\ 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)

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The administration had come to the 1994 conference to present plans for health care reform that included sacrificing full reproductive coverage to try to win over Republican support. Amy Littlefield, The New Republic, 28 Sep. 2022 So out of the entire Liberty football roster, who would win a Madden video game tournament? Anthony Maluso, Baltimore Sun, 28 Sep. 2022 Its website touts its success in helping Democrats win elections in red states. Alison Dirr, Journal Sentinel, 28 Sep. 2022 By that fall, shooting was underway on the pilot, which set up Diane Lockhart's new path: Having reached a career apex and lived to see a woman win the White House at long last, Diane decides to retire to the South of France. Kristen Baldwin,, 28 Sep. 2022 No one matched all six numbers to win the Mega Millions jackpot, and zero tickets matched all five numbers except for the Mega Ball worth $1 million. Chris Sims, The Courier-Journal, 28 Sep. 2022 The ad blitz comes as the number of seats Republicans are forecast to win this November is decreasing, according to the CBS News Battleground Tracker. Aaron Navarro, CBS News, 28 Sep. 2022 Committed to Alabama was Young, who later surpassed all of them by becoming the first quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy in Alabama history. Joseph Goodman |, al, 28 Sep. 2022 The Detroiters were among other students who also attend historically Black colleges and universities who got a chance to win a scholarship and an entrepreneurship education. Detroit Free Press, 28 Sep. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Backup quarterback Tate Rodemaker would lead Florida State to a 35-31 come-from-behind win over the Cardinals, but most postgame discussions were centered on Travis’ status. Matt Murschel, Orlando Sentinel, 28 Sep. 2022 Burrow orchestrated a fourth quarter comeback with a pair of 70-plus yard drives to lead the Bengals to a 24-21 win over the Jaguars. Michael Niziolek, cleveland, 28 Sep. 2022 Lefkowitz won the boys 5K in 18:03 to lead the Eagles to the win. Bill Blewitt, Baltimore Sun, 28 Sep. 2022 Barlow coach Tracy Jackson said the Bruins’ road to the win will help build the confidence of his team. oregonlive, 28 Sep. 2022 On Sunday, third baseman Manny Machado hit his 31st home run of the season to help San Diego to a 13-6 win over the Colorado Rockies at Denver. John Scheibe, Los Angeles Times, 27 Sep. 2022 On Friday, Thomas led the Eagles to a 48-14 win over North Bullitt after running for 237 yards and four touchdowns. J.l. Kirven, The Courier-Journal, 27 Sep. 2022 Worman's ninth goal of the season lifted the Golden Eagles to a 1-0 win over Cathedral on Monday. Brian Haenchen, The Indianapolis Star, 26 Sep. 2022 What to know: Cooper Rush led the Cowboys to a big win and the Giants are surprisingly 2-0. Jaylon Thompson, USA TODAY, 26 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

30 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Win.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for win


\ 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

Nglish: Translation of win for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of win for Arabic Speakers


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