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

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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb People would bring food, gather, sing and dance into the night. Wateasa Freeman, Chron, 17 Sep. 2022 Every Thursday evening dozens of roller skaters gather to roll and dance on the basketball court at West Oakland’s DeFremery Park. Caron Creighton, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 Sep. 2022 If that bit is a 1, a robot can gather small samples of solutions containing each of the oligos needed to represent it and combine them with an enzyme that can link all of the oligos together. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 15 Sep. 2022 Every day that passes, Russian forces have time to dig in and gather reinforcements, drawing new defensive lines and preparing to return to the monthslong status quo of a grinding artillery battle., 12 Sep. 2022 Former British prime ministers, from left: Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Boris Johnson, David Cameron, Theresa May and John Major gather ahead of the Accession Council ceremony inside St. James's Palace. Matthew Mulligan, NBC News, 10 Sep. 2022 Woodland creatures make their way indoors, and dead leaves gather. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, 9 Sep. 2022 Trump supporters in the area can gather and feel free to speak their minds. Jolene Almendarez, The Enquirer, 9 Sep. 2022 Another crowd will gather and scream their support. Lee O. Sanderlin, Baltimore Sun, 9 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun During the spring breeding season, male sage grouse gather on traditional lekking sites and often engage in short but violent fights. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 12 Sep. 2022 Law enforcement gather at the scene of a shooting in Elk Mills, Md. on Sept. 9, 2022 that left five people dead. David K. Li, NBC News, 9 Sep. 2022 According to Buckingham Palace, the Privy Council meeting—a gather of the formal body of the Queen's advisors—will be rearranged. Emily Burack, Town & Country, 7 Sep. 2022 Car enthusiasts from all over Michigan and beyond gather to show off their wheels and watch all types of vehicles cruise down Woodward. Brendel Hightower, Detroit Free Press, 19 Aug. 2022 In normal times, the data points amassed over the course of a season - or in the four-year span of the Olympic quad - provide a good idea of what is to come when the world’s best gather. Dave Sheinin, Anchorage Daily News, 25 July 2021 When basketball’s best gather in Cleveland to dunk, fire 3-pointers and hobnob with corporate partners as the league celebrates its 75th anniversary this weekend, another group of players will get a chance to shine amid the glittering stars. Tom Withers,, 15 Feb. 2022 Spawning happens around the full moon in July, when up to 20,000 fish gather in Fakarava in a narrow southern channel linking the lagoon with the ocean. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 13 Oct. 2021 Supporters and opponents of gun legislation gather at the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting room Tuesday at the Rhode Island State House. Globe Staff,, 14 June 2022 See More

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.

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

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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Last Updated

21 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gather.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for gather


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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