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

We are gathered to heal from the wounds propelling us through our activism. Sadia Hassan, Longreads, "Silence is a Lonely Country: A Prayer in Twelve Parts," 13 July 2018 Fans from across South Florida gathered and watched a simifinal between England and Croatia. Johnny Diaz,, "Flipper the dolphin calls World Cup winner in Miami," 13 July 2018 This show gathers elements from that archive as well as video works by a range of Los Angeles artists, including Jim Shaw, Susan Mogul and Reza Abdoh. Carolina A. Miranda,, "Datebook: Shots of old Route 66, dreamlike paintings and garments fashioned from paper," 12 July 2018 And in the parking lot, others had gathered to simply sit and watch the horizon go dark. Donna Vickroy, Daily Southtown, "People gather at waterfronts to watch the sun set on the Southland," 11 July 2018 Via video-conferencing, Malinowski answered questions from prosecutors and was subject to cross-examination by Slager’s attorney, all of whom had gathered in a courtroom for the deposition. Adam Carlson,, "Mom-of-2 Describes Horror of Boyfriend Lighting Her on Fire as He Pleads to Her Murder: 'Pure Evil'," 11 July 2018 Demonstrators have gathered daily in front of the court, while across town, the country’s Constitutional Tribunal—a panel of judges who rule on whether laws are constitutional—is also in disarray. Drew Hinshaw, WSJ, "Poland Steps Up Supreme Court Purge," 13 July 2018 Below, Billboard has gathered the best old-school Latin songs for a pool party. Suzette Fernandez, Billboard, "'Gasolina,' 'Camisa Negra' & More Perfect Old-School Latin Songs for a Pool Fiesta," 12 July 2018 The group has also gathered 10,000 trees from around the country and abroad, nurturing them in shaded tents. Andrew Keh, New York Times, "The 2022 World Cup Plants Some Trees and Prepares to Step Into the Spotlight," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Noon: 200 gather near the border in Nogales NOGALES — Nearly 200 people gathered in downtown Nogales on Saturday morning for one of two Families Belong Together marches at the Arizona-Mexico border. azcentral, "Arizonans protest immigration policy at Families Belong Together marches," 30 June 2018 But when the South Atlantic League All-Stars gather Tuesday in Greensboro, N.C., Stewart will be the first pitcher to take the ball for the Northern Division after a dreamy first half of the season. Scott Lauber,, "Pitching prospect Will Stewart - in midst of dream season - is finally realizing his full potential," 14 June 2018 Every year, members of the royal family gather at the Royal Ascot, an annual horse racing festival considered a highlight of the British social season and Queen Elizabeth's favorite event of the year. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "How Meghan Markle's First Royal Ascot Compares to Kate Middleton's," 19 June 2018 On the Peninsula, gather at Redwood City Caltrain station at 9 a.m. for train ride to the San Francisco event. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bay Area political events: Evangelical rallies, socialist activism," 31 May 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

13 Oct 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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Comments on gather

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