\ 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 overwon 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

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of win in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun a pitcher with 15 wins Their win over the first place team was unexpected.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb If the government wins, the Parliament will stay suspended until Oct. 14. NBC News, "U.K.'s top court to decide if PM Johnson suspending parliament was legal," 17 Sep. 2019 Highlight: The Patriots (9-0) won 25-5, 25-17, 25-19. Carroll County Times Staff,, "Carroll Varsity Roundup (Sept. 16): Century girls soccer stays unbeaten with shutout over Mt. Hebron," 17 Sep. 2019 The Gators are 3-0 all-time against FAU, winning the last meeting between the schools 20-14 in 2015. Edgar Thompson,, "Gators to host FAU in 2021, one of three Florida schools on season schedule," 17 Sep. 2019 The band received six Grammy nominations, including best new artist, but never won, although the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. Ashley Iasimone, The Hollywood Reporter, "Ric Ocasek, Lead Singer of The Cars, Dies at 75," 16 Sep. 2019 Mack’s work also helped pay off for Wilkins, who saw an enormous seam open over the right side in the fourth quarter, hit it hard and ripped off a 55-yard gain to set up the winning touchdown pass from Jacoby Brissett to T.Y. Hilton. Joel A. Erickson, Indianapolis Star, "Thumbs up, thumbs down: Colts get good and bad from Jacoby Brissett's second start," 16 Sep. 2019 Susie Rivard of Portand set the pace among women, winning the community race in 10:37. Anchorage Daily News, "Big field of runners take advantage of beautiful day in 3K cross-country race," 15 Sep. 2019 Before that winning score, the Gophers spiked the ball with 32 seconds left and called two plays from the 1-yard line. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Gophers offense will continue to run first, pass when necessary," 15 Sep. 2019 If winning a basketball tournament for the good old USA is so important, maybe USA Basketball chief Jerry Colangelo can get the NBA to cut its season a month short in years when there is an Olympics or World Cup. Scott Ostler,, "NCAA says California could spoil college athletics. It’s a tired argument," 14 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun How is the principlist win likely to affect Iran’s policies? Golnar Motevalli,, "How Iran’s Hard-Liners Got Campaign Boost From Trump," 1 May 2020 The Bucks won the first three games of the series by 22, 41 and 18 points, respectively, before a 128-119 win by the Nets in Game 4. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Strat-O-Matic has been simulating the NBA playoffs, and the Bucks just advanced," 29 Apr. 2020 In contrast, the 49ers had just one sack in their other two divisional games, both wins, when Ford was sidelined with a hamstring injury. Eric Branch,, "New season, same mismatches? 49ers’ defensive line vs. NFC West offensive lines," 29 Apr. 2020 Mashburn is 10 for 10 at the line in the clinching 94-79 win at Charlotte Coliseum. John Scheibe, Los Angeles Times, "Day in sports: Unbeaten boxing legend Rocky Marciano retires," 27 Apr. 2020 Texas Tech won the national team title in 2019 on the strength of wins by Divine Oduduru in the 100 (9.86) and 200 (19.73). Greg Riddle, Dallas News, "Wylie’s Daniel Omah, the Dallas area’s top 100-meter runner, commits to Texas Tech for track," 26 Apr. 2020 Another win: They lower vegetation maintenance costs, reducing the need for lawn mowers or landscapers. Lynn Freehill-maye, The Christian Science Monitor, "A new vision for farming: Chickens, sheep, and ... solar panels," 23 Apr. 2020 The win, which came with 72% of the vote, was the latest nominating-contest victory for the party’s presumptive presidential nominee. John Mccormick, WSJ, "Biden Wins Wyoming Caucuses on Path to Democratic Nomination," 19 Apr. 2020 After sweeping a doubleheader to start the tournament, which included Dullnig’s win, the Brewers played four more games in five days before the NCAA stopped play. Mike Joseph,, "Vassar College’s Dawson Dullnig, a TMI-Episcopal product, tastes thrill of first victory then agony of no season," 16 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for win

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Win.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for win


How to pronounce win (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for win

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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