Nearby words

  1. wimp out,
  2. wimpish,
  3. wimple,
  4. wimpy,
  5. wimshurst machine,
  6. win by a nose,
  7. win hands down,
  8. win on points,
  9. win one's spurs,
  10. win out


    for the win, Slang. (used to express enthusiasm for someone or something that is very good, likely to succeed, etc.): a plant-based diet, for the win!

Origin of win

before 900; Middle English winnen (v.), Old English winnan to work, fight, bear; cognate with German gewinnen, Old Norse vinna, Gothic winnan

Related formswin·na·ble, adjective



verb (used with object), winned, win·ning. Scot. and North England.

to dry (hay, wood, etc.) by exposure to air and sun.

Origin of win

First recorded in 1550–60; perhaps variant of winnow Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for win

British Dictionary definitions for win



verb wins, winning or won

(intr) to achieve first place in a competition
(tr) to gain or receive (a prize, first place, etc) in a competition
(tr) to succeed in or gain (something) with an effortwe won recognition
win one's spurs
  1. to achieve recognition in some field of endeavour
  2. historyto be knighted
to gain victory or triumph in (a battle, argument, etc)
(tr) to earn or procure (a living, etc) by work
(tr) to take possession of, esp violently; capturethe Germans never won Leningrad
(when intr, foll by out, through, etc) to reach with difficulty (a desired condition or position) or become free, loose, etc, with effortthe boat won the shore; the boat won through to the shore
(tr) to turn someone into (a supporter, enemy, etc)you have just won an ally
(tr) to gain (the sympathy, loyalty, etc) of someone
(tr) to obtain (a woman, etc) in marriage
  1. to extract (ore, coal, etc) from a mine
  2. to extract (metal or other minerals) from ore
  3. to discover and make (a mineral deposit) accessible for mining
you can't win informal an expression of resignation after an unsuccessful attempt to overcome difficulties


informal a success, victory, or triumph
profit; winnings
the act or fact of reaching the finishing line or post first
See also win out

Derived Formswinnable, adjective

Word Origin for win

Old English winnan; related to Old Norse vinna, German gewinnen

verb wins, winning, won or winned (tr) Irish, Scot and Northern English dialect

to dry (grain, hay, peat, etc) by exposure to sun and air
a less common word for winnow

Word Origin for win

Old English, perhaps a variant of winnow

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 win
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with win


In addition to the idioms beginning with win

  • win by a nose
  • wind down
  • wind up
  • wine and dine
  • wing it
  • win hands down
  • winning streak
  • win one's spurs
  • win on points
  • win out
  • win over
  • win some, lose some
  • win through

also see:

  • (win) hands down
  • no-win situation
  • slow but sure (steady wins the race)
  • you can't win
  • you can't win 'em all
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.