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 There is art and clothing and jewelry, and a tepee where mannequins gather around a fake fire. Brooke Jarvis, The New Yorker, "Who Speaks for Crazy Horse?," 16 Sep. 2019 When summer reaches the Alps of southwestern Austria’s Tirol Province, yodeling farmers gather in the dawn light to urge drowsy cows into milling herds. Danielle Bernabe, National Geographic, "Eat, drink, and herd cattle at this Austrian festival," 15 Sep. 2019 Once a co-owner of the New York Bar & Restaurant, a Broadway hole where pressmen and newspaper workers gathered, Wible loved travel and sang bass with the award-winning Thoroughbred Chorus., "Standard Gravure remembered: Here are all the victims from the 1989 mass shooting," 12 Sep. 2019 And the Kermadecs may represent just one piece of the puzzle: the research team believes that there are likely other important locations, such as feeding grounds, where humpbacks from diverse locations gather for sing-a-longs. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Found: A Hub Where Humpback Whales Share Their Songs," 12 Sep. 2019 Although the Academy Awards are months away, the Oscar race has officially begun on the streets of Toronto, where industry folk and local movie lovers alike have gathered. Regina R. Robertson, Essence, "These Are The Must-See Films Screening At The Toronto International Film Festival," 11 Sep. 2019 One night in early 2015, at an event in Manhattan where a number of industry bigwigs had gathered for drinks, Nigel ran into a partner at one of DraftKings’ investors. Albert Chen,, "Billion Dollar Fantasy: Inside the War Between FanDuel and DraftKings that Rocked the Gambling Industry," 10 Sep. 2019 Reuters The soaring price of pork is forcing China to dig into its strategic frozen reserves of the meat this month ahead of a slew of upcoming holidays, including a fall festival where families gather for a reunion feast. Tripti Lahiri, Quartz, "China’s tapping its strategic meat reserves as pork prices soar 47%," 10 Sep. 2019 She is involved with the Crossroads Club of Delray Beach, where those with substance-abuse issues gather for meetings and support. Michael Mayo,, "A barbecue revival at new Tom’s Place: ‘To honor my parents and keep their legacy alive’," 9 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Cosplay and roam the convention where the best in comics, anime, video gaming, contests and sci-fi gather for the weekend. Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Halloween Legends & Lore, Ghoulees in the Coulees and more to do around Wisconsin this weekend," 25 Oct. 2019 Every week, Muslim migrants from Africa and the Middle East gather at the Playas de Tijuana neighborhood to worship in the city’s only mosque. Gustavo Solis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "A group of Latina women are building a shelter for Muslim migrants in Tijuana," 19 Oct. 2019 On the top floor of SAR Academy in Riverdale, New York, a group of students at the Jewish day school gather for morning prayers. Ben Harris,, "How Jewish day schools are reimagining daily prayer," 25 Sep. 2019 The details are still being worked out, but Kronwall will be at training camp in Traverse City when the Wings gather later this month. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Niklas Kronwall's emotions hit hard at retirement: 'There are other things in life'," 4 Sep. 2019 The Herald of Rock Hill reports the annual Hopewell Day where people in western York County gather to eat beef hash and listen to gospel music and political speeches won’t take place in 2019. USA TODAY, "Charlottesville remembered, drive-thru ban, ketchup karma: News from around our 50 states," 13 Aug. 2019 Trump will have an opportunity to show leadership at the G-7 as the various nations - which represent more than half of the world's wealth - gather to chart a path forward on economic issues. Anchorage Daily News, "With the global economy slowing and the U.S.-China trade war escalating, Trump arrives at G-7 with a list of grievances," 24 Aug. 2019 Now, dozens of residents of Sandtown-Winchester gather there every Sunday. Oyin Adedoyin, Washington Post, "At Tubman House, a free garden grows in Sandtown-Winchester," 2 Aug. 2019 For example, each week during the school year, small groups of students from seventh grade to seniors in high school gather in host homes. Bailey Basham, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana church brings family-focused values to Binford," 23 Aug. 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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Learn More about gather

Statistics for gather

Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for gather

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

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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).


concealed or difficult to comprehend

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