win·​ning | \ ˈwi-niŋ \

Definition of winning

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act of one that wins : victory
2 : something won: such as
a : a captured territory : conquest
b : money won by success in a game or competition usually used in plural



Definition of winning (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : of or relating to winning : that wins the winning ticket
b : successful especially in competition a winning team
2 : tending to please or delight a winning personality

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Other Words from winning


winningly \ ˈwi-​niŋ-​lē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for winning

Synonyms: Adjective

adorable, darling, dear, disarming, endearing, lovable (also loveable), lovesome, precious, sweet, winsome

Antonyms: Adjective

abhorrent, abominable, detestable, hateful, loathsome, odious, unlovable

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Examples of winning in a Sentence


She scored the winning goal. They were a winning marketing team. Chocolate and mint is a winning combination.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Fifteen champions have finished with a better winning percentage including the postseason than the Red Sox. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Boston Red Sox: Greatest Season of All Time?," 29 Oct. 2018 Though Miami is in a virtual tie with the Mets (the Marlins are 34-50, the Mets are 32-48), the Marlins have a better winning percentage (.405 vs. .400), skipping over the Mets for the moment in the standings. Matthew Defranks,, "A Closer Look: Miami Marlins 5, New York Mets 2," 30 June 2018 Even Sumlin, who had a better winning percentage in College Station than Bear Bryant did in his four years there, couldn’t survive the overwhelming hunger for national relevance. Andy Staples,, "The Message Behind the Money: How Texas A&M Landed Jimbo Fisher," 28 June 2018 Image The Mets’ record would indicate otherwise; only six teams in the majors started play on Friday with a worse winning percentage. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "Mets’ Season Is Looking Like a Rerun of Last Year’s Awful Show," 22 June 2018 Compare that to Nadal (6th), Evert (7th) Serena (7th), Sampras (8th), Graf (12th) and even Djokovic (13th), something that drops his winning percentage considerably. Chris Chase, For The Win, "Has any tennis player ever ruled a tournament like Rafael Nadal?," 11 June 2018 The Jazz moved to Salt Lake City from New Orleans in 1978, and the franchise actually has a better winning percentage than the Suns. Greg Moore, azcentral, "Moore: What would an NBA title mean to Phoenix Suns fans? Everything.," 26 May 2018 The Magic’s record was 10-20 in that span, about the same winning percentage as Vaughn’s over the previous 52 games. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "By the numbers: How new Hornets coach James Borrego fared as Magic’s interim coach | Charlotte Observer," 10 May 2018 FC Cincinnati has a higher winning percentage, scores more goals and allows fewer when defensive midfielder Kenney Walker is in the starting lineup. Charlie Hatch,, "Kenney Walker's 50-yard strike for FC Cincinnati named USL's April Goal of the Month," 7 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

And Swinney soon after publicly declared that the Tigers would have their winningest decade ever by time 2020 arrived. Stephen Hawkins, The Seattle Times, "Dabo Swinney fulfills promise with Clemson’s best decade," 1 Jan. 2019 Many expect the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s contributor committee to next year enshrine Pat Bowlen, one of the NFL’s winningest owners and a hugely influential figure during the league’s rapid financial boom. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Inside the Fight for the Future of the Denver Broncos," 9 Dec. 2018 The endangered senator, running for reelection in a state that President Trump won by 19 points, has put health care front-and-center in her campaign – a potentially winning issue in a race considered a toss-up. Francine Kiefer, The Christian Science Monitor, "With high court in play, Democrats link abortion rights and health care," 5 July 2018 Farrell, the winningest quarterback in Xaverian Brothers’ history, led NU to a 36-21 record. John Johnson,, "Jake Farrell a force in Northeastern return," 8 June 2018 He’s delivered three national championships, making him one of the winningest coaches in college football. Laura Mcgann, Vox, "Urban Meyer and Ohio State care more about a game than victims of domestic violence," 31 Aug. 2018 But the winning side of the Babe’s life predominates in these pages and in history. Katherine A. Powers, WSJ, "‘The Big Fella’ Review: American Hit Parade," 5 Oct. 2018 From the publisher: Bill Belichick is perhaps the most fascinating figure in the NFL—the infamously dour face of one of the winningest franchises in sports. Fox News, "'Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time' by Ian O'Connor," 25 Sep. 2018 That’s when Rachel throws out the eight of bamboo as a discard — folding her winning hand, knowing that Eleanor will pick it up and declare victory. Jeff Yang, Vox, "The symbolism of Crazy Rich Asians’ pivotal mahjong scene, explained," 20 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'winning.' 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 winning


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for winning

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for winning

The first known use of winning was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for winning



English Language Learners Definition of winning

: relating to or producing a win

: successful at something

: pleasing or attractive to other people


win·​ning | \ ˈwi-niŋ\

Kids Definition of winning

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act of a person or people who win
2 : something won especially in gambling often used in pl.



Kids Definition of winning (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : being someone or something that wins, has won, or wins often a winning candidate a winning ticket
2 : tending to please or delight a winning smile

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More from Merriam-Webster on winning

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with winning

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for winning

Spanish Central: Translation of winning

Nglish: Translation of winning for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of winning for Arabic Speakers

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