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gain - definition and synonyms

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verb     gain pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participlegaining
past tensegained
past participlegained
  1. 1
    [transitive] to get or achieve something, usually as a result of a lot of effort

    Bolivia gained independence from Spain in 1825.

    She gained a first in her French degree.

    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
      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 are sure to 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 shares or the markets gain, the value of shares increases

    The Nikkei index gained 45 points.

  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

phrasal verbs

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a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

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a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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