\ 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 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 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 Ryan Greener, Frisco Wakeland junior: First-team all-state honoree had 12 goals and nine assists to help Wakeland win its third state title. Joseph Hoyt, Dallas News, "The Dallas Morning News’ 2021 all-area boys soccer: See full first and second teams," 7 May 2021 Investigators have also learned of a conversation between Dorworth and Gaetz about recruiting a third-party candidate to help their friend Jason Brodeur win a state Senate election last fall, according to the New York Times. Jason Garcia,, "Matt Gaetz helped set off Florida’s marijuana ‘green rush.’ Some of his friends, allies scored big," 6 May 2021 For example, 1,000 fans would pay $20 to bet on who would win the Cleveland Browns-Cincinnati Bengals game. Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, "Ohio would issue 40 sports betting licenses under Senate gaming bill," 6 May 2021 This is critical, given that the teams with the seventh- and eighth-best winning percentages in each conference will have two chances to win one game in the play-in tournament and earn a playoff berth. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "Steph Curry leads Warriors to critical win over lottery-bound Thunder," 6 May 2021 West won the state championship with a dramatic, come-from-behind finish that allowed coach John Opinsky to win the final game of his career. Anchorage Daily News, "Swimmer Lydia Jacoby, runner Tristian Merchant collect Pride of Alaska awards as Alaska’s top youth athletes," 5 May 2021 The Eagles scored three runs in the seventh to win the Mission League game. Eric Sondheimer Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "Roundup: Hart’s Massimo Vega performs closer role to perfection in 2-0 win over West Ranch," 5 May 2021 Any one of those three will help the Warriors win games next season. Patrick Murray, Forbes, "Golden State Warriors Face Rare Chance To Improve Playoff Positioning And NBA Draft Prospects," 5 May 2021 The new space could also help ASU researchers win more grants for their research, according to Stavros Kavouras, ASU assistant dean of graduate education and nutrition professor. Amanda Morris, The Arizona Republic, "ASU, Phoenix hope to lure researchers, entrepreneurs with new downtown innovation center," 5 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The win sends Chelsea to its second consecutive appearance in the Class 6A semifinals. al, "Kaden Weldon delivers big hit for second straight day to send Chelsea past Gardendale," 8 May 2021 Clarkson answered with a stepback 3-pointer with 51.7 seconds left and Bogdanovic's two free throws in the final seconds sealed the win. John Coon, ajc, "Bogdanovic scores career-high 48 points, Jazz beat Nuggets," 8 May 2021 The best win of his career came in 2018 vs. David Lemieux when Saunders thoroughly outboxed the powerful puncher. Josh Katzowitz, Forbes, "Canelo Alvarez Vs. Billy Joe Saunders: Odds, Records, Prediction," 8 May 2021 Heritage turned up the heat with a four-goal barrage and the Stallions held possession for almost all of the last four minutes to seal the win. Steve Gorches,, "Lake Highland falls to American Heritage in FHSAA girls lacrosse final," 8 May 2021 Jayson Tatum, sealing the Heat’s victory and sparking the 4-2 series win. Ira Winderman,, "Winderman: Heat-Celtics a rivalry with meaning, mouthiness, melodrama | Commentary," 8 May 2021 Sancher had three hits and an RBI in the nonleague win., "Cassidy Machado, Middleborough softball step up to the challenge, blank Bridgewater-Raynham," 8 May 2021 Massimo Vega came in with the bases loaded and got consecutive strikeouts to secure the win. Eric Sondheimer Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Hart catcher Matt Quintanar is destined to play baseball for a long time," 8 May 2021 The win puts the Pistons in a tie for the league's second-worst lottery odds with five games to play. ... Marlowe Alter, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons game vs. Philadelphia 76ers: Time, TV, more info," 8 May 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

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

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Statistics for win

Last Updated

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Win.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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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

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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