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gain - definition and synonyms


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verb gain pronunciation in British English /ɡeɪn/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlegaining
past tensegained
past participlegained
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  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.
    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
      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 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.
    BA 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


a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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