• To acquire possession of.
  • To have or receive advantage or profit; to acquire gain; to grow rich; to advance in interest, health, or happiness; to make progress.
  • To come off winner or victor in; to be successful in; to obtain by competition.
  • To increase.
  • To be more likely to catch or overtake an individual.
  • To reach.
  • To draw into any interest or party; to win to one's side; to conciliate.
  • To put on weight.
  • To run fast.





Opposite words


  • From Middle English gayn, gain, gein, from Old Norse gagn ("benefit, advantage, use"), from Proto-Germanic *gagną, *gaganą, from Proto-Germanic *gagana ("back, against, in return"), a reduplication of Proto-Germanic *ga- ("with, together"), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱóm ("next to, at, with, along"). Cognate with Icelandic gagn ("gain, advantage, use"), Swedish gagn ("benefit, profit"), Danish gavn ("gain, profit, success"), Gothic 𐌲𐌰𐌲𐌴𐌹𐌲𐌰𐌽 ("to gain, profit"), Old Norse gegn ("ready"), dialectal Swedish gen ("useful, noteful"), Latin cum ("with"); see gain-, again, against. Compare also Middle English gaynen, geinen, Icelandic and Swedish gagna ("to avail, help"), Danish gavne ("to benefit").
  • The Middle English word was reinforced by Middle French gain ("gain, profit, advancement, cultivation"), from Old French gaaing, gaaigne, gaigne, a noun derivative of gaaignier, from Frankish *waidanjan ("to pasture, graze, hunt for food"), ultimately from Proto-Germanic *waiþiz, *waiþō, *waiþijō; compare Old High German weidōn, weidanōn (Modern German Weide ("pasture")), Old Norse veiða ("to catch, hunt"), Old English wǣþan ("to hunt, chase, pursue"). Related to wathe, wide.
  • From dialectal English gen, gin, short for again, agen; also Middle English gain, gayn, gein, ȝæn, from Old English gēan, geġn. More at against.
  • From Middle English gayn, gein, geyn, from Old Norse gegn ("straight, direct, short, ready, serviceable, kindly"), from gegn (whence gagna); see below at gain. Adverb from Middle English gayn, gayne, from the adjective.
  • Compare Welsh gan ("a mortise").

Modern English dictionary

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