- to get (something desired), especially as a result of one's efforts: to gain possession of an object; to gain permission to enter a country.
- to acquire as an increase or addition: to gain weight; to gain speed.
- to obtain as a profit: He gained ten dollars by this deal.
- to win; get in competition: to gain the prize.
- to win (someone) to one's own side or point of view; persuade (sometimes followed by over): to gain supporters.
- (of a watch or clock) to run fast by (a specified amount): My watch gains six minutes a day.
- to reach, especially by effort; get to; arrive at: to gain one's destination.
- to improve; make progress; advance: to gain in health after an illness.
- to get nearer, as in pursuit (usually followed by on or upon): Our horse was gaining on the favorite at the far turn.
- to draw away from or farther ahead of the other contestants in a race, one's pursuers, etc. (usually followed by on or upon).
- (of a watch or clock) to run fast.
- profit or advantage.
- an increase or advance.
- gains, profits or winnings.
- the act of gaining; acquisition.
- a measure of the increase in signal amplitude produced by an amplifier, expressed as the ratio of output to input.
- the effectiveness of a directional antenna as compared with a standard, nondirectional one.
- the volume control of a radio, phonograph, amplifier, etc.
- gain ground, to progress or advance, as in value, strength, or achievement: The company's new products are gaining ground in suburban areas.
- gain time, to arrange a postponement or delay for a particular purpose, especially by roundabout means.
Origin of gain1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for gain on Thesaurus.com
- a notch, dado, or mortise cut into a piece of wood, as to receive another piece or to house a flap of a hinge.
- tusk(def 4).
- a short rabbet, for receiving a flap of a butt hinge.
- to make a gain or gains in.
- to fasten or support by means of a gain.
Origin of gain2
Examples from the Web for gain
The email appears to have been a relatively common attempt to gain personal information from a wide range of unwitting victims.Was Sony Hit With a Second Hack?
January 8, 2015
In an effort to gain early attention, he focused his attention on the Iowa precinct caucuses, which had never mattered much.The World’s Toughest Political Quiz
December 31, 2014
They just realized that they could gain power by uniting two very different groups: the same moneyed elites as always, and you.Dear Evangelicals: You’re Being Had
November 30, 2014
What specifically did Obama stand to gain if he did what Todd thinks he should do?Chuck Todd’s Lousy Obama Takedown
November 14, 2014
What does the DPRK stand to gain for releasing two more captured Americans at this moment?Why North Korea Released Two Americans
Gordon G. Chang
November 9, 2014
Through his aunt he could gain her entrance where he pleased.
Let me know any intelligence you may gain of the enemy's strength or movements.A Sketch of the Life of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion
William Dobein James
This was the first time I ever attempted to escape and gain my freedom.Biography of a Slave
But by this time Vavasor had resolved to make an attempt to gain his aunt, and so Hester.
To gain a diversion, he reverted to his familiar bullying tactics.Within the Law
- (tr) to acquire (something desirable); obtain
- (tr) to win in competitionto gain the victory
- to increase, improve, or advancethe car gained speed; the shares gained in value
- (tr) to earn (a wage, living, etc)
- (intr; usually foll by on or upon)
- to get nearer (to) or catch up (on)
- to get farther away (from)
- (tr) (esp of ships) to get to; reachthe steamer gained port
- (of a timepiece) to operate too fast, so as to indicate a time ahead of the true time or to run fast by a specified amountthis watch gains; it gains ten minutes a day
- gain ground to make progress or obtain an advantage
- gain time
- to obtain extra time by a delay or postponement
- (of a timepiece) to operate too fast
- something won, acquired, earned, etc; profit; advantage
- an increase in size, amount, etc
- the act of gaining; attainment; acquisition
- Also called: amplification electronics the ratio of the output signal of an amplifier to the input signal, usually measured in decibels
- a notch, mortise, or groove, esp one cut to take the flap of a butt hinge
- (tr) to cut a gain or gains in
- Guaranteed Annual Income
Word Origin and History for gain
late 15c., from Middle French gain, from Old French gaaigne "gain, profit, advantage; booty; arable land" (12c.), from gaaignier "to gain" (see gain (v.)). The original French sense enfolded the notions of "profit from agriculture" and "booty, prey." Implied earlier in Middle English gaignage (late 14c.) "profit from agriculture."
1520s, from Middle French gagner, from Old French gaaignier "to earn, gain; trade; capture, win," also "work in the fields, cultivate land," from Frankish *waidanjan "hunt, forage," also "graze, pasture," from Proto-Germanic *wartho "hunting ground" (cf. Old English waþ "hunting," German Weide "pasture, pasturage," Old Norse veiðr "hunting, catch of fish"), from PIE *weie- "to strive after, pursue with vigor, desire" (see venison). Related: Gained; gaining. To gain on "advance nearer" is from 1719. To gain ground (1620s) was originally military.
- An increase in amount or degree.
- Progress; advancement.
Idioms and Phrases with gain
In addition to the idiom beginning with gain
- gain ground
- ill-gotten gains
- no pain, no gain
- nothing ventured, nothing gained