\ 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

Modi, who recently won reelection in a landslide, has always cast himself as a bold leader willing to break with the past. Joanna Slater, Washington Post, "Modi’s radical move on Kashmir takes India into uncharted territory," 9 Aug. 2019 Also joining the Coaches Circle is the late John MacLeod, the New Albany, Ind., native who won eight varsity letters at Bellarmine University prior to a coaching career marked by successful stops at Oklahoma and Notre Dame. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Denny Crum is headed back to the Hall of Fame, and the bench, but not how you'd expect," 8 Aug. 2019 That script was highlighted this week, after Kacey Musgraves, the alternative-country singer who recently won the Album of the Year Grammy, called for gun control following the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Reason Musicians Speak Up About Mass Shootings," 7 Aug. 2019 Renée Zellweger, who won an Oscar 15 years ago for Cold Mountain, plays the title role. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "The 32 Most Anticipated Movies of Fall 2019," 7 Aug. 2019 Cooke, who won two CIF Southern Section championships at Renaissance Academy, was officially named the new Burbank coach Wednesday. Charles Rich, Burbank Leader, "Burbank High boys’ basketball tabs Cooke as new coach," 7 Aug. 2019 On the campaign trail, Reeves is embracing President Trump, who won the southern state by 17 points in 2016. Aaron Navarro, CBS News, "Mississippi gubernatorial GOP primary race heads into runoff," 7 Aug. 2019 Questions about work ethic were in reports explaining why the Houston Texans gave up on a 23-year-old who won the Doak Walker Award as college football’s outstanding running back. David Woods, Indianapolis Star, "D'Onta Foreman, once college football's top running back, starts over with Colts," 6 Aug. 2019 But John Bardeen, a professor of physics at the University of Illinois, who had already won fame for his role in the invention of the transistor, was undeterred. Kenneth Chang, New York Times, "J. Robert Schrieffer, 88, Dies; Insight on Superconductivity Led to Nobel," 6 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Altuve's run-scoring triple in the seventh snapped a 1-for-10 start with runners in scoring position, affording Houston sorely needed separation in an otherwise sluggish, 3-2 series-opening win. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros edge Orioles for 7th straight win," 9 Aug. 2019 Both players likely would have been ruled ineligible at a future date, and more severe penalties, including the vacating of wins, could have been enforced. Sam Blum |, al, "Auburn basketball had severe self-imposed sanctions from 2017 it never made public," 7 Aug. 2019 Karius let the ball slip through his hands, but Madrid isn't letting go of this trophy, completing the first hat trick of wins since Bayern Munich in the 1970s. Sara Ashley O'brien, CNN, "NYC wants to cut back on Uber, Lyft vehicles cruising without passengers," 7 Aug. 2019 Sixteen of the Broncos’ 21 projected Week 1 starters sat out last week’s Pro Football Hall of Fame game win over Atlanta, mostly as a precaution but also because of injury. Ryan O'halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos QB Joe Flacco’s goal for preseason debut: “Gain confidence as a group”," 7 Aug. 2019 The bigger win will be cutting the need for the extraction of virgin metals. Akshat Rathi, Quartz, "Europe’s battery leadership can help clean up the global metals supply chain," 7 Aug. 2019 But Pederson caught the baseball two paces in front of the warning track in right field, igniting a boom from the Dodger Stadium crowd, to end the seventh inning of the Dodgers’ 3-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Los Angeles Times, "Clayton Kershaw remains unbeatable at home as Dodgers defeat Cardinals," 6 Aug. 2019 The Cubs also were in need of a win after going 3-6 on a three-city trip to San Francisco, Milwaukee and St. Louis, and continued their stellar play at home this season, boosting their record to 37-18 at the Friendly Confines. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Cubs 6, Brewers 2: Road trip gets rougher with flat loss in series opener at Wrigley Field," 2 Aug. 2019 This is all true, but some of these key wins were the result of action by Albany, not City Hall. NBC News, "Fact-check: The July Democratic debate 2019, Night 2," 1 Aug. 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

11 Aug 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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of or relating to the heavens

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