\ ˈwin How to pronounce win (audio) \
won\ ˈwən How to pronounce win (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 win (audio) \ adjective
winnable \ ˈwi-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce win (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 Chen is the first man to win four consecutive national titles since Brian Boitano in 1988. Barry Wilner, Star Tribune, "Chen the headliner, Bell could be scene stealer at nationals," 13 Jan. 2021 A few months after signing his extension, Betts helped L.A. win its first World Series since 1988. New York Times, "Francisco Lindor Talks Mets, Pizza and Contract Extensions," 11 Jan. 2021 The Browns used ‘Browns is the Browns’ as their rallying cry and used it to help win their first playoff game since the 1994 season. cleveland, "Steelers’ Chase Claypool: ‘Bad loss, but the Browns are going to get clapped next week, so it’s all good’," 11 Jan. 2021 Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith is the first wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy since Michigan’s Desmond Howard in 1991. oregonlive, "Oregon Ducks WR signee Troy Franklin draws comparison to Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith," 11 Jan. 2021 Smith is the first receiver to win the Heisman Trophy since Desmond Howard of Michigan in 1991, and Alabama’s senior earned it over three worthy quarterbacks, including teammate Mac Jones. Joseph Goodman |, al, "The ultimate teammate, Alabama Heisman winner DeVonta Smith dazzled with football artistry," 6 Jan. 2021 This is the first time a wide receiver has won the prestigious award since Michigan's Desmond Howard in 1991, and Smith becomes just the fourth wide receiver to win the Heisman since its inception in 1935. Kevin Dotson, CNN, "DeVonta Smith of Alabama becomes first wide receiver to win Heisman Trophy in almost 30 years," 5 Jan. 2021 In a sign of how far the county has moved from its deeply conservative roots, Hillary Clinton beat Trump there in 2016 — the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the county since 1936. Stephanie Lai, Los Angeles Times, "Republican congressional wins in California won’t avert party’s ‘death spiral,’ analysts say," 4 Jan. 2021 Duncanville, trying to win its first state championship since 1998, is one step closer to facing a North Shore team that is ranked No. 2 in the nation and was a 56-14 winner in its regional final against Fort Bend Ridge Point. Greg Riddle, Dallas News, "Duncanville takes care of business vs. longtime rival DeSoto to reach the state semifinals," 3 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Congress will meet on Jan. 6 to certify Biden's win, and Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will both be sworn in on Jan. 20, USA TODAY reported. Mckenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY, "Fact check: False news report indicates Biden plans to step down as president-elect," 5 Jan. 2021 In this sense, Monday night’s Trump rally in Dalton, Ga., is the president’s win-one-for-the-Gipper test. William Mcgurn, WSJ, "Joe Biden’s Georgia Test," 4 Jan. 2021 If the two Democratic challengers, Jon Ossoff and the Rev. Raphael Warnock, both win, Democrats will control the White House and both chambers of Congress. Richard Fausset,, "As Georgia prepares to vote, Trump’s interference draws rebuke," 4 Jan. 2021 Facing a win-and-in game on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, the Dolphins tweaked their roster on Saturday by adding safety Nate Holley, waiving Cox to clear a roster spot for the defensive back. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Prince Tega Wanogho in line to make his NFL debut on Sunday night," 3 Jan. 2021 Austin Hooper’s fourth touchdown catch of the season put the Cleveland Browns ahead 17-9 in their must-win game Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Joe Noga, cleveland, "Austin Hooper hauls in a 2-yard TD pass from Baker Mayfield to up Cleveland Browns’ lead over Pittsburgh," 3 Jan. 2021 Nice win in last; no reason to see why this one can’t repeat here. Michael Beychok,, "Check out Chok's Choices for Sunday's Fair Grounds races," 2 Jan. 2021 The Pac-12 title win over USC, by no fault of its own, ended up hollow to the rest of the conference. oregonlive, "Canzano: Looking for a statement about 2021 from Oregon Ducks in Fiesta Bowl," 2 Jan. 2021 The Rams get in with a win or a tie, coupled with a Bears loss or tie. Demetrio Teniente, Dallas News, "COVID-19 protocols forcing Tony Romo to miss Sunday’s Cardinals-Rams broadcast for CBS," 2 Jan. 2021

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

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Win.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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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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