|1.||to gain or be paid (money or other payment) in return for work or service|
|2.||(tr) to acquire, merit, or deserve through behaviour or action: he has earned a name for duplicity|
|3.||(tr) (of securities, investments, etc) to gain (interest, return, profit, etc)|
|[Old English earnian; related to Old High German arnēn to reap, Old Saxon asna salary, tithe]|
In addition to the idioms beginning with earn, also see penny saved is a penny earned.