gath·er·ing | \ ˈgat͟h-riŋ , ˈga-t͟hə- \

Definition of gathering 

2 : a suppurating swelling : abscess

3 : the collecting of food or raw materials from the wild

5 : a gather in cloth

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of gathering in a Sentence

I see my cousins only at occasional family gatherings. dinner parties and other social gatherings a gathering of political leaders
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

That lowly space in every building where residents grab their bills and catalogs is in transition, writes the Journal’s Candace Taylor, as some real-estate developments in New York, Florida and California turn it into an attractive gathering spot. Gerard Baker, WSJ, "The 10-Point.," 8 June 2018 For more than 60 years, Faith Lutheran Church was a cherished spiritual gathering spot at 67th Street and Roe Avenue in Prairie Village. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "From site of Prairie Village church, a 3-acre park with garden, play area will emerge," 12 July 2018 Then there’s the community room, a drab, workaday gathering spot for employees and visitors that inspires few selfies. Daniel Miller,, "Five Picassos went missing from the L.A. Times. What happened to them?," 12 July 2018 For most South Koreans, there’s no real training, with people standing around in gathering spots, staring into their phones or looking frustrated. Washington Post, "SKorea suspends civilian drills to help talks with NKorea," 10 July 2018 For most South Koreans, there's no real training, with people standing around in gathering spots, staring into their phones or looking frustrated. Fox News, "SKorea suspends civilian drills to help talks with NKorea," 9 July 2018 They are dispersed across the region, but the Russian Cultural Center serves as a gathering spot for various events, including Saturday’s Summer Art Bazaar. Elizabeth Myong, Houston Chronicle, "Russians in Houston have diverse views on international affairs," 8 July 2018 But the team could have another option for creating a new gathering spot for fans. Steve Harrison, charlotteobserver, "NFL stadiums are more luxurious than ever. Here's how the Panthers could keep up.," 5 July 2018 Brothers Family Restaurant is a popular gathering spot, known for its buttermilk pancakes once served up by Grandma Jennie, grandmother of the current owner. Roger Showley,, "Allied Gardens-Grantville: John Wayne memorabilia and buttermilk pancakes are just two special features," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gathering.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of gathering

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

History and Etymology for gathering

Middle English gaderyng, gederunge, going back to Old English gadrung, gædrung, gegaderung, gegadrung "joining, union, assembly," from gadrian, gaderian "to join, unite, gather entry 1" + -ung -ing entry 3

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gathering

Statistics for gathering

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gathering

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for gathering



English Language Learners Definition of gathering

: an occasion when people come together as a group

: the act or process of gathering something


gath·er·ing | \ ˈga-t͟hə-riŋ \

Kids Definition of gathering

: an occasion when people come together as a group a family gathering



Medical Definition of gathering 

: a suppurating swelling : abscess

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on gathering

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!