1 [geyn]
verb (used with object)
to get (something desired), especially as a result of one's efforts: to gain possession of an object; to gain permission to enter a country.
to acquire as an increase or addition: to gain weight; to gain speed.
to obtain as a profit: He gained ten dollars by this deal.
to win; get in competition: to gain the prize.
to win (someone) to one's own side or point of view; persuade (sometimes followed by over ): to gain supporters.
(of a watch or clock) to run fast by (a specified amount): My watch gains six minutes a day.
to reach, especially by effort; get to; arrive at: to gain one's destination.
verb (used without object)
to improve; make progress; advance: to gain in health after an illness.
to get nearer, as in pursuit (usually followed by on or upon ): Our horse was gaining on the favorite at the far turn.
to draw away from or farther ahead of the other contestants in a race, one's pursuers, etc. (usually followed by on or upon ).
(of a watch or clock) to run fast.
profit or advantage.
an increase or advance.
gains, profits or winnings.
the act of gaining; acquisition.
a measure of the increase in signal amplitude produced by an amplifier, expressed as the ratio of output to input.
the effectiveness of a directional antenna as compared with a standard, nondirectional one.
the volume control of a radio, phonograph, amplifier, etc.
gain ground, to progress or advance, as in value, strength, or achievement: The company's new products are gaining ground in suburban areas.
gain time, to arrange a postponement or delay for a particular purpose, especially by roundabout means.

1425–75; late Middle English (noun) < Middle French, contraction of Old French gaaing, noun derivative of gaaignier to till, earn, win < Germanic; compare Old High German weidanōn to hunt, forage for food

gainable, adjective
ungainable, adjective

1. procure. Gain, attain, earn, win imply obtaining a reward or something advantageous. Gain carries the least suggestion of method or of effort expended. Attain emphasizes the reaching of a goal. Earn emphasizes the exertions and labor expended that deserve reward. Win emphasizes attainment in spite of competition or opposition. 7. attain. 13. addition, increment, acquisition.

1. lose. Unabridged


2 [geyn] Carpentry.
a notch, dado, or mortise cut into a piece of wood, as to receive another piece or to house a flap of a hinge.
tusk ( def 4 ).
a short rabbet, for receiving a flap of a butt hinge.
verb (used with object)
to make a gain or gains in.
to fasten or support by means of a gain.

1670–80; perhaps akin to obsolete gane, Old English (north) ganian to yawn, open Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To gained
World English Dictionary
gain1 (ɡeɪn)
1.  (tr) to acquire (something desirable); obtain
2.  (tr) to win in competition: to gain the victory
3.  to increase, improve, or advance: the car gained speed; the shares gained in value
4.  (tr) to earn (a wage, living, etc)
5.  (intr; usually foll by on or upon)
 a.  to get nearer (to) or catch up (on)
 b.  to get farther away (from)
6.  (tr) (esp of ships) to get to; reach: the steamer gained port
7.  (of a timepiece) to operate too fast, so as to indicate a time ahead of the true time or to run fast by a specified amount: this watch gains; it gains ten minutes a day
8.  gain ground to make progress or obtain an advantage
9.  gain time
 a.  to obtain extra time by a delay or postponement
 b.  (of a timepiece) to operate too fast
10.  something won, acquired, earned, etc; profit; advantage
11.  an increase in size, amount, etc
12.  the act of gaining; attainment; acquisition
13.  electronics Also called: amplification the ratio of the output signal of an amplifier to the input signal, usually measured in decibels
[C15: from Old French gaaignier, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German weidenen to forage, hunt]

gain2 (ɡeɪn)
1.  a notch, mortise, or groove, esp one cut to take the flap of a butt hinge
2.  (tr) to cut a gain or gains in
[C17: of obscure origin]

GAIN (ɡeɪn)
n acronym for
Guaranteed Annual Income

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 15c. (n.), 1520s (v.), from M.Fr. gain, from O.Fr. gaaigne, from gaaignier "to gain," also "cultivate land," from Frank. *waidanjan "hunt, forage," also "graze, pasture," from P.Gmc. *wartho "hunting ground" (cf. Ger. weide "pasture, pasturage," O.N. veiðr "hunting"), from PIE *wei "to strive
after." The original O.Fr. sense enfolded the notions of "profit from agriculture" and "booty, prey." Related: Gained; gaining.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

gain (gān)

  1. An increase in amount or degree.

  2. Progress; advancement.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
By adding a pair of peaked dormers, the couple gained room for a new master
  bath and a tall sitting area with lake views.
Chemical herbicides can help you reestablish control over a lawn where weeds
  have gained the upper hand.
It is illegal to base a decision on information gained if someone answers the
But the idea that drugs based on marijuana could benefit people gained real
  support only recently.
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