gath·​er | \ˈga-t͟hər also ˈge- \
gathered; gathering\ˈgat͟h-​riŋ, 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 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


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.

Examples of gather in a Sentence


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

The singers stood in front of the memorial in the darkened yard as onlookers gathered and horns from passing cars beeped on nearby streets. Deepti Hajela, The Seattle Times, "200 years of ‘Silent Night’: Singers mark carol’s birthday," 28 Nov. 2018 To get to the surface safely, InSight had to autonomously deploy a supersonic parachute, gather radar measurements, and ignite its thrusters all at the right time. Loren Grush, The Verge, "NASA’s InSight successfully lands on Mars after ‘seven minutes of terror’," 26 Nov. 2018 To get started, gather your supplies and make sure everything is super clean. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "Here's How to Make Sauerkraut," 30 Oct. 2018 Farmers with oxen gather fruit and tend vineyards in one panel, and Dionysus and other gods help woodcutters chop down trees in another. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Ancient “comic strip” depicts the founding of a Roman city," 10 Oct. 2018 The Twitterverse was instantly stunned but, of course, quickly gathered its thoughts and began bombarding Kylie with questions. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner Put Milk in Her Cereal for the First Time Ever and Immediately Got Roasted on Twitter," 19 Sep. 2018 Fans will see the Drummond family gather together and plan her funeral. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "Ree Drummond Says This Week’s ‘Pioneer Woman’ Will Be Extremely Emotional," 7 Sep. 2018 The data, analyzed by Kaiser Health News, come from daily payroll records Medicare only recently began gathering and publishing from more than 14,000 nursing homes, as required by the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Jordan Rau, Washington Post, "‘Like A Ghost Town’: Erratic Nursing Home Staffing Revealed Through New Records," 13 July 2018 In order to steal a large number of documents without detection, the indictment says, the Russians used a publicly available technology tool to gather and compress files, including opposition research, from DNC networks., "Illinois elections board 'very likely' named in Mueller indictment of Russian hackers, officials say," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The most alarming information gather by the NTSB relates to the weather conditions at the time of the accident. Paulina Dedaj, Fox News, "Doomed duck boat set out in near-hurricane winds: NTSB," 21 July 2018 In 2010, more Bard students helped digitize them as well as gather testimonials from past participants, which were posted on Bridget Read, Vogue, "Miranda July Talks #MeToo, Tech, and Joanie4Jackie," 16 Oct. 2018 FILe - In this June 1, 2017, file photo, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court gather for an official group portrait to include new Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, top row, far right at the Supreme Court Building in Washington. Washington Post, "Analysis: GOP’s long-term Supreme Court strategy pays off," 29 June 2018 Members of the #RedForEd movement gather at the state Capitol as lawmakers push through a budget that includes teacher pay raises. Ricardo Cano, azcentral, "In aftermath of #RedForEd walkout, Arizona teachers vow to continue political activism," 6 May 2018 Governor Charlie Baker holds a commanding 40-point lead over both Democrats vying to face him in November’s election, according to a new WBUR/MassINC poll released just hours before some 6,200 of the party faithful gather in Worcester. Matt Stout,, "Baker and Warren hold big leads over their respective rivals in new poll," 1 June 2018 Band Blender benefit Passionate musicians from the realms of indie rock and post-punk gather once a season at Small's Bar in Hamtramck to blur through blisteringly fast sets arranged so as to never have any gaps between bands. Jeff Milo, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit music: Band Blender at Small's, folk benefit in Ferndale, new album parties," 17 May 2018 Participants in the March for Life 2017 gather at the Supreme Court after marching from the Washington Monument in support of the nationwide antiabortion movement. Luz Lazo, Washington Post, "March for Life and Women’s March will bring protesters and traffic challenges," 18 Jan. 2018 Picture it: The entire sweet, precious cast of 13 Reasons Why gathers for their interview on the MTV Movie & TV Awards Red Carpet., "Why Did 13RW's Clay Jensen Walk The Red Carpet Alone In A T-Shirt?," 19 June 2018

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

Statistics for gather

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gather

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

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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 \
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

gath·​er | \ˈgat͟h-ər, ˈget͟h- \
gathered; gathering\-​(ə-​)riŋ \

Medical Definition of gather 

: to swell and fill with pus the boil is gathering

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More from Merriam-Webster on gather

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gather

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gather

Spanish Central: Translation of gather

Nglish: Translation of gather for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gather for Arabic Speakers

Comments on gather

What made you want to look up gather? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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