gath·​er | \ ˈga-t͟hər How to pronounce gather (audio) also ˈge- \
gathered; gathering\ ˈgat͟h-​riŋ How to pronounce gather (audio) , ˈga-​t͟hə-​ \

Definition of gather

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to bring together : collect tried to gather a crowd gathered firewood
2a : pick, harvest gather flowers
b : to pick up or amass as if by harvesting gathering ideas for the project
c : to scoop up or take up from a resting place gathered the child up in his arms
3 : to serve as an attraction for : accumulate books gathering dust
4 : to effect the collection of gather contributions
5a : to summon up gathered his courage
b : to gain by gradual increase gather speed
c : to prepare (oneself) by mustering strength
d : to gain or regain control of gathered his wits
6 : to reach a conclusion often intuitively from hints or through inferences I gather that you want to leave
7a : to pull (fabric) along a line of stitching so as to draw into puckers
b : to draw about or close to something gathering her cloak about her
c : to bring together the parts of gathered her hair into a ponytail
d : to assemble (the signatures of a book) in sequence for binding
e : to haul in the sailors gathered the sails

intransitive verb

1a : to come together in a body
b : to cluster around a focus of attraction
2a : to swell and fill with pus
b : grow, increase the gathering crisis



Definition of gather (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something brought together: such as
a : a puckering in cloth made by gathering (see gather entry 1 sense 7a)
b : a mass of molten glass collected for use in glassblowing
2 : an act or instance of bringing together

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Other Words from gather


gatherer \ ˈga-​t͟hər-​ər How to pronounce gather (audio) also  ˈge-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for gather


gather, collect, assemble, congregate mean to come or bring together into a group, mass, or unit. gather is the most general term for bringing or coming together from a spread-out or scattered state. a crowd quickly gathered collect often implies careful selection or orderly arrangement. collected books on gardening assemble implies an ordered union or organization of persons or things often for a definite purpose. experts assembled for a conference congregate implies a spontaneous flocking together into a crowd or huddle. congregating under a shelter

synonyms see in addition infer

Examples of gather in a Sentence

Verb Give me just a minute to gather my things and then we can leave. The coach gathered her players together. She gathered her hair into a ponytail. The child was gathering flowers to give to his mother. The police are continuing to gather evidence relating to the crime. Volunteers have been gathering contributions for the new library. A crowd began to gather on the sidewalk. The players gathered together to hear the coach's game plan. The bicyclists gathered speed as they went downhill.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But there will be fans in family rooms or wherever people can gather around a TV. Editorial Board, Star Tribune, 18 July 2021 The census takers were instructed to note religious materials and symbols in every household to ascertain if the home was being used as a private religious venue or a place for groups to gather. Jianli Yang, National Review, 14 July 2021 In the capital city of Seoul, which makes up a majority of the positive cases, all events and nightlife businesses must close and only two people can gather after 6 p.m. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 12 July 2021 On the east end of the plaza, the firm proposes a circular pedestal with a subtle design nod to Milk’s bullhorn where people might gather or speak. Ryan Kost, San Francisco Chronicle, 11 July 2021 There will no longer be limits on how many people or households can gather indoors or outdoors. Annabelle Timsit, Quartz, 5 July 2021 While the parade was virtual last year because people could not gather due to the coronavirus pandemic, the fireworks could not take place at all. Steve Sadin,, 1 July 2021 For centuries, these pockets of warmth have been a place for people to gather and rest. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 29 June 2021 Placer County and California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials will monitor the black bears and move any bears that wander into areas where people gather. NBC News, 29 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Horse advocates gathered at the Utah Capitol to denounce the Onaqui gather and the BLM’s round-up program in general, which has led to thousands of horses landing in off-range captivity for life at a cost of tens of millions of dollars a year. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 July 2021 Under the most recent mask order, people in Michigan must wear face coverings any time at least two people from more than one household gather together. Rick Rouan, USA TODAY, 15 Mar. 2021 Part of that cost involves Knightscope storing all of the data that robots like Westy gather in a year. NBC News, 27 June 2021 The next day, all the women in the village gather, and take turns pulling out objects and reciting rhyming couplets that are meant to predict the romantic fortunes of the item's owner. CNN, 20 June 2021 Utahns gather — in person — to pay tribute on Memorial Day. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 1 June 2021 Organized by the National Club Softball Association, the World Series had the top 13 university and military academy teams in the nation gather in Columbus, Georgia. Steve Metsch,, 27 May 2021 After all, restaurants are places where people from different walks of life gather for nourishment, social interaction, and an opportunity to belong to a community. Adrian Miller, Southern Living, 15 Mar. 2021 The Music Center announced Thursday the launch of its first in-person performances since the start of the pandemic, meaning audiences can at long last gather again for live shows as soon as next month. Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times, 8 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gather.' 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 gather


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gather


Middle English gaderen, from Old English gaderian; akin to Middle High German gadern to unite — more at good


derivative of gather entry 1

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Learn More About gather

Time Traveler for gather

Time Traveler

The first known use of gather was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near gather




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Statistics for gather

Last Updated

23 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Gather.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for gather



English Language Learners Definition of gather

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to bring (things or people) together into a group
: to choose and collect (things)
: to get or take (things) from different people or places and bring them together



English Language Learners Definition of gather (Entry 2 of 2)

: a fold formed when cloth is pulled together


gath·​er | \ ˈga-t͟hər How to pronounce gather (audio) \
gathered; gathering

Kids Definition of gather

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to pick up and collect They gathered wood for the fire.
2 : to choose and collect gather fruit I'm gathering facts for my report.
3 : to come together in a group or around a center of attraction A crowd gathered on the sidewalk.
4 : to gain little by little gather speed
5 : to bring or call forth (as strength or courage) from within
6 : to get an idea : conclude I gather you don't agree.
7 : to draw together in or as if in folds She gathered her cloak about her.



Kids Definition of gather (Entry 2 of 2)

: the result of gathering cloth : pucker

Choose the Right Synonym for gather


gather, collect, and assemble mean to come or bring together. gather is used for the coming or bringing together of different kinds of things. They gathered all the goods in the house and sold them. collect is used for a careful or orderly gathering of things that are often of one kind. It's fun to collect coins. assemble is used for a gathering of units into an orderly whole. The choir assembled and started to sing.


intransitive verb
gath·​er | \ ˈgat͟h-ər, ˈget͟h- How to pronounce gather (audio) \
gathered; gathering\ -​(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce gather (audio) \

Medical Definition of gather

: to swell and fill with pus the boil is gathering

More from Merriam-Webster on gather

Nglish: Translation of gather for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gather for Arabic Speakers


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