\ 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 The underlying theme was inevitability: FSU would find a way to win. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Florida State's football program searches for an identity and a winning streak," 8 Oct. 2020 Critics say Barr has repeatedly shown a willingness to use the Justice Department to help Trump win the election. Matt Zapotosky, Anchorage Daily News, "Justice Department’s new election fraud guidance could boost Trump’s exaggerated claims, legal observers say," 8 Oct. 2020 Sharon Dennis, a Fountain Hills resident, wanted to see Harris win the nomination. Rachel Leingang, The Arizona Republic, "'This is history making for us' — Democrats in Arizona excited by Kamala Harris on ticket," 8 Oct. 2020 Most likely Trump will win and the BLM movement will burn down Silicon Valley… Win Win. Lauren Smiley, Wired, "The True Story of the Antifa Invasion of Forks, Washington," 8 Oct. 2020 During a conference call with reporters on Thursday, general manager Stan Bowman said the team will not re-sign the goaltender that helped the team win the Stanley Cup in 2013 and 2015. Chicago Tribune Staff,, "Corey Crawford’s time with the Blackhawks is over after GM Stan Bowman says the team will not re-sign the goalie: ‘It was an emotional talk’," 8 Oct. 2020 Ferry has joined other John McCain presidential campaign alumni in endorsing Biden this year, but GOP operatives who want Trump to win share this view. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "Trump, trailing in polls, bets on his base," 8 Oct. 2020 Can the Browns find a way to win and raise their record to 3-1? Terry Pluto, cleveland, "How can Browns pull an upset in Dallas? Let’s scribble about it – Terry Pluto," 4 Oct. 2020 Chicago has found a way to win three straight games, and Nick Foles could provide the offense with some life, at least for a few games. Chris Sims, The Indianapolis Star, "NFL Week 4 predictions: Can Colts hand Bears their first loss?," 2 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Look, President Trump was right to get credit for breaking through that big blue wall, but right now, 2020 poll numbers look a lot more like Obama's win in 2012 than Hillary Clinton's loss in 2016. NBC News, "Meet the Press - September 27, 2020," 27 Sep. 2020 But if the Brewers and San Francisco Giants (playing at 3:05 p.m. against the San Diego Padres) win, the Cardinals will need to play the unscheduled doubleheader. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera gets 'well-deserved' break in potential 2020 season finale," 27 Sep. 2020 The Miami Dolphins have gotten off to a slow start this season, with the team’s first victory coming in Thursday night’s 31-13 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Omar Kelly,, "Kelly: Ten things that can improve the Miami Dolphins now | Commentary," 27 Sep. 2020 Connecticut Sun are one win away from advancing to the finals, while McCall’s Minnesota Lynx will look to overcome a 2-0 series deficit at the hands of the Seattle Storm. Alexa Philippou,, "‘It’s kind of surreal:’ Sisters DeWanna Bonner and Erica McCall are embracing life in the WNBA bubble together — and are hoping for a matchup in finals," 27 Sep. 2020 The Chargers ran for 155 yards in an opening 16-13 win, and the Browns piled up 215 on the ground, putting it away with a fourth-quarter touchdown drive that consisted of all runs. Mark Heim |, al, "Bengals vs. Eagles live stream (9/27): How to watch NFL Week 3 online, TV, time," 27 Sep. 2020 Rising head coach Rick Schantz, who learned about the club's group win during the postgame press conference, praised his team for its success. Lorenzino Estrada, The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix Rising FC secures playoff berth with in over Orange County," 27 Sep. 2020 In the middle of the third quarter of the No. 14 Bearcats 24-10 win over No. 22 Army on Saturday, Dublanko finally had his chance to be the dunker. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, "Cincinnati Bearcats defense looks the part of championship contender in win over Army," 27 Sep. 2020 Consider Fitch’s 42-14 win against Benedictine at Euclid Community Stadium a resounding argument for his Falcons. Matt Goul, cleveland, "Austintown-Fitch makes statement for Division II votes with 42-14 win at No. 9 Benedictine," 27 Sep. 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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Statistics for win

Last Updated

11 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Win.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 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

Nglish: Translation of win for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of win for Arabic Speakers

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