Origin of gathering

before 900; Middle English gaderinge, Old English gaderunge. See gather, -ing1

Synonyms for gathering



verb (used with object)

to bring together into one group, collection, or place: to gather firewood; to gather the troops.
to bring together or assemble from various places, sources, or people; collect gradually: The college is gathering a faculty from all over the country.
to serve as a center of attention for; attract: A good football game always gathers a crowd.
to pick or harvest (any crop or natural yield) from its place of growth or formation: to gather fruit; to gather flowers.
to pick up piece by piece: Gather your toys from the floor.
to pick or scoop up: She gathered the crying child in her arms.
to collect (as taxes, dues, money owed, etc.).
to accumulate; increase: The storm gathers force. The car gathered speed.
to take by selection from among other things; sort out; cull.
to assemble or collect (one's energies or oneself) as for an effort (often followed by up): He gathered up his strength for the hard job.
to learn or conclude from observation; infer; deduce: I gather that he is the real leader.
to wrap or draw around or close: He gathered his scarf around his neck.
to contract (the brow) into wrinkles.
to draw (cloth) up on a thread in fine folds or puckers by means of even stitches.
Bookbinding. to assemble (the printed sections of a book) in proper sequence for binding.
Nautical. to gain (way) from a dead stop or extremely slow speed.
Metalworking. to increase the sectional area of (stock) by any of various operations.
Glassmaking. to accumulate or collect (molten glass) at the end of a tube for blowing, shaping, etc.

verb (used without object)

to come together around a central point; assemble: Let's gather round the fire and sing.
to collect or accumulate: Clouds were gathering in the northeast.
to grow, as by accretion; increase.
to become contracted into wrinkles, folds, creases, etc., as the brow or as cloth.
to come to a head, as a sore in suppurating.


a drawing together; contraction.
Often gathers. a fold or pucker, as in gathered cloth.
an act or instance of gathering.
an amount or number gathered, as during a harvest.
Glassmaking. a mass of molten glass attached to the end of a punty.

Origin of gather

before 900; Middle English gaderen, Old English gaderian, derivative of geador together, akin to gæd fellowship; cf. together, good
Related formsgath·er·a·ble, adjectivegath·er·er, nounpre·gath·er, verb (used without object)re·gath·er, verbun·gath·ered, adjectivewell-gath·ered, adjective

Synonyms for gather

Synonym study

1, 2. Gather, assemble, collect, muster, marshal imply bringing or drawing together. Gather expresses the general idea usually with no implication of arrangement: to gather seashells. Assemble is used of objects or facts brought together preparatory to arranging them: to assemble data for a report. Collect implies purposeful accumulation to form an ordered whole: to collect evidence. Muster, primarily a military term, suggests thoroughness in the process of collection: to muster all one's resources. Marshal, another term primarily military, suggests rigorously ordered, purposeful arrangement: to marshal facts for effective presentation.

Antonyms for gather Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gathering

Contemporary Examples of gathering

Historical Examples of gathering

  • At the evening gathering Lord Shaftesbury occupied the chair.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • There he stood for a moment, and Andrew knew that he was gathering his nerve.

  • I left the village in the gathering gloom and was soon out on the heather.

  • So, on this Monday evening, there were but seventeen at the gathering.

  • Bill was scrubbing the porch, and a farmhand was gathering bottles from the grass into a box.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

British Dictionary definitions for gathering



a group of people, things, etc, that are gathered together; assembly
sewing a gather or series of gathers in material
  1. the formation of pus in a boil
  2. the pus so formed
printing an informal name for section (def. 17)



to assemble or cause to assemble
to collect or be collected gradually; muster
(tr) to learn from information given; conclude or assume
(tr) to pick or harvest (flowers, fruit, etc)
(tr; foll by to or into) to clasp or embracethe mother gathered the child into her arms
(tr) to bring close (to) or wrap (around)she gathered her shawl about her shoulders
to increase or cause to increase gradually, as in force, speed, intensity, etc
to contract (the brow) or (of the brow) to become contracted into wrinkles; knit
(tr) to assemble (sections of a book) in the correct sequence for binding
(tr) to collect by making a selection
(tr) to prepare or make readyto gather one's wits
to draw (material) into a series of small tucks or folds by passing a thread through it and then pulling it tight
(intr) (of a boil or other sore) to come to a head; form pus


  1. the act of gathering
  2. the amount gathered
a small fold in material, as made by a tightly pulled stitch; tuck
printing an informal name for section (def. 17)
Derived Formsgatherable, adjectivegatherer, noun

Word Origin for gather

Old English gadrian; related to Old Frisian gaderia, Middle Low German gaderen
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 gathering

"a meeting," mid-12c., from late Old English gaderung, verbal noun from gather.



Old English gadrian, gædrian "unite, agree, assemble; gather, collect, store up," used of flowers, thoughts, persons; from Proto-Germanic *gadurojan "bring together, unite" (cf. Old English gæd "fellowship, companionship," gædeling "companion;" Middle Low German gadderen; Old Frisian gaderia; Dutch gaderen "to gather," gade "spouse;" German Gatte "husband;" Gothic gadiliggs), from PIE *ghedh- "to unite, join" (see good (adj.). Change of spelling from -d- to -th- is 1500s, reflecting earlier change in pronunciation. Related: Gathered; gathering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with gathering


see rolling stone gathers no moss.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.