Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of gain
Meaning of gain by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • IPA: /ɡeɪn/, X-SAMPA: /geIn/
    • Rhymes: -eɪn

    Etymology 1

    From English dialectal gen, gin, short for again, agen ( “against” ); also Middle English gayn, gein, ȝæn ( “against” ), from Old English gēan, geġn ( “against” ). More at against .



    1. ( obsolete ) Against .
    Derived terms

    Etymology 2

    From Middle English gayn, gein, geyn ( “straight, direct, short, fit, good” ), from Old Norse gegn ( “straight, direct, short, ready, serviceable, kindly” ), from gegn ( “opposite, against”, adv ) ( whence gagna ( “to go against, meet, suit, be meet” ) ); see below at gain. Adverb from Middle English gayne ( “fitly, quickly” ), from the adjective .


    gain ( comparative more gain, superlative most gain )

    1. ( obsolete ) Straight, direct; near; short .
      the gainest way
    2. ( obsolete ) Suitable; convenient; ready .
    3. ( dialectal ) Easy; tolerable; handy, dexterous .
    4. ( dialectal ) Honest; respectable; moderate; cheap .
    Derived terms


    gain ( comparative more gain, superlative most gain )

    1. ( obsolete ) Straightly; quickly; by the nearest way or means .
    2. ( dialectal ) Suitably; conveniently; dexterously; moderately .
    3. ( dialectal ) Tolerably; fairly .
      gain quiet ( = fairly/pretty quiet )

    Etymology 3

    From Middle English gain, gein ( “profit, advantage” ), from Old Norse gagn ( “benefit, advantage, use” ), from Proto-Germanic *gagnan, *gaganan ( “gain, profit", literally "return” ), from Proto-Germanic *gagana ( “back, against, in return” ), a reduplication of Proto-Germanic *ga- ( “with, together” ), from Proto-Indo-European *kom ( “next to, at, with, along” ). Cognate with Icelandic gagn ( “gain, advantage, use” ), Swedish gagn ( “benefit, profit” ), Danish gavn ( “gain, profit, success” ), Gothic ���������������� ( gageigan, “to gain, profit” ), Old Norse gegn ( “ready” ), Swedish dialectal gen ( “useful, noteful” ), Latin cum ( “with” ); see gain-, again, against. Compare also Middle English gainen ( “to be of use, profit, avail” ), Icelandic and Swedish gagna ( “to avail, help” ), Danish gavne ( “to benefit” ) .

    The Middle English word was reinforced due to similarity in form and meaning by unrelated Middle French gain ( “advancement, cultivation” ), with which it was confused. Middle French gain rather is a contraction of Old French gaaing, gaaigne, gaigne, a noun derivative of gaaignier ( “to till, earn, win” ), also of Germanic origin, but from a different root, Old Frankish *waidanjan ( “to pasture, graze, hunt for food” ), ultimately from Proto-Germanic *waiþiz, *waiþī, *waiþō, *waiþijō ( “pasture, field, hunting ground” ); compare Old High German weidōn, weidanōn ( “to hunt, forage for food” ) ( Modern German Weide ( “pasture” ) ), Old Norse veiða ( “to catch, hunt” ), Old English wǣþan ( “to hunt, chase, pursue” ). Related to wathe, wide .


    gain ( plural: gains )

    1. The act of gaining .
    2. What one gains, as a return on investment or dividend .
      No pain, no gain .
    3. ( electronics ) The factor by which a signal is multiplied .
    Derived terms


    gain ( third-person singular simple present gains present participle gaining, simple past and past participle gained )

    1. ( transitive ) To acquire possession of what one did not have before .
      Looks like you've gained a new friend .
    2. ( transitive ) To increase.
    3. ( intransitive ) To be more likely to catch or overtake an individual .
      I'm gaining ( on you ) .
      gain ground
    4. ( transitive ) To reach.
    5. ( intransitive ) To put on weight .
      I've been gaining ( weight ) .
    6. ( of a clock or watch ) To run fast .


    • agin
    • Agni
    • gina, Gina


    By Wiktionary ( 2012/05/01 04:15 UTC Version )

    Alternative forms

    • gane- ( Scotland )


    From Middle English gain- ( prefix ), from Old English geġn-, gēan- ( “back, against, in return”, prefix ), from Proto-Germanic *gagin ( “towards, against” ). Cognate with Dutch tegen- ( “counter-” ), German gegen- ( “against, toward, at” ), Icelandic gagn- ( “through” ). More at again .



