\ 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 Dede concedes the election because Payton sings a song from Pippin After fighting tooth and nail to win her election, and even suggesting she was done with politics for good after this run, Dede concedes the election to Payton. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "From throuples to secession, the most shocking storylines on season 2 of The Politician," 20 June 2020 What’s more, with the fat bank account, the GOP is doubling its legal budget to $20 million to challenge Democratic efforts to win mail-in voting and other voting compromises. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Boom: $27.2M May haul for GOP, with Trump campaign raising more than $810M," 20 June 2020 Tiz the Law paid $3.60 to win, $2.90 to place and $2.60 to show. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Belmont Stakes 2020: Results, payouts, order of finish," 20 June 2020 DeBeer, a 5-foot-11 outside hitter, was a leader in helping the Rockets go 36-7 and win their third straight state championship. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "Assumption volleyball star DeBeer named Courier Journal Girls Athlete of the Year," 19 June 2020 Lue became the third coach in NBA history to win that championship after such a promotion, joining the Lakers’ Paul Westhead (1980) and Pat Riley (1982). Matt Goul, cleveland, "Four years after Cleveland Cavaliers’ NBA championship, where are they now?," 19 June 2020 That is cutting into the funds available to them for more traditional battlegrounds Trump must win, including Michigan and Pennsylvania. Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times, "Cash floods into pro-Biden super PAC," 19 June 2020 The Rockets, much like the Clippers, are built to win now. Callie Caplan, Dallas News, "Mavs playoff breakdown: Reasons for optimism, pessimism and key stats vs. 5 potential opponents," 18 June 2020 According to SuperBook USA, U-M is listed at 16-1 odds to win the Big Ten, tied for fourth-best in the league. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football 16-1 odds to win Big Ten; Michigan State football listed at 100-1," 17 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The win takes them four points clear at the top of the table with its closest rival Lazio playing one less match. Ben Church, CNN, "Cristiano Ronaldo scores as Juventus edges closer to ninth consecutive title," 23 June 2020 Finau, 30, played in the 2018 Ryder Cup and 2019 Presidents Cup along with boasting one PGA Tour win at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Tony Finau, ranked 17th-best in world, commits to Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit," 22 June 2020 Newman was in a harrowing accident when racing for the win on the final lap at Daytona in February. Mark Heim |, al, "NASCAR at Talladega: Geico 500 free live stream, TV info, how to watch online," 21 June 2020 The awarding of a late penalty set the Cameroonians up for a win. The Economist, "More than a game How winning big football matches promotes peace," 20 June 2020 Dallas should be looking into coming into this one for the win and avoid any cheese. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "Q&A: OWL caster ‘Bren’ on why ‘Paintbrush’ could be an upgrade for the Dallas Fuel," 17 June 2020 Back in 1995, in its first time racing in the 24-hour race in France, the F1 GTR took the win in its first appearance, driven by JJ Lehto, Yannick Dalmas, and Masanori Sekiya. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, "McLaren 720S Gets Special Edition for Anniversary of F1 GTR's Le Mans Win," 17 June 2020 No groans when Collin Morikawa missed a 6-foot birdie putt for the win., "A Safe Return for Golf as Berger Wins Colonial in a Playoff," 15 June 2020 The Eagles amassed a 12-2 record and made it to the Class 6A Division I state quarterfinals, which is one win from a berth in the state semifinal. Chris Shelton, Houston Chronicle, "Atascocita’s 3-star tight end Landen King commits to Auburn Tigers," 15 June 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

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

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Statistics for win

Last Updated

25 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Win.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 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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