\ 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 To learn more, visit Financial Garden teaches youth, adults and educators how to win with money and has impacted the lives of over 700 youth! Essence, "The Build Your Legacy Contest Winners Have Been Announced!," 4 July 2020 Without the Hall of Fame and two preseason games, how much of chance does fourth-round pick Tyler Biadasz have to win the starting center job over Joe Looney? Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, "Mike McCarthy faces uniquely long list of challenges to start first season as Cowboys head coach," 3 July 2020 On the eve of the vote, Putin sought to win over ordinary Russians by unveiling fresh cash payments for families and the unemployed and a tax increase for the rich. Ilya Arkhipov, Fortune, "It’s official: Vladimir Putin wins vote that could keep in power through 2036," 2 July 2020 With all the drama currently brewing in the house and with a few players desperate to win, fuses are already lit. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "The Challenge: Total Madness recap: Double elimination ends in tears," 2 July 2020 Finney added that a black woman can help Biden win some states. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Top Dems: Biden’s only VP choice is a black woman," 2 July 2020 The 35-year-old British driver is chasing a record-equaling seventh F1 title to equal Michael Schumacher’s record, and only needs to win eight more races to beat Schumacher’s mark of 91. Washington Post, "Formula 1 season starts 4 months later in a different world," 2 July 2020 Media coverage of The Wing was largely positive and frequently glowing, and Gelman hustled to win over her detractors. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "Leigh Stein's Self Care and the Death of the Girlboss," 1 July 2020 Unlike many mobile games, Arcade titles eschew intrusive ads and don’t push players to pay extra to win or make progress. Mark Gurman,, "Apple Cancels Some Arcade Games in Strategy Shift To Keep Subscribers," 1 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Everyone was talking about how big of a win this would be for Denny Hamlin. Michael Mccleary, The Indianapolis Star, "Tires the source of several one-driver crashes at Brickyard 400," 6 July 2020 Locations licensed by the ABC Board to sell alcohol got the go-ahead to sell by curbside pick-up or take-out, limited to one 750-ml bottle of spirits, one 750-ml bottle of win, or a six pack of beer per customer. al, "Suspending the rules: coronavirus prompted state to cut back on regulations," 5 July 2020 Ashe’s win at Wimbledon in 1975 was one for the ages. Washington Post, "Arthur Ashe broke ground for black tennis players and athlete activists," 2 July 2020 Republicans are also betting on a November win in eastern Colorado’s 4th Congressional District, represented by Buck since 2015. Nicholas Riccardi And Patty Nieberg, USA TODAY, "Colorado voters decide Sen. Gardner's challenger in primary," 30 June 2020 This was the first primary election since Massie's first win in 2012 that Massie had a primary challenger: Todd McMurtry. Julia Fair, The Enquirer, "Kentucky Primary: Owensby to face Massie in House race, NKY favors native Amy McGrath," 30 June 2020 The gravity of every win and loss is going to be felt. John Shea,, "Outlook for Giants’ Gabe Kapler, Farhan Zaidi: We’re starting in a pennant race," 30 June 2020 But his confidence for a win in November is already part of his wedding planning. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "'Zoomer' Madison Cawthorn would be a fresh face to deliver conservative message in the House," 29 June 2020 If the rest of the map remains unchanged, the poll results suggest a 335-203 Biden win in the Electoral College. Fortune, "Biden now leads in 6 states key to Trump’s 2016 victory," 25 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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for win

Last Updated

7 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Win.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 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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