    1. Prefix meaning "against", "contrary to", "in opposition to", "counter-" .
      gainsay, gainstand, gainstay, gainstrive
    2. Prefix denoting reciprocal action; "in return"; "counter-" .
      gainclap, gaingive, gainyield
    3. Prefix denoting restoration or a return to a previous state; "back again" .
      gainbuy, gaincover, gaintake
    4. Prefix denoting repetition; "over again"; "anew"; again- .
      gainbirth, gainrising

    Derived terms

    [+] English words prefixed with gain-

Explanation of gain by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. increase ( one's body weight )

    2. She gained 20 pounds when she stopped exercising
    3. increase or develop

    4. the peace movement gained momentum
    5. rise in rate or price

    6. The stock market gained 24 points today
    7. obtain advantages, such as points, etc .

    8. The home team was gaining ground
    9. reach a destination, either real or abstract

    10. win something through one's efforts

    11. Gain an understanding of international finance
    12. earn on some commercial or business transaction

    13. derive a benefit from

    14. obtain

    1. the amount of increase in signal power or voltage or current expressed as the ratio of output to input

    2. the advantageous quality of being beneficial

    3. the amount by which the revenue of a business exceeds its cost of operating

    4. a quantity that is added

    5. they recorded the cattle's gain in weight over a period of weeks

    Definition of gain by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Gain n. [Cf. W. gan a mortise.] ( Arch. ) A square or beveled notch cut out of a girder, binding joist, or other timber which supports a floor beam, so as to receive the end of the floor beam.

    2. Gain, a. [OE. gein, gain, good, near, quick; cf. Icel. gegn ready, serviceable, and gegn, adv., against, opposite. Cf. Again.] Convenient; suitable; direct; near; handy; dexterous; easy; profitable; cheap; respectable. [Obs. or Prov. Eng.]

    3. Gain ( gān ), n. [OE. gain, gein, gaȝhen, gain, advantage, Icel. gagn; akin to Sw. gagn, Dan. gavn, cf. Goth. gageigan to gain. The word was prob. influenced by F. gain gain, OF. gaain. Cf. Gain, v. t.]
      1. That which is gained, obtained, or acquired, as increase, profit, advantage, or benefit; -- opposed to loss.

      But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Phil. iii. 7.

      Godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Tim. vi. 6.

      Every one shall share in the gains. Shak.

      2. The obtaining or amassing of profit or valuable possessions; acquisition; accumulation. “The lust of gain.” Tennyson.

    4. Gain, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Gained ( gānd ); p. pr. & vb. n. Gaining.] [From gain, n. but. prob. influenced by F. gagner to earn, gain, OF. gaaignier to cultivate, OHG. weidinōn, weidinen to pasture, hunt, fr. weida pasturage, G. weide, akin to Icel. veiðr hunting, AS. wāðu, cf. L. venari to hunt, E. venison. See Gain, n., profit.]

      1. To get, as profit or advantage; to obtain or acquire by effort or labor; as, “to gain a good living”.

      What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Matt. xvi. 26.

      To gain dominion, or to keep it gained. Milton.

      For fame with toil we gain, but lose with ease. Pope.

      2. To come off winner or victor in; to be successful in; to obtain by competition; as, “to gain a battle; to gain a case at law; to gain a prize.”

      3. To draw into any interest or party; to win to one's side; to conciliate.

      If he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. Matt. xviii. 15.

      To gratify the queen, and gained the court. Dryden.

      4. To reach; to attain to; to arrive at; as, “to gain the top of a mountain; to gain a good harbor.”

      Forded Usk and gained the wood. Tennyson.

      5. To get, incur, or receive, as loss, harm, or damage. [Obs. or Ironical]

      Ye should . . . not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. Acts xxvii. 21.

      Gained day, the calendar day gained in sailing eastward around the earth. -- To gain ground, to make progress; to advance in any undertaking; to prevail; to acquire strength or extent. -- To gain over, to draw to one's party or interest; to win over. -- To gain the wind ( Naut. ), to reach the windward side of another ship.

      Syn. -- To obtain; acquire; get; procure; win; earn; attain; achieve. See Obtain. -- To Gain, Win. Gain implies only that we get something by exertion; win, that we do it in competition with others. A person gains knowledge, or gains a prize, simply by striving for it; he wins a victory, or wins a prize, by taking it in a struggle with others.

    5. Gain v. i. To have or receive advantage or profit; to acquire gain; to grow rich; to advance in interest, health, or happiness; to make progress; as, “the sick man gains daily”.

      Thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbors by extortion. Ezek. xxii. 12.

      Gaining twist, in rifled firearms, a twist of the grooves, which increases regularly from the breech to the muzzle. To gain on or To gain upon. To encroach on; as, “the ocean gains on the land”. To obtain influence with. To win ground upon; to move faster than, as in a race or contest. To get the better of; to have the advantage of.

      The English have not only gained upon the Venetians in the Levant, but have their cloth in Venice itself. Addison.

      My good behavior had so far gained on the emperor, that I began to conceive hopes of liberty. Swift.