Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “gain”

gain

verb [I or T] uk   /ɡeɪn/ us  

gain verb [I or T] (GET)

B1 to get something that is useful, that gives you an advantage, or that is in some way positive, especially over a period of time: The Nationalist Party have gained a lot of support in the south of the country. What do you hope to gain from the course? Alternative medicine has only just started to gain respectability in our society. [+ two objects] It was her performances in Aida which gained her an international reputation as a soprano. After you've gained some experience teaching abroad you can come home and get a job. From the late 19th century, European powers began to gain control of parts of the Ottoman Empire. She's certainly gained (in) confidence over the last couple of years. The data exists all right - the difficulty is in gaining access to it. The thieves gained entrance through an upstairs window that was left open.Getting, receiving and acceptingCapturing or taking possession of things gain ground C1 If a political party or an idea or belief gains ground, it becomes more popular or accepted: The Republicans are gaining ground in the southern states.Liked, or not liked, by many people

gain verb [I or T] (INCREASE)

B1 to increase in weight, speed, height, or amount: I gained a lot of weight while I was on holiday. The car gained speed going down the hill. Good economic indicators caused the share index to gain (by) ten points. The campaign has been gaining momentum ever since the television appeal.Increasing and intensifyingBecoming biggerEnlarging and inflating

gain verb [I or T] (CLOCK/WATCH)

If a clock or watch gains, it works too quickly and shows a time that is later than the real time: My watch has gained (by) ten minutes over the last 24 hours.Watches and clocks
Phrasal verbs

gain

noun [C or U] uk   /ɡeɪn/ us  

gain noun [C or U] (SOMETHING OBTAINED)

C1 an occasion when you get something useful or positive: Whatever the objections to this sort of treatment, the gains in terms of the number of lives saved are substantial. The minister was sacked for abusing power for his personal gain.Getting, receiving and acceptingCapturing or taking possession of things

gain noun [C or U] (INCREASE)

C1 an increase in something such as size, weight, or amount: Side effects of the drugs may include tiredness, headaches, or weight gain. Having deducted costs we still made a net gain of £5,000. Oil prices rose again today after yesterday's gains.Becoming biggerEnlarging and inflatingIncreasing and intensifyingAugmenting and supplementing
(Definition of gain from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of gain?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “gain” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

roost

When birds roost, they go somewhere to rest or sleep.

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More