• synonyms


[geyn-fuh l]
See more synonyms for gainful on Thesaurus.com
  1. profitable; lucrative: gainful employment.
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Origin of gainful

First recorded in 1545–55; gain1 + -ful
Related formsgain·ful·ly, adverbgain·ful·ness, nounun·gain·ful, adjectiveun·gain·ful·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for gainful

advantageous, beneficial, fat, fruitful, generous, good, lucrative, lush, moneymaking, remunerative, rewarding, rich, satisfying, substantial, sweet, useful, worthwhile, going

Examples from the Web for gainful

Contemporary Examples of gainful

Historical Examples of gainful

  • One needs only to point out to them that the pursuit is gainful, and their interest is aroused.

  • What was our status in the business pursuits and gainful occupations at that time?

  • The pursuit of gainful effort is as old as the existence of man on earth.


    William Graham Sumner

  • His gainful pursuit was that of being a commercial traveller.

    Local Color

    Irvin S. Cobb

  • Now Harald has got him east away, And each morrow of fight was a gainful day.

    Poems by the Way

    William Morris

British Dictionary definitions for gainful


  1. profitable; lucrativegainful employment
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Derived Formsgainfully, adverbgainfulness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for gainful


1540s (implied in gainfully), from gain + -ful. Phrase gainfully employed attested from 1796.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper