\ 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 over won 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

conquer, prevail, triumph

Synonyms: Noun

palm, triumph, victory

Antonyms: Verb


Antonyms: Noun

beating, defeat, drubbing, licking, loss, overthrow, rout, shellacking, trimming, whipping

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Examples of win in a Sentence


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.


a pitcher with 15 wins Their win over the first place team was unexpected.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Lehau Foma’i threw three touchdown passes for Service, including the game-winning touchdown toss in overtime to Sharlynn Crutcher. Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage high school sports scoreboard," 6 Sep. 2019 The scientists worked for more than a decade to capture their award-winning image, combining the power of eight different radio telescopes around the world. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "They brought us the first photo of a black hole. Now, it won them $3 million," 5 Sep. 2019 Subscribe for videos, columns, opinions and analysis from The Arizona Republic’s award-winning sports team. Greg Moore, azcentral, "Former ASU linebacker Vontaze Burfict tried to restrain Antonio Brown, report says," 5 Sep. 2019 The award-winning singer, who is currently on her Cry Pretty Tour 360, will also get personal. Sam Gillette,, "Carrie Underwood Is Writing a Fitness Book & Will Share How She Navigated the 'Pressure to Look Perfect'," 4 Sep. 2019 That's because the damage increases by the eighth power, according to research by Nobel Prize-winning economist William D. Nordhaus. CBS News, "Hurricane Dorian moving up East Coast after leaving Bahamas in ruins," 4 Sep. 2019 Bruce Miller, showrunner for the Emmy-winning television adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, is involved in discussions about how to best approach the new material. Time, "Hulu and MGM Are Developing Margaret Atwood's 'The Testaments' for the Screen," 4 Sep. 2019 Temple Beth El of Boca Raton presents its Selichot program on Sept. 21 at its Schaefer Family Campus, 333 SW 4th Ave., with award-winning composer and performer Noah Aronson. Sergio Carmona,, "Boca Selichot program to feature musician Noah Aronson," 4 Sep. 2019 Tera's predecessor is Marsha, a NASA-award-winning cylindrical pod with a magnificent pun of a name. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "This Cabin Was Built for Mars—But You Can Test it Out in Upstate New York," 4 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Arizona State soccer improved to 5-0 Friday with a 3-1 win over UC Irvine in Tucson. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "ASU soccer beats UC Irvine, improving to 5-0," 6 Sep. 2019 Some teams in the Lone Star State opened the season with a win, while others struggled to avoid an upset. Peter Dawson, Houston Chronicle, "Betting odds for Texas college football games in Week 2, including Texas-LSU and Texas A&M-Clemson," 5 Sep. 2019 But perhaps most important, the Twins, with a 2-1 win over the Red Sox on Thursday night at Fenway Park, nearly doubled their division lead. Betsy Helfand, Twin Cities, "Twins finish wild, fulfilling road trip with win over Red Sox," 5 Sep. 2019 The Greeks claimed the 16th and final second-round berth with a win Thursday night against New Zealand. Tim Reynolds, The Denver Post, "Team USA rolls past Japan at FIBA World Cup," 5 Sep. 2019 Crenshaw opened the season with a 40-20 win over Reseda. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Crenshaw coach Robert Garrett is staying the course," 4 Sep. 2019 Opening the season with a 4-0 win over Chelsea showed just how serious this team is., "10 Things We Learned From the First Month of the Premier League Season," 4 Sep. 2019 The Timbers could move back into playoff position Saturday with a win over Sporting Kansas City. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Portland Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark continuing to excel in the net," 4 Sep. 2019 Ann Arbor Huron snapped its 39-game streak with a 63-14 win over Ecorse while Lansing Eastern’s 35-0 victory against Owosso ended its 38-game streak. Mick Mccabe, Detroit Free Press, "A natural fit: Chippewa Valley football defending its state title with new RB, QB," 2 Sep. 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near win

wimp out

Wimshurst machine






Statistics for win

Last Updated

8 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for win

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

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More Definitions for win



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with win

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for win

Spanish Central: Translation of win

Nglish: Translation of win for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of win for Arabic Speakers

Comments on win

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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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