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[urn] /ɜrn/
verb (used with object)
to gain or get in return for one's labor or service:
to earn one's living.
to merit as compensation, as for service; deserve:
to receive more than one has earned.
to acquire through merit:
to earn a reputation for honesty.
to gain as due return or profit:
Savings accounts earn interest.
to bring about or cause deservedly:
His fair dealing earned our confidence.
verb (used without object)
to gain income:
securities that earn on a quarterly basis.
Origin of earn1
before 900; Middle English ern(i)en, Old English earnian; akin to Old High German arnēn to earn, harvest
Related forms
earner, noun
Can be confused
earn, urn.
1. procure, make, receive, obtain. See gain1 .


[urn] /ɜrn/
verb (used without object), Obsolete
to grieve.
1570-80; perhaps variant of yearn Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for earn
  • How much money people make has a lot to do with how educated they are, but sometimes less-educated people earn more.
  • We talked about bringing in part of our allowance and doing extra chores to earn money.
  • Thinking the money you earn is due to your efforts and your efforts alone verges on delusions-of-grandeur.
  • It has encouraged schemes for single mothers to earn money.
  • Forever best manipulating remedy to cheat the people and earn the money.
  • But if you have an insurance, even non specialized hospitals will try to keep these babies to earn big money.
  • It's even possible that a few papers will be able to earn enough money online to make the traditional ad-supported strategy work.
  • Now that his children had left college, he didn't need to earn as much money, and he decided to do something public-spirited.
  • The method is economically viable and plant is being produced and used to earn money.
  • No one on the coast is trying to help me earn more money or live more cheaply.
British Dictionary definitions for earn


to gain or be paid (money or other payment) in return for work or service
(transitive) to acquire, merit, or deserve through behaviour or action: he has earned a name for duplicity
(transitive) (of securities, investments, etc) to gain (interest, return, profit, etc)
Word Origin
Old English earnian; related to Old High German arnēn to reap, Old Saxon asna salary, tithe
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
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Word Origin and History for earn

Old English earnian "deserve, earn, merit, win, get a reward for labor," from Proto-Germanic *aznojan (cf. Old Frisian esna "reward, pay"), from *azna "labor" especially "field labor" (cf. Old Norse önn "work in the field"), from PIE *aznon "to do harvest work, serve" (cf. Old High German arnon "to reap"), denominative verb from *es-en- "harvest, fall" (cf. Old High German aren "harvest, crop," German Ernte "harvest," Old English ern "harvest," Gothic asans "harvest, summer," Old Church Slavonic jeseni, Russian osen, Old Prussian assanis "autumn").

Also from the same root are Gothic asneis, Old High German esni "hired laborer, day laborer," Old English esne "serf, laborer, man." Related: Earned; earning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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earn in Technology

European Academic and Research Network.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Idioms and Phrases with earn
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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