\ ˈwin How to pronounce win (audio) \
won\ ˈwən How to pronounce won (audio) \; winning

Definition of win

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to get possession of by effort or fortune
b : to obtain by work : earn striving to win a living from the sterile soil
2a : to gain in or as if in battle or contest won the championship
b : to be the victor in won the war
3a : to make friendly or favorable to oneself or to one's cause often used with over won him over with persuasive arguments
b : to induce to accept oneself in marriage was unable to win the woman he loved
4a : to obtain (something, such as ore, coal, or clay) by mining
b : to prepare (a vein or bed) for regular mining
c : to recover (metal) from ore
5 : to reach by expenditure of effort

intransitive verb

1 : to gain the victory in a contest : succeed
2 : to succeed in arriving at a place or a state



Definition of win (Entry 2 of 2)

: victory especially : first place at the finish (as of a horse race)

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Other Words from win


winless \ ˈwin-​ləs How to pronounce winless (audio) \ adjective
winnable \ ˈwi-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce winnable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for win

Synonyms: Verb

conquer, prevail, triumph

Synonyms: Noun

palm, triumph, victory

Antonyms: Verb


Antonyms: Noun

beating, defeat, drubbing, licking, loss, overthrow, rout, shellacking, trimming, whipping

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Examples of win in a Sentence


The boxer won the match by knockout. He won't give up until he's won the argument. Neither candidate won the debate. We tried our best, but you can't win them all. They played well, but they didn't win. The chances of winning are 1 in 100,000. It's not about winning or losing. It's about having fun. She won a tennis trophy. Her book won the Pulitzer Prize. She won praise for her hard work.


a pitcher with 15 wins Their win over the first place team was unexpected.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

No matter how futuristic and dangerous the threat, Fleming’s reliance on individual ingenuity and improvisation still wins the day. André Millard, Smithsonian, "In Battles of Man Versus Machine, James Bond Always Wins," 12 July 2019 Bouton started four more games for the Braves in the fall of 1978, winning one and generally making a fair show of himself. Ian Crouch, The New Yorker, "Jim Bouton Was Baseball’s Misunderstood Evangelist," 11 July 2019 Fred Couples won this event in 2011 when it was held at the Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y. Branson Wright,, "Bridgestone Senior Players 2019: Groups, tee times, TV schedule set as Langer, Couples relish return to Firestone," 11 July 2019 The owners overcame protests by environmentalists and won permission to clear 3,700 acres of forest that served as a koala habitat and mine 12 million tons of coal per year. Seema Mehta,, "Tom Steyer’s bets on private prisons and coal mining could spell trouble in 2020," 11 July 2019 What’s been widely reported about the recent wave of unionization were the immediate, material gains won by insurgent union shops—contracts with salary floors, generous severance packages, paid family leave. Clio Chang, The New Republic, "How to Save Journalism," 11 July 2019 Meanwhile, Syriza, which won more than 30% of the vote, has returned to opposition. Ian Bremmer, Time, "The Greek Election Brings Hope for a Country in Need," 11 July 2019 In a mass action, the cases are combined, but each plaintiff must prove certain facts and can win individual damages that are not capped., "FREE PRESS INVESTIGATION: OUT OF GEAR Ford knew Focus, Fiesta models had flawed transmission, sold them anyway," 11 July 2019 Then the Spartans went ahead and won the Big Ten regular season title and the Big Ten tournament, slayed the Duke demon and got to the Final Four. Jamie Samuelsen, Detroit Free Press, "2019 DESPY Awards: Celebrating the best in Michigan sports after a year of close calls," 11 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The 2017 Cubs, for instance, burst out of the gates after the All-Star Game with six straight wins on the way to an N.L.-best 49-25 (.662) record down the stretch that concluded with a division title and an advance to the NLCS. Alex Speier,, "All that travel was a prominent player in Red Sox’ ‘stop and go’ start," 12 July 2019 His strategy of going after Daily Doubles and betting big on Final Jeopardy questions allowed him to accumulate massive winnings — just $58,484 shy of Ken Jennings’ all-time record of $2.52 million, even with 42 fewer wins. Christian Holub,, "Jeopardy! record-breaker James Holzhauer returning for Tournament of Champions," 10 July 2019 While India arrived at Old Trafford top of the group stage table with eight wins from nine and backed by thousands of fans, New Zealand's arrival at the semifinal stage was rather less impressive. James Masters, CNN, "India's World Cup dream on hold after rain halts semifinal clash," 9 July 2019 The order of the draft is determined by first separating all 32 teams into three categories: those with six or fewer wins, the remaining non-playoff teams and the playoff teams. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "NFL supplemental draft: Everything you need to know for 2019," 9 July 2019 The Mountaineers stumbled on the road against Iowa State before rebounding with three consecutive wins., "2019 College Football Rankings: No. 50 West Virginia to kick off Neal Brown era," 8 July 2019 The National League came into 1979 game with seven straight wins and 15 out of the last 16. Branson Wright,, "40 years after historic All-Star Game, Dave Parker battles Parkinson’s, helps at Reds Youth Academy," 7 July 2019 In a win for Sony and Kevin Feige's Marvel Studios, Spider-Man: Far From Home scored a sensational six-day launch of $185.1 million from 4,634 North American theaters, including a near-record $93.6 million over Fourth of July weekend. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "Box Office: 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Opens to $185M in U.S., Nears $600M Globally," 7 July 2019 The Reds bullpen, which has struggled lately, paved the way for the win. John Fay,, "Heads-up baserunning by Yasiel Puig leads Reds to 5-4 win over Brewers in 11 innings," 3 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'win.' 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 win


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


1862, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for win


Middle English winnen "to strive, struggle, obtain by exertion, earn with labor, gain, triumph," going back to Old English winnan "to labor, strive," going back to a Germanic verb base *wenu̯- (whence Old Saxon winnan "to struggle, suffer, acquire," Old High German, "to labor, struggle, rage," Old Norse vinna "to labor, suffer, gain," Gothic winnan "to suffer"); akin to Sanskrit vanoti "(s/he) demands, strives for, obtains," vanate "(s/he) shall obtain," Avestan vanaiti "(s/he) defeats"

Note: According to Rix, et al., Lexikon der indogermanischen Verben (Wiesbaden, 1998), Indo-European *u̯en-, the source of these verbs is distinct from *u̯enH-, the source of Sanskrit vanate "(s/he) likes, takes pleasure in," Latin venus "physical desire, qualities exciting desire, charm" (see venus).

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Dictionary Entries near win

wimp out

Wimshurst machine






Statistics for win

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for win

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

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More Definitions for win



English Language Learners Definition of win

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to achieve victory in a fight, contest, game, etc.
: to get (something, such as a prize) by achieving victory in a fight, contest, game, etc.
: to get (something) by effort



English Language Learners Definition of win (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act of achieving victory especially in a game or contest


\ ˈwin How to pronounce win (audio) \
won\ ˈwən \; winning

Kids Definition of win

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to achieve the victory in a contest She likes to win.
2 : to obtain by victory I won the trophy.
3 : to be the victor in I hope you win the race.
4 : to get by effort or skill : gain The performance won praise.
5 : to ask and get the favor of He won over the voters.

Other Words from win

winner noun



Kids Definition of win (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or instance of winning

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More from Merriam-Webster on win

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with win

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for win

Spanish Central: Translation of win

Nglish: Translation of win for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of win for Arabic Speakers

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