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

Definition of gainful

: productive of gain : profitable gainful employment

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Other Words from gainful

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for gainful



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Examples of gainful in a Sentence

graduated from school and went looking for gainful employment
Recent Examples on the Web None of its programs failed gainful employment regulations. Rachel Leingang, azcentral, "Grand Canyon University must follow for-profit rules despite its return to nonprofit status, feds say," 7 Nov. 2019 Still, for a business that depends on travel and social gatherings, there may be few opportunities for gainful employment, and several crew members said they were concerned that their skills were not easily translatable to other businesses. Ben Sisario, New York Times, "Concerts Are on Hold. Workers Behind the Stars Are Hurting.," 17 Mar. 2020 For the author, on the brink of middle age, those things included the recent death of his unhappy father and his strained relationship with gainful employment. John Glassie, Washington Post, "In ‘Short Life in a Strange World,’ paintings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder help an author make sense of his existence," 11 Mar. 2020 In June 2019, DeVos announced a final repeal of the gainful employment rules. NBC News, "Federal teachers' union sues Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for repeal of student protections," 23 Jan. 2020 After an abortive attempt at moving out in the pilot, Nora resettles into her room, nudged toward slightly more gainful employment by her father and going on day trips to Atlantic City with her grandma. Inkoo Kang, The Hollywood Reporter, "Critic's Notebook: 'Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens' and the Freshness of Angst-Free Asian Americans," 26 Feb. 2020 But the industry and its allies argue that policies such as the gainful employment rule limit students’ options by unfairly singling out one segment of higher education and punishing schools that have done nothing wrong. Alexei Koseff,, "California bill targeting for-profit colleges is gutted," 1 July 2019 Most borderline prospects who find gainful employment in the N.B.A. have an invaluable and easily identifiable skill, Popovich said. Scott Cacciola, New York Times, "Some N.B.A. Draft-Night Snubs Are Turning Into Stars," 11 Dec. 2019 At the heart of the issue is whether Americans who are struggling with gainful employment are overly reliant on food stamps. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Total Trump food-stamp cuts could hit up to 5.3 million households," 10 Dec. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of gainful

1553, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gainful

gain entry 1 + -ful entry 1

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Time Traveler for gainful

Time Traveler

The first known use of gainful was in 1553

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Statistics for gainful

Last Updated

1 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gainful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for gainful


How to pronounce gainful (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of gainful

: paying money


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

Kids Definition of gainful

: producing gain : making money She found gainful employment.

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More from Merriam-Webster on gainful

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gainful

Spanish Central: Translation of gainful

Nglish: Translation of gainful for Spanish Speakers

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