gath·​er·​ing | \ ˈga-t͟hə-riŋ How to pronounce gathering (audio) , ˈgat͟h- \
plural gatherings

Definition of gathering

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a coming together of people in a group (as for social, religious, or political purposes) : assembly, meeting an informal gathering a gathering of world leaders planned a big family gathering
2 : the collecting of food or raw materials from the wild Hunting and gathering also added to the food supply. Wild fruits, berries and mollusks were gathered …— Barbara A. Leitch … peoples who raise domesticated animals and who do not depend on hunting, gathering, or the planting of their own crops …— Marvin Harris
4 : a gather in cloth
5 : a suppurating swelling : abscess


Definition of gathering (Entry 2 of 2)

present participle of gather entry 1

Examples of gathering in a Sentence

Noun I see my cousins only at occasional family gatherings. dinner parties and other social gatherings a gathering of political leaders
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Board Vice Chair Mary Ellen Gurewitz, D, disagreed and argued if so many people signed the proposal in the signature-gathering phase, the language must have been legible. Kim Bellware, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Sep. 2022 The playful language excited the 5-year-old at Dr. Varner’s family gathering – the kittens, the mittens, the bowl full of mush! Harry Bruinius, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 Sep. 2022 The gathering, a fundraiser for TIFF’s diversity and inclusion efforts, will take place at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel on Sept. 11, during the 47th edition of the film festival. Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 Aug. 2022 The Park City Song Summit, descending upon the Utah city of its namesake September 7-10 of this year, is a gathering for open-hearted troubadours, music fans, people processing recoveries and traumas, and more. Will Schube, SPIN, 29 Aug. 2022 The global gathering, known as the General Debate, was entirely virtual in 2020 because of the pandemic, and hybrid in 2021. Edith M. Lederer,, 20 Sep. 2022 The global gathering, known as the General Debate, was entirely virtual in 2020 because of the pandemic, and hybrid in 2021. Edith M. Lederer, Fortune, 20 Sep. 2022 Plans for a celebration-of-life-gathering to be held Aug. 25, 2023, are incomplete. Baltimore Sun, 18 Sep. 2022 With so much in dispute, Judge Grillo issued a new order on Aug. 30 that reopened discovery — or evidence gathering — around the impact of COVID-19 or other fresh issues on the state’s ability to comply with the existing deadlines. Kevin Rectorstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 14 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Time Traveler for gathering

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near gathering

gather/gain momentum


gathering coal

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Statistics for gathering

Last Updated

23 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gathering.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for gathering


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

More from Merriam-Webster on gathering

Nglish: Translation of gathering for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gathering for Arabic Speakers


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