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.
- (obsolete) Straight, direct; near; short.
- the gainest way
- (obsolete) Suitable; convenient; ready.
- (dialectal) Easy; tolerable; handy, dexterous.
- (dialectal) Honest; respectable; moderate; cheap.
- (obsolete) Straightly; quickly; by the nearest way or means.
- (dialectal) Suitably; conveniently; dexterously; moderately.
- (dialectal) Tolerably; fairly.
- gain quiet (= fairly/pretty quiet)
From Middle English gain, gein (“profit, advantage”), from Old Norse gagn (“benefit, advantage, use”), from Proto-Germanic *gagną, *gaganą (“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 𐌲𐌰𐌲𐌴𐌹𐌲𐌰𐌽 (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)
- The act of gaining.
- the lust of gain
- What one gains, as a return on investment or dividend.
- No pain, no gain.
- Everyone shall share in the gains.
- (electronics) The factor by which a signal is multiplied.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
- (transitive) To acquire possession of what one did not have before.
- Looks like you've gained a new friend.
- Bible, Matthew xvi. 26
- What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
- Alexander Pope
- For fame with toil we gain, but lose with ease.
- (transitive) To come off winner or victor in; to be successful in; to obtain by competition.
- to gain a battle; to gain a case at law
- (transitive) To increase.
- (intransitive) To be more likely to catch or overtake an individual.
- I'm gaining (on you).
- gain ground
- (transitive) To reach.
- to gain the top of a mountain
- 1907, Jack London, The Iron Heel:
- Ernest laughed harshly and savagely when he had gained the street.
- To draw into any interest or party; to win to one's side; to conciliate.
- Bible, Matthew xviii. 15
- If he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
- to gratify the queen, and gain the court
- Bible, Matthew xviii. 15
- (intransitive) To put on weight.
- I've been gaining (weight).
- (of a clock or watch) To run fast.
gain (plural gains)
- (architecture) A square or bevelled 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.
From Middle French gain, from Old French gaaing, from the verb gaaingnier (“to earn, gain, seize, conquer by force”), from Old Frankish *waidanjan (“to graze, forage, hunt”), from Proto-Germanic *waiþō (“a hunt, pasture, food”), from Proto-Indo-European *weye- (“to go, seek, crave, hunt, desire, drive”). Cognate with Old High German weidanōn (“to hunt, chase”), German Weide (“pasture, pasturage”). Compare also related Old French gain (“harvest time, revival”), from Old Frankish *waida (“income, food, fodder”) ( > French regain), from the same Germanic source.
gain m (plural gains)
Read in another language
This page is available in 38 languages