gath·​er | \ ˈga-t͟hər How to pronounce gather (audio) also ˈge- \
gathered; gathering\ ˈgat͟h-​riŋ How to pronounce gathering (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 gatherer (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 Every day, more locals came to gather under the shade of trees. Dallas News, "Comfort with the uncomfortable: A UT-Dallas student encourages strangers to talk about race," 30 July 2020 Others might be independent and run by people like you or me who just want to gather with others over a virtual cup of coffee once a week to talk about our struggles. Anna Borges, SELF, "10 Online Support Groups for Anyone Struggling to Get Through 2020," 30 July 2020 Whether conducted in person or virtually, a home showing is your opportunity to gather more specific information about the property that might not be included in the home's listing. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "Buying a Home? 7 Essential Tips for Getting the Most from Virtual Home Tours," 13 July 2020 The government is now seriously considering bringing back measures that were lifted in late June as cases eased, like limiting the amount of people allowed to gather in public, shutting bars and requiring restaurants to further slash capacity. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Thursday, July 9," 9 July 2020 The Medical Examiner's office processed the scene and recovered the bones and detectives returned Tuesday morning to gather more evidence. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "Human skull found in fire pit in Michigan home previously owned by man killed in police shootout," 8 July 2020 Thao was managing a crowd nearby that had begun to gather and while some pleaded with the officers to lighten up. oregonlive, "Court revelations shed light, new details about George Floyd’s killing from police body cams," 8 July 2020 In order to get on the ballot as an independent, West would also need to quickly gather tens of thousands of signatures from across the country to qualify. Sarah Midkiff,, "Can Kanye West Actually Run For U.S. President Under The “Birthday” Party?," 8 July 2020 With nearly $1 billion in state cuts, campus budgets in free-fall and academics in disarray because students and professors haven’t been able to safely gather together since the winter, UC is forced to reinvent itself in the new era. Nanette Asimov,, "UC names first Black president. Michael Drake, former Ohio State leader, picked to replace Janet Napolitano," 7 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When the ball is snapped, notice how Adams reads the initial movement of the offensive line before taking a quick gather step inside. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: What kind of impact would a do-it-all safety like Jamal Adams have in the Cowboys’ defense?," 22 June 2020 Typically tens of thousands of investors with shares in the stock gather to hear the latest wisdom from the Oracle of Omaha, CEO Warren Buffett. Chris Isidore, CNN, "What pandemic? Tesla really wants an in-person annual meeting," 23 June 2020 Protesters angered by Cincinnati City Councilman David Mann's closing of a budget hearing last week gather at Dunore Park. Chris Mayhew,, "Crowd awaits Councilman David Mann at park near his home to protest closed budget meeting," 22 June 2020 Men in uniform gather in large numbers for drills and exercises. The Economist, "Horsemen of the apocalypse Covid-19 raises the risks of violent conflict," 18 June 2020 The ordinance unlocks the door for fans to mass gather at sporting events during the COVID-19 pandemic. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, "Gov. Greg Abbott would allow 45,000 fans for Cowboys’ home games. But should Jerry Jones and the NFL make the same call?," 13 June 2020 The song is sung at nearly every organized campus event, and players in all sports gather as a team to sing it after every game. Nick Moyle,, "UT athletes push to get rid of ‘The Eyes of Texas’," 12 June 2020 Every November, members of the Federalist Society gather in Washington, D.C., for their annual convention. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Bill Barr’s Invisible Crusade," 8 June 2020 The San Diego Police Department is one of the first to ban the use of the restraint technique as protests against police brutality gather across the nation. Autumn Schoolman, USA TODAY, "Several police departments nationwide have banned the use of deadly neck restraint technique," 3 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for gather

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for gather

Last Updated

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gather.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for gather


How to pronounce gather (audio)

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.

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

Medical Definition of gather

: to swell and fill with pus the boil is gathering

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More from Merriam-Webster on gather

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gather

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gather

Spanish Central: Translation of gather

Nglish: Translation of gather for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gather for Arabic Speakers

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