See more synonyms for win on
verb (used without object), won, win·ning.
  1. to finish first in a race, contest, or the like.
  2. to succeed by striving or effort: He applied for a scholarship and won.
  3. to gain the victory; overcome an adversary: The home team won.
  4. Slang. to be successful or competent and be acknowledged for it: My sister wins at getting the biggest bargains.Compare fail(def 9).
verb (used with object), won, win·ning.
  1. to succeed in reaching (a place, condition, etc.), especially by great effort: They won the shore through a violent storm.
  2. to get by effort, as through labor, competition, or conquest: He won his post after years of striving.
  3. to gain (a prize, fame, etc.).
  4. to be successful in (a game, battle, etc.).
  5. to make (one's way), as by effort or ability.
  6. to attain or reach (a point, goal, etc.).
  7. to gain (favor, love, consent, etc.), as by qualities or influence.
  8. to gain the favor, regard, or adherence of.
  9. to gain the consent or support of; persuade (often followed by over): The speech won them over to our side.
  10. to persuade to marry; gain in marriage.
  11. British Mining.
    1. to obtain (ore, coal, etc.).
    2. to prepare (a vein, bed, mine, etc.) for working, by means of shafts or the like.
  1. a victory, as in a game or horse race.
  2. the position of the competitor who comes in first in a horse race, harness race, etc.Compare place(def 27b), show(def 27).
  3. Slang.
    1. a success, or something good: She was having a bad week, so she really needed a win.Compare fail(def 14a).
    2. the state or quality of being successful or good: There was so much win in last night’s episode!Compare fail(def 14b).
  1. Slang.
    1. successful or competent.Compare fail(def 19b).
    2. very good or of high quality; awesome: To hear him play, now that was win!Compare fail(def 19c).
  1. Slang. (used to acknowledge success, competence, etc.): I just got tickets to the concert. Win!
Verb Phrases
  1. win out, to win or succeed, especially over great odds; triumph: His finer nature finally won out.
  1. 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

Synonyms for win

See more synonyms for on
6. obtain, secure, acquire, achieve, reach, procure. See gain1. 13. convince. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for win out

win out

  1. (intr, adverb) informal to succeed or prevail as if in a contestsanity rarely wins out over prejudice


verb wins, winning or won
  1. (intr) to achieve first place in a competition
  2. (tr) to gain or receive (a prize, first place, etc) in a competition
  3. (tr) to succeed in or gain (something) with an effortwe won recognition
  4. win one's spurs
    1. to achieve recognition in some field of endeavour
    2. historyto be knighted
  5. to gain victory or triumph in (a battle, argument, etc)
  6. (tr) to earn or procure (a living, etc) by work
  7. (tr) to take possession of, esp violently; capturethe Germans never won Leningrad
  8. (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
  9. (tr) to turn someone into (a supporter, enemy, etc)you have just won an ally
  10. (tr) to gain (the sympathy, loyalty, etc) of someone
  11. (tr) to obtain (a woman, etc) in marriage
  12. (tr)
    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
  13. you can't win informal an expression of resignation after an unsuccessful attempt to overcome difficulties
  1. informal a success, victory, or triumph
  2. profit; winnings
  3. 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
  1. to dry (grain, hay, peat, etc) by exposure to sun and air
  2. 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 out



fusion of Old English winnan "struggle for, work at, strive, fight," and gewinnan "to gain or succeed by struggling, to win," both from Proto-Germanic *wenwanan (cf. Old Saxon winnan, Old Norse vinna, Old Frisian winna, Dutch winnen "to gain, win," Danish vinde "to win," Old High German winnan "to strive, struggle, fight," German gewinnen "to gain, win," Gothic gawinnen "to suffer, toil"). Perhaps related to wish, or from PIE *van- "overcome, conquer." Related: Won; winning.

Sense of "to be victorious" is recorded from c.1300. Breadwinner preserves the sense of "toil" in Old English winnan. Phrase you can't win them all (1954) first attested in Raymond Chandler. Winningest is attested by 1804.



Old English winn "labor, strife, conflict," from the source of win (v.). Modern sense of "a victory in a game or contest" is first attested 1862, from the verb.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with win out

win out

Succeed, prevail, as in She was sure she'd win out if she persisted. [Late 1800s]


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.