See also: Gain, gain-, and ga in

English edit

Pronunciation edit

  • enPR: gān, IPA(key): /ɡeɪn/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪn

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle English gayn, 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 *ḱóm (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), dialectal Swedish gen (useful, noteful), Latin cum (with); see gain-, again, against. Compare also Middle English gaynen, geinen (to be of use, profit, avail), Icelandic and Swedish gagna (to avail, help), Danish gavne (to benefit).

The Middle English word was reinforced by Middle French gain (gain, profit, advancement, cultivation), from Old French gaaing, gaaigne, gaigne, a noun derivative of gaaignier, gaigner (to till, earn, win), from Frankish *waiþanōn (to pasture, graze, hunt for food), ultimately from Proto-Germanic *waiþiz, *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.

Verb edit

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

  1. (transitive) To acquire possession of.
    Looks like you've gained a new friend.
  2. (intransitive) To have or receive advantage or profit; to acquire gain; to grow rich; to advance in interest, health, or happiness; to make progress.
    The sick man gains daily.
  3. (transitive, dated) 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
  4. (transitive) To increase.
  5. (intransitive) To be more likely to catch or overtake an individual.
    I'm gaining (on you).
    gain ground
  6. (transitive) To reach.
    to gain the top of a mountain
    • 1908, Jack London, The Iron Heel[1], New York: The Macmillan Company:
      Ernest laughed harshly and savagely when he had gained the street.
  7. To draw into any interest or party; to win to one's side; to conciliate.
  8. (intransitive) To put on weight.
    I've been gaining.
    • 2020, Riley Willman, “Ana”, in Rapids Review (Anoka Ramsey Community College):
      Thinspo, bonespo, meanspo, sweetspo, anything that could motivate me not to eat, not to consume, not to gain, not to fail.
  9. (of a clock or watch) To run fast.
Conjugation edit
Derived terms edit
Translations edit

Noun edit

gain (countable and uncountable, plural gains)

  1. The act of gaining; acquisition.
    • c. 1587–1588, [Christopher Marlowe], Tamburlaine the Great. [] The First Part [], 2nd edition, part 1, London: [] [R. Robinson for] Richard Iones, [], published 1592, →OCLC; reprinted as Tamburlaine the Great (A Scolar Press Facsimile), Menston, Yorkshire, London: Scolar Press, 1973, →ISBN, Act II, scene ii:
      All running headlong after greedie ſpoiles:
      And more regarding gaine than victorie:
    • 1855, Alfred Tennyson, Maude:
      the lust of gain, in the spirit of Cain
    • 2023 June 25, Charles Hugh Smith, The Corruption of POTUS, SCOTUS and SCROTUS[2]:
      When power is sought primarily for private gain, the social fabric decays and unravels.
  2. The thing or things gained.
  3. (electronics) The factor by which a signal is multiplied.
    • 1987, John Borwick, Sound recording practice, page 238:
      There follows the high and low-frequency replay equalization, which normally involves two adjustments with a further control allowing the replay gain to be set.
Antonyms edit
Derived terms edit
Translations edit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 2 edit

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

Preposition edit

gain

  1. (obsolete) Against.
Derived terms edit

Etymology 3 edit

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, adverb) (whence gagna (to go against, meet, suit, be meet)); see below at gain. Adverb from Middle English gayn, gayne (fitly, quickly), from the adjective.

Adjective edit

gain (comparative more gain, superlative most gain)

  1. (obsolete) Straight, direct; near; short.
    • 1485 July, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter XX, in William Caxton, editor, Le Morte D’Arthur[3], volume 1:
      [...] many times his horse and he plunged over the head in deep mires, for he knew not the way, but took the gainest way in that woodness, that many times he was like to perish.
    the gainest way
  2. (obsolete) Suitable; convenient; ready.
  3. (dialectal) Easy; tolerable; handy, dexterous.
  4. (dialectal) Honest; respectable; moderate; cheap.
Derived terms edit
Translations edit

Adverb edit

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 4 edit

Compare Welsh gan (a mortise).

Noun edit

gain (plural gains)

  1. (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.

Anagrams edit

Basque edit

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

gain

  1. summit

French edit

Etymology edit

Inherited from Middle French gain, from Old French gaaing, deverbal from the verb gaaignier (to earn, gain, seize, conquer by force) (whence Modern French gagner).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

gain m (plural gains)

  1. a gain (of something), an instance of saving (something); an increase (in something)
    Antonym: perte
    un gain de tempsan increase in time
    un gain de productivitéan increase in productivity
  2. (usually in the plural) winnings, earnings, takings
  3. (finance) gain, yield

Derived terms edit

See also edit

Further reading edit

Louisiana Creole edit

Etymology edit

From French gagner (to gain), compare Haitian Creole gen.

Verb edit

gain

  1. to have

Middle English edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Old English ġeġn, gæġn, from Proto-West Germanic *gagin, from Proto-Germanic *gagin; also influenced by Old Norse gegn, from the same Proto-Germanic form. Doublet of gayn (direct, fast, good, helpful).

Alternative forms edit

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ɡæi̯n/, /ɡeːn/, /jæi̯n/, /jeːn/

Preposition edit

gain

  1. against, next to, touching
  2. (figurative) against, opposed to, counter to, opposing (usually used in religious and spiritual contexts)
  3. towards, to, nearing
  4. (rare) on, on top of
  5. (rare) facing, pointed towards
Descendants edit
  • English: gain (obsolete)
  • Scots: gain, gin
References edit

Adverb edit

gain

  1. back (to), returning (to)
References edit

Etymology 2 edit

Adjective edit

gain

  1. Alternative form of gayn (direct, fast, good, helpful)

Etymology 3 edit

Noun edit

gain

  1. Alternative form of gayn (gain, reward, advantage)

Etymology 4 edit

Verb edit

gain

  1. Alternative form of gaynen

Middle French edit

Etymology edit

Old French gaaing.

Noun edit

gain m (plural gains)

  1. income (financial)
    • 15th century, Rustichello da Pisa (original author), Mazarine Master (scribe), The Travels of Marco Polo, page 19, line 16:
      et donnoit chascun iour de son gaaing pour Dieu
      and every day he gave away some of his income for God

Descendants edit

References edit

  • gain on Dictionnaire du Moyen Français (1330–1500) (in French)

Welsh edit

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

gain

  1. Soft mutation of cain.

Mutation edit

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
cain gain nghain chain
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.