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

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 Plus, Katzenberg was happily buying projects that had been gathering dust for years. Natalie Jarvey, The Hollywood Reporter, "As Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi Races Toward Launch, Will a Changed World Help or Hurt?," 26 Mar. 2020 Whether a virtual convention, without the arena crowd and without the media physically gathered for the event, could generate the same coverage and draw the same attention from viewers and voters is a critical question. Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'This is such uncharted territory': Milwaukee is supposed to host the DNC in July, but coronavirus has changed everything," 25 Mar. 2020 Jun Suzuki, an Olympics official in charge of promoting Fukushima Prefecture, said that 3,000 people gathered for two hours on Tuesday in front of Fukushima’s main railway station to view the flame in its caldron. New York Times, "What to Call 2021 Olympics? Just One of Many Challenges for Japan," 25 Mar. 2020 So too did religious authorities in Egypt, whose 77 million Muslims had until Saturday continued to gather for prayer. Nabih Bulosstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Private prayers and empty funerals: The pandemic is hard on the Middle East faithful," 25 Mar. 2020 That didn't stop worshippers at Baton Rouge's Tabernacle Church, where 450 people gathered for worship Tuesday night. Omar Villafranca, CBS News, "Southern states face spike in coronavirus cases," 25 Mar. 2020 The pandemic has devastated the Fusco family, described as an old-school Italian-Catholic family that frequently gathered for dinners and to celebrate milestones. USA TODAY, "Coronavirus is devastating this family. It killed 4 of them. 20 are in isolation.," 20 Mar. 2020 Erica Turer had planned to be among the thousands gathered next month for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in California. Chris Varias,, "'They don’t know. Nobody knows.' When will it be OK to see live music again?," 18 Mar. 2020 As temporary school closures have spread, the big-city leaders in the Council of the Great City Schools have gathered for regular conference calls to share ideas, Casserly said. NBC News, "'There have been a lot of tears': Coronavirus threatens to shut schools until the fall," 16 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Climate change protestors from the Extinction Rebellion movement gather to demonstrate at Town Hall in Sydney, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. Tristan Lavalette, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Climate activists block roads, protest in Australian cities," 8 Oct. 2019 Award winners newly recognized gather for an award ceremony in Washington, D.C. cleveland, "Rocky River High School nominated for Blue Ribbon Award; one of only 14 in Ohio," 17 Feb. 2020 On average, less than a percentage point separates Biden and Sanders in Iowa a week before Democrats in the first-in-the-nation state gather to caucus, according to RealClearPolitics data. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Bernie Sanders: Cost for 'Medicare for all' is 'impossible to predict'," 25 Jan. 2020 Sunday's Critics' Choice Awards ceremony saw much of Hollywood gather to find out who would be crowned a winner. Vogue, "All the 2020 Critics’ Choice Awards Winners," 13 Jan. 2020 For players receiving a pass or picking up a loose ball, the gather is defined as when control of the ball is gained. San Diego Union-Tribune, "NBA teams approve stiffer penalties for tampering," 20 Sep. 2019 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

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

30 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Gather.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Apr. 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

Choose the Right Synonym for gather


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.

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

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