gath·​er | \ ˈga-t͟hər also ˈge- How to pronounce gather (audio) \
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


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

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 Manufacturing experts talk about the possibility of putting video cameras throughout a factory, and very quickly gathering and analyzing massive amounts of footage to monitor product quality in real-time. Clare Duffy, CNN, "The big differences between 4G and 5G," 17 Jan. 2020 District Attorney Kim Ogg said that based on evidence gathered so far, the shooting does not appear to have been intentional. Juan A. Lozano And Jake Bleiberg, USA TODAY, "Texas teen mistakenly killed friend in high school ROTC class, officials say," 16 Jan. 2020 The next day, three groups working under China’s National Health Commission posted another five sequences of the virus, gathered from different patients, on GISAID, a database primarily used for sharing data on influenza viruses. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "World on alert for potential spread of new SARS-like virus found in China," 14 Jan. 2020 But the bill met with intense protest from anti-vaccine advocates in the state, who gathered at the State House and disrupted legislative sessions. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Anti-vaxxers celebrate victory in NJ as pro-vaccine bill falls apart," 14 Jan. 2020 Earlier Sunday, hundreds of students gathered at Tehran’s Shahid Beheshti University to mourn the victims and protest against authorities for concealing the cause of the crash, the semiofficial ISNA news agency reported. Jon Gambrell,, "Defying police, Iranians protest over plane shootdown," 12 Jan. 2020 After analyzing data gathered from 50 states, the students concluded that public high schools in states with anti-censorship laws were more likely to win journalism awards than schools in states without those laws. Washington Post, "Public schools in Virginia can censor student journalists any time, for any reason. A proposed law would change that.," 12 Jan. 2020 Evidence gathered from orbiters and rovers that have circled and traipsed across the planet’s surface have revealed a brilliant picture of a previous red planet. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Water Is Disappearing from the Surface of Mars Like Crazy," 10 Jan. 2020 The algorithms may also prove useful for improving the vision of drones and autonomous vehicles that see objects in 3D, and for detecting patterns in data gathered from the irregularly curved surfaces of hearts, brains or other organs. Quanta Magazine, "An Idea From Physics Helps AI See in Higher Dimensions," 9 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Maybe the ability to hunt, farm, garden and gather is only an advantage in extreme long-term survival situations. Anchorage Daily News, "Can an outdoorswoman survive a three-day power outage?," 21 Dec. 2019 Nearby is a room with a large conference table and whiteboards, where older men in workout gear gather. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Inside the Baltimore superpower fueling Michigan football's 2020 recruiting class," 17 Dec. 2019 Artists of all ages from throughout Northeast Ohio gather to network and share leads on other shows. Beth Mlady, cleveland, "Berea Fine Arts Club holiday show features uniquely talented artists," 12 Dec. 2019 People who crave Jamaican food gather in this tropical paradise. Dwight Brown, Essence, "Essence Eats: Feast on Toronto’s Multicultural Cuisine," 20 Dec. 2019 Table members helped her gather necessary documents and navigate the housing court system. Leila Atassi,, "Volunteer for Open Table to changes lives – including your own. Training starts in July: A Greater Cleveland," 27 June 2019 And at Stonehenge's equinox celebrations in England, druids, pagans, and anyone else who wants to join in gather to witness the sunrise over the ancient stones. National Geographic, "What is an equinox, and why does it happen?," 19 Mar. 2019 Did a mineral gather and concentrate the element, thus allowing life to incorporate it? Quanta Magazine, "How Life and Luck Changed Earth’s Minerals," 11 Aug. 2015 Often called Furries, the community sometimes dresses up as animals and gathers at social events. Tyler Eagle, Detroit Free Press, "Monroe police shooting suspect Simba Lion in critical condition," 21 Nov. 2019

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

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gather.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 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
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

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).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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