for gainful


gain·​ful | \ ˈgān-fəl How to pronounce gainful (audio) \

Kids Definition of gainful

: producing gain : making money She found gainful employment.

More from Merriam-Webster on gainful

Nglish: Translation of gainful for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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