- to gain or get in return for one's labor or service: to earn one's living.
- to merit as compensation, as for service; deserve: to receive more than one has earned.
- to acquire through merit: to earn a reputation for honesty.
- to gain as due return or profit: Savings accounts earn interest.
- to bring about or cause deservedly: His fair dealing earned our confidence.
- to gain income: securities that earn on a quarterly basis.
Origin of earn1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- to grieve.
Origin of earn2
Examples from the Web for earning
He also bragged about earning a PhD, a point Smerconish did not question.The Price of Steve Scalise’s Silence
January 7, 2015
In the 21st century women are earning their equality every step of the way… including the bedroom.Career-Minded Women Turn to Male Escorts For No-Strings Fun and (Maybe) Sex
January 3, 2015
Instead of wallowing in comedy exile, Slate was earning a book deal.
For many aspiring comedians, earning a place on SNL is their entire raison d'être.
When Ma was still an English teacher in Hangzhou earning $12 a month, he gathered 17 men and women in his apartment.Alibaba’s Dark Side: Censoring Customers
November 18, 2014
In this way he would be earning something, and it would be better than being idle.Brave and Bold
Only three of them she knew made any pretence of earning their living.
As to "earning her living," I am not sure but she was learning to do it in several ways.
I am earning my bread in the way I desire—I am independent—I want them not.Night and Morning, Complete
To hear her speak of "earning one's living" was too much for him.The Gentleman From Indiana
- to gain or be paid (money or other payment) in return for work or service
- (tr) to acquire, merit, or deserve through behaviour or actionhe has earned a name for duplicity
- (tr) (of securities, investments, etc) to gain (interest, return, profit, etc)
Word Origin and History for earning
Old English earnian "deserve, earn, merit, win, get a reward for labor," from Proto-Germanic *aznojan (cf. Old Frisian esna "reward, pay"), from *azna "labor" especially "field labor" (cf. Old Norse önn "work in the field"), from PIE *aznon "to do harvest work, serve" (cf. Old High German arnon "to reap"), denominative verb from *es-en- "harvest, fall" (cf. Old High German aren "harvest, crop," German Ernte "harvest," Old English ern "harvest," Gothic asans "harvest, summer," Old Church Slavonic jeseni, Russian osen, Old Prussian assanis "autumn").
Also from the same root are Gothic asneis, Old High German esni "hired laborer, day laborer," Old English esne "serf, laborer, man." Related: Earned; earning.