gather

1 of 2

verb

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

transitive verb

1
: to bring together : collect
tried to gather a crowd
gathered firewood
2
a
: 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
5
a
: 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
7
a
: 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

1
a
: to come together in a body
b
: to cluster around a focus of attraction
2
a
: to swell and fill with pus
b
: grow, increase
the gathering crisis
gatherer
ˈga-t͟hər-ər How to pronounce gather (audio)
 also  ˈge-
noun

gather

2 of 2

noun

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
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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
The study, which appears in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, was based on data from the National Survey of Children's Health, which gathers detailed information from parents. Maria Godoy, NPR, 23 May 2024 Similar observations were being made further down the coast on San Miguel Island in the Channel Islands — where massive colonies of sea lions gather every year — and as far south as Mexico. Susanne Rust, Los Angeles Times, 23 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for gather 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gather.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

Noun

derivative of gather entry 1

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near gather

Cite this Entry

“Gather.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gather. Accessed 30 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

gather

1 of 2 verb
gath·​er ˈgat͟h-ər How to pronounce gather (audio)
 also  ˈget͟h-
gathered; gathering ˈgat͟h-(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce gather (audio)
1
: to bring together : collect
2
3
: to gain by gradual increase
gather speed
4
: to prepare (as oneself) by calling on strength
gather courage to dive
5
: to draw about or close to something
6
: to pull (cloth) along a line of stitching so as to draw into puckers
7
8
: to come together in a body or around a center of attraction
a crowd gathered round
9
: increase entry 1, grow
a storm gathered outside
gatherer noun

gather

2 of 2 noun
: the result of gathering cloth : pucker

Medical Definition

gather

intransitive verb
gathered; gathering -(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce gather (audio)
: to swell and fill with pus
the boil is gathering

More from Merriam-Webster on gather

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