Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

gain

 - definition
 
 
 
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
verb gain pronunciation in American English /ɡeɪn/ 
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theygain
he/she/itgains
present participlegaining
past tensegained
past participlegained
  1. 1
    [transitive] to get or achieve something, usually as a result of a lot of effort

    Extremist political parties gained 11% of the vote.

    Bolivia gained independence from Spain in 1825.

    In her final exam she gained a B grade.

    gain access/admittance/entry to something:

    He gained entry to the building by showing a fake pass.

    1. a.
      [intransitive/transitive] to get more of something, usually as a result of a gradual process

      Her theories have only recently gained acceptance.

      gain something from/by (doing) something:

      She hopes to gain experience by working abroad for a year.

      gain in:

      The property has gained steadily in value since they bought it.

      gain weight:

      I've gained a lot of weight this winter.

      gain speed/momentum:

      The toboggan sped down the hill, gaining momentum.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to get a benefit or advantage for yourself
    gain something from (doing) something:

    There is a lot to be gained from schools working together.

    there is nothing to be gained from/by doing something:

    We should act immediately. There is nothing to be gained from waiting.

    gain from:

    Whether you succeed or fail, you will undoubtedly gain from the experience.

    stand to gain (=be likely to get money or other benefits):

    When the business is sold, all the brothers stand to gain.

  3. 3
    [intransitive/transitive] if a share of stock or the stock market gains its value increases

    The NASDAQ gained 45 points.

    IBM shares gained overnight.

  4. 4
    [intransitive/transitive] if a clock gains, it operates too fast so that the time it shows is later than the actual time

    The clock on my computer gains a minute every day.

  5. 5
    [transitive] mainly literary to arrive at a place, especially one that is difficult to reach

    They finally gained the summit.

phrasal verbs

sandwich generation

a generation … who are balancing working life with caring for both their teenage children and elderly parents

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

dish

to gossip or share personal information with someone …

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog