Definition of gain in English:



  • 1Obtain or secure (something wanted or desirable)

    ‘we gained entry to the car in five seconds’
    [with two objects] ‘their blend of acoustic pop gained them several chart hits’
    • ‘Of course, downpours can come at any time, but there are some advantages to be gained by changing the date - particularly that it would also enable schools to become involved.’
    • ‘The seven-fish haul gained by my accomplished boat partner would suggest that sinking lines are the order of the day, certainly when conditions are cool with a scoorie wind.’
    • ‘Networking is an integral part of advancing your career and gaining valuable knowledge and experience.’
    • ‘As for swings gained by Labor, a statistically significant correlation was evident for men earning up to $39 a week.’
    • ‘Therefore, valuable knowledge on vertebrate evolution would be gained by obtaining a complete coelacanth genome sequence.’
    • ‘Awards are displayed within the depot of achievements gained by individuals.’
    • ‘It might sound divisive but blacks have tried to make it work for a long time; it is the whites who simply cannot let go of white supremacy and privilege and what has been gained by those ideals.’
    • ‘The experience gained by the six at the higher level will surely stand them in good stead throughout the league campaign and will hopefully brush off on their Mayo team-mates.’
    • ‘What is gained by insulting half of your audience?’
    • ‘Surely his brand-new team would want to derive the confidence to be gained by a few hard-won results before launching themselves?’
    • ‘The ground of liberty is to be gained by inches, and we must be contented to secure what we can get from time to time and eternally press forward for what is yet to get.’
    • ‘He admits that he seriously thought of quitting the ring, and went from being a stoppage specialist to a fighter whose wins were gained by displaying superior boxing skills over the distance.’
    • ‘Competitive advantage is gained by receiving and leveraging relevant information in real-time.’
    • ‘The experience gained by the officials should lead the Authority to prompt action in the future to avoid repetition of a similar situation so that there could be an orderly development of the City.’
    • ‘Combining information gained by officers with intelligence from the hotline, a series of busts were carried out in July, which resulted in 16 arrests.’
    • ‘Entry was gained by the back door of the premises.’
    • ‘The investigators say that if clinicians are confident of findings obtained bimanually, little is likely to be gained by speculum examination.’
    • ‘Entry was gained by forcing the window at the rear of the premises.’
    • ‘Evidence of this kind cannot be elicited through surveys based on self-reports; it can, however, be gained by other methods.’
    • ‘But the price of what we have gained by that process is eternal vigilance.’
    obtain, get, acquire, come by, procure, secure, attain, achieve, earn, win, capture, clinch, pick up, carry off, reap, gather
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    1. 1.1[no object]Benefit.
      ‘managers would gain from greater openness’
      • ‘The original capital remains in the estate, but the beneficiaries gain from the growth on the investment as it is free from inheritance tax.’
      • ‘In Wales, the tourism industry feels it could gain from the war rather than from the influence of holidaying Hollywood couples.’
      • ‘The soccer club stood to gain from the rent O2 would be paying but the parents of young tennis club members were concerned about possible health risks from the transmitter.’
      • ‘Further, those who will gain from the agreement are completely different from those who benefited from the old strategy.’
      • ‘On the other hand voluntary euthanasia can be open to abuse, perhaps someone may gain from the patients demise and they intend to get rid of this patient at any cost.’
      • ‘Who is likely to gain from the ensuing panic - except for law firms, currently lining up to bring DVT cases against airlines?’
      • ‘One farmer who stands to gain from the lifting of the ban is Robin Spence, who produces around 1,200 cattle for the beef market every year from his land near Lockerbie.’
      • ‘Economic development has played a key role in improving the environment for many millions of people, although many more could gain from its benefits in the future.’
      • ‘For a start, all the various contenders thrashing about in the struggle to take over the Conservative party would surely gain from having experts in expediency to consult.’
      • ‘Patients in this group stand to gain from the benefit of lower early thrombosis rates with myelosuppressive medications.’
      • ‘Patients on wards for the elderly will be the first to gain from the changes which will eventually see all Nightingale wards modernised and an end to mixed sex accommodation.’
      • ‘Farmers will gain from the extension of the growing season but soil moisture and reduced rainfall in summer could also prove harmful.’
      • ‘Even customers who don't borrow might gain from switching.’
      • ‘Only the star presenters stand to gain from all this.’
      • ‘Some may be better off taking retirement benefits before A-Day, while others would gain from waiting until the new regime comes in.’
      • ‘Up to 450 patients now receiving treatment at the trust's hospitals could gain from the new system, due to start within the next two months.’
      • ‘Regrettably, the US government has the fervent support of our government, apparently in the belief that we have a duty to stand by the US and will gain from doing so.’
      • ‘A fine line that should be trod wisely in order to create a future where everyone can gain from the benefits of using this technology.’
      • ‘Tickets are £75 and charities to gain from the evening are Macmillan Cancer Relief and Friends of Mitchell House.’
      • ‘The Liberals will hope to do as well as at the general election and the Scottish Nationalists to gain from mid-term Government unpopularity at Westminster.’
      profit, make money, reap financial reward, reap benefits, benefit
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    2. 1.2archaic Win over to one's interest or views.
      ‘to gratify the queen, and gain the court’
  • 2Reach or arrive at (a destination)

    ‘we gained the ridge’
    • ‘Many people found it difficult to justify the near 88,000 Allied men lost for every one mile gained in the advance.’
    reach, arrive at, get to, come to, get as far as, make, make it to, attain, set foot on
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    1. 2.1[no object]Come closer to (a person or thing pursued)
      ‘a huge bear was gaining on him with every stride’
      • ‘‘I was gaining on the lead Corvette before I was obliged to execute the drive through penalty’ Chris said.’
      • ‘There is only 2 days left and Zimbabwe is gaining on me.’
      • ‘In soccer, a youthful, talented, driven U.S. team with a chip on its shoulder keeps gaining and gaining on the rest of the world.’
      • ‘On the other hand, the Canadian dollar gained on the greenback, adding 2 percent on the week to $1.0883.’
      • ‘I am not sure how many more hours this poll is open, but today's results show that I am gaining on second place!’
      • ‘You're still on the good side of 50%, but you're gaining on it.’
      • ‘It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other.’
      • ‘And if the next public poll shows him gaining on Cruz, Arnold can use that as part of his storyline.’
      • ‘Well, here I am almost two months in and I'm gaining on the stupid people!’
      • ‘And then it happened, that no name horse from out of nowhere started gaining on our Smarty!’
      • ‘Somehow she was rowing smoothly through the slop, gaining on me at what seemed like four or five feet per stroke.’
      • ‘And, the earning power of female chief executive officers is gaining on their male counterparts, according to survey results from 244 nonprofits.’
      • ‘Within a second, he had gained on me enough to only have to take a step closer to kiss me.’
      catch up with, catch up on, catch someone up, catch, narrow the gap between, get nearer to, draw nearer to, close in on, creep up on, come up to, approach, near
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  • 3Increase the amount or rate of (something, typically weight or speed)

    ‘she had gained weight since her wedding’
    • ‘A BMI of under 18 also means you are at increased risk of heart disease and need to gain some weight.’
    • ‘He used to eat, like, 30 pieces of fruit a day, and he said, I don't know why I'm gaining weight.’
    • ‘The bowler was reportedly putting more weight on his leg to gain speed and not using his arms.’
    • ‘Results also showed that women who gained weight after age 18 were at a significantly increased risk of developing asthma.’
    • ‘It is normal and healthy to gain weight gradually over the course of a pregnancy.’
    • ‘Those who gained weight or remained the same had an increased mortality rate of only 2 percent.’
    • ‘If he gains weight, decrease the amount you feed.’
    • ‘It gained speed and momentum quickly due to its gross weight and a slight decline in the paved surface.’
    • ‘Long legs are also vital for endurance running, because speed is gained by increasing the length, not rate, of strides.’
    • ‘An airplane in a spin does not gain airspeed and its rate of descent is relatively slow.’
    • ‘Disturbingly, it also contains creatine, a compound taken by athletes to help them to gain weight and build muscle.’
    • ‘You might also see an increase in chest size if you gain weight.’
    • ‘Boys and girls did not significantly differ in the perception that their mothers encouraged them to gain weight and increase muscle tone.’
    • ‘Circulating within the cluster, some of these pairs might gain enough speed to escape the cluster altogether.’
    • ‘See your GP, midwife or health visitor for advice if you are worried that you aren't gaining weight at the correct rate.’
    • ‘With the democratic steamroller gaining speed, even United Nations officials in Baghdad are increasingly optimistic.’
    • ‘People who stop smoking can gain weight simply because smoking suppresses the appetite and increases the metabolism.’
    • ‘So the area that has had the fat suctioned out of it is less likely to gain weight or increase in fat because there are fewer fat cells in the area.’
    • ‘Bureaucratic inertia propelling toxic waste disposal in Nevada is monumental and increasingly unwavering, gaining speed since 1982.’
    • ‘When the economy gains speed and interest rates rise, as they have, it's only natural that homeowners cut back on turning their housing wealth into cash.’
    increase in, put on, add on, build up
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    1. 3.1[no object]Increase in value.
      ‘shares gained for the third day in a row’
      • ‘Intel's share price has been gaining steadily and from a US economic perspective it will be seen as a bellwether as far as indicting the state of the high technology sector.’
      • ‘The share price gained to $4.90 on the Nasdaq late last week.’
      • ‘First Commercial shares have gained 7.4 percent in the same period.’
      • ‘Within the index, 190 stocks gained, 319 stocks fell while 48 were unchanged.’
      • ‘The Irish Technology Share Index gained just 0.8 per cent to 5207.02.’
      • ‘Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock index has gained 30% in the same period.’
      • ‘Blue chips and technology shares gained heavily Monday, pushing the index up sharply, Hong Kong analysts said.’
      • ‘The share price gained early in the week, but fell again on Thursday and Friday to close at around $19.55 on the Nasdaq.’
      • ‘Steel shares gained sharply on the bourses, partly on hopes that Arcelor's move would spur consolidation in the fragmented Indian industry.’
      • ‘By noon, its shares had gained 11 pence to 141.5p.’
      • ‘Over the course of the week, shares gained 4p to close at 69.6p. Shares have more than doubled since January.’
      • ‘At yesterday's 560p closing share price, Value Investor readers had gained 14%.’
      • ‘The overall share market gained 0.9 of one per cent today, ignoring a weak lead from Wall Street.’
      • ‘The LuSE all share index gained from 1,190.47 points in the previous week to 1,230.10, translating in a rise of 3.32 percentage points.’
      • ‘Restaurant receipts gained 3.5 per cent in value in the first quarter after dropping 9.7 per cent last year.’
      • ‘Greencore's share price has gained only fractionally since Desmond began his stake building in 1999.’
      • ‘Shares in Smart Telecom gained 1.3% on the London market yesterday, valuing the company at €50m.’
      • ‘Tesco gained again, increasing its share to 29.8 per cent from 29.5 per cent in March.’
      • ‘Aegis shares gained 10% to 125.25p in Friday's trade as traders reckoned other bidders could be flushed out by the move.’
      • ‘And yet EMI's share price has gained over 40 per cent since 2004 started.’
      earn, bring in, make, get, get paid, pocket, clear, gross, net, realize
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    2. 3.2[no object]Improve or advance in (some respect)
      ‘canoeing is gaining in popularity’
      • ‘The last one in particular is great stuff; I guess now that he's dead his time has come and he's gaining in popularity.’
      • ‘The island is currently gaining in popularity.’
      • ‘We are gaining in power, we deserve respect - and complimentary drinks.’
      • ‘The performances are improving and gaining in confidence.’
      • ‘This holiday season, LEDs are gaining in popularity as bulbs for Christmas lights.’
      • ‘What I gained in readership or ad revenue was not worth the respect I lost for myself.’
      • ‘More and more support has been given to the West on Track campaign that is gaining in popularity at present.’
      • ‘These metals are gaining in popularity for use in jewelry and are also important in manufacturing auto converters that reduce pollution.’
      • ‘Western reporters talking mainly to the urban middle class also got a false sense that his list might be gaining in popularity.’
      • ‘Here's proof: there are vernacular Valentine cards to be had, and they seem to be gaining in popularity with each V-Day.’
      • ‘This utter tripe that is reality TV seems to be gaining in popularity.’
      • ‘Another general point about the focus group method is that, while it is gaining in popularity at the moment, it is by no means a new technique.’
      • ‘Bottom lifts, however, are gaining in popularity here.’
      • ‘The children's yoga course is now in its second term and is gaining in popularity, and it is immediately obvious that the studio is child-friendly.’
      • ‘The location has been gaining in popularity - so much so that parks officials want to stop renting it out unless the event holds some prestige value for the city.’
      • ‘This facility, Mary tells us is gaining in popularity.’
      • ‘The verdict was that camp drafting is a sport gaining in popularity.’
      • ‘Cookery courses abroad are also gaining in popularity.’
      • ‘Like a snowball rolling downhill, the software-as-a-service platform is gaining in size and depth as vendors continue to add on more and more components to the core hosted application.’
      • ‘Rosé champagnes are serious wines which are gaining in popularity.’
      catch up with, catch up on, catch someone up, catch, narrow the gap between, get nearer to, draw nearer to, close in on, creep up on, come up to, approach, near
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    3. 3.3(of a clock or watch) become fast by (a specific amount of time)
      ‘this atomic clock will neither gain nor lose a second in the next 1 million years’
      • ‘The new clocks would not gain or lose one second in a thousand years.’
      • ‘It also depends on the constancy of its rate; meaning, that a watch gains or loses the exact same amount of time each day.’


  • 1An increase in wealth or resources.

    ‘the pursuit of personal gain’
    [count noun] ‘shares showed gains of up to 21 per cent’
    • ‘You are not allowed to use confidential information you have for your own personal gain.’
    • ‘I have to ask, if what is said above is true, why then would you keep it a secret and release the information only for personal gain?’
    • ‘Philadelphia politicians and their appointees sometimes use their offices for personal gain.’
    • ‘Education needs hearts and minds dedicated to altruistic development rather than short term and personal gain and material enrichment.’
    • ‘This will only be achieved by proper administrators whose collective priority should be a passion for the game and not concentrated on personal gain or glory.’
    • ‘The company said circulation revenues continue to show solid advances on 2002, reflecting the impact of both cover price increases and market share gains.’
    • ‘Additionally, with this new focus on sacrificing sustainable living for financial gain, natural resources were in greater demand than ever.’
    • ‘I viewed them willingly, helped out, gave my experienced expert opinion on what I saw freely and without personal gain.’
    • ‘Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual.’
    • ‘He sold the shares for a trifling personal gain of around $300.’
    • ‘Ruthless pursuit of personal gain is venerated.’
    • ‘Favourtism is defined by personal financial gain.’
    • ‘It all boils down to the integrity of the individual and the willingness of the individual to sink perceived personal gain for the common good when necessary.’
    • ‘I'm angry that a company is out there selling my personal information for monetary gain.’
    • ‘A trained barrister, he made sure that laws were passed to prevent the misuse of mineral resources for private gain.’
    • ‘He said the transaction had not led to any personal gain and added he had not sold any of the shares since they were acquired.’
    • ‘I mean, we're talking about an individual who did this for his own personal gain without any feelings toward any human being.’
    • ‘He did not fight for personal gain, as is manifest from the fact that he was a very poor man who gave away all he had constantly, to help others in charity.’
    • ‘More observed an England in which wealth and personal gain had come to mean more than Christian devotion or charity.’
    • ‘Technically, water remains a public resource, but water license holders can now sell the rights to a public resource for personal gain.’
    profit, earnings, income, advantage, benefit, reward, emolument, yield, return, winnings, receipts, proceeds, dividend, interest, percentage, takings
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    1. 1.1A thing that is achieved or acquired.
      ‘the potential gain from rail privatization would be a more commercial railway’
      • ‘These interventions achieve the largest health gains by an individual intervention, and the question is whether these should be scaled up further or if there are more cost effective choices.’
      • ‘The good news is that the fans' loss is the public's gain.’
      • ‘But do our political gains need to be achieved at such economic cost?’
      • ‘Instead they are trying to saw off the limb onto which the president has climbed in order to achieve short-term political gain.’
      • ‘Their findings suggest that a more responsible approach to arms exports is not a question of economic loss versus moral gain.’
      • ‘This doesn't mean that we should do nothing to improve our diets, but just to suggest that potential health gains aren't worth the anxiety that could be created by another public health campaign.’
      • ‘In reality what happens is the blatant misuse of public office for pecuniary gain.’
      • ‘But that gain has been achieved at a considerable price, as we shall see.’
      • ‘Recent amendments to the Act should lead to significant improvements, and my government will ensure that the potential gains are achieved.’
      • ‘The potential gain to the wider public from the results of individual studies must be considered.’
      • ‘The second is that he is in touch with reality, but chooses to distort it in his public pronouncements for political gain or mere gratification.’
      • ‘These crustaceans adaptations for water balance loss, gain and retention are a physiological priority.’
      • ‘Prospect theory suggests that people are more inclined to take risks to avoid losses than they are to take risks to achieve gains.’
      • ‘OK, I think we can do that well and keep our losses proportional to the gains we achieve.’
      • ‘This would be the question on the minds of innocent general public, thus reversing all the gains of the public health campaigns for HIV-AIDS prevention.’
      • ‘Policies motivated by political gain will inflict public pain.’
      • ‘We lack a vocabulary to discuss other ways of investing in health gain.’
      • ‘It is unclear whether screening for diabetes would, in itself, achieve an appreciable health gain.’
      • ‘It's this crucial combination of good health and good taste that presents a significant potential gain for the industry.’
      • ‘In order for a supplier to achieve a large cooperative gain, the partnership must favour the creation and coordination of joint resources.’
      achievement, accomplishment, realization, realizing, fulfilment, fulfilling, effecting, completion, consummation
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  • 2The factor by which power or voltage is increased in an amplifier or other electronic device, usually expressed as a logarithm.

    ‘an amplifier of high gain’
    • ‘Pak cursed routinely and adjusted the gain of the amplifier.’
    • ‘The improved signal gain permits a reduction in transmit power and, accordingly, increased capacity of the base station.’
    • ‘A number of factors determine the gain of a laser amplifier, including input signal strength.’
    • ‘In this way, all measurements were truly comparable, irrespective of the amplifier gain.’
    • ‘Antennas with high gain, selective patterns and high efficiency can assure that networks are reliable and perform at the best.’
    • ‘Loea's system uses two-foot and four-foot Cassegrain dish antennas with up to 56dB of gain.’
    • ‘The amplitude gain is determined by the detected photocurrent, which is used to modulate the amplitude of the local oscillator.’
    • ‘Because of this, QD lasers emit a narrower spectral band, which translates into a higher differential gain.’
    • ‘They conclude that the addition of germanium in the base increased the gain and the early voltage by as much as 33%.’
    • ‘Asus bundles its own Settings application to control a number of the device's features, including microphone gain and sensitivity.’
    • ‘On the other hand, we found that the amplifier gain also increased noise.’
    • ‘The antennas combine high gain with a directional beam and virtually no backscatter, the company said.’
    • ‘It operates at a low gain but will automatically adjust to provide a higher level of gain if necessary.’
    • ‘The gain of the amplifier system was not changed.’
    • ‘The higher antenna gain allows low-power amplifiers to be used with efficient modulation and coding.’
    • ‘In another variation, the camera gain is increased throughout the pulse train.’
    • ‘The auxiliary amplifier is provided within the circuit to increase the gain of the cascode amplifier and has an associated output.’


  • gain time

    • Obtain extra time to achieve something by deliberate delaying tactics.

      ‘the government was using the negotiations to gain time’
      • ‘Realistically, our mission was to delay their advance and gain time by fighting fiercely, imaginatively, courageously-even to the last man.’
      • ‘It was in the center that the First Minnesota made its famous suicide charge, attacking onrushing Confederates who outnumbered the Minnesotans fifteen to one in a desperate effort to gain time to reinforce the Union line.’
      • ‘One use for negotiations, of course, would be to gain time to launder your money, burn the files, destroy the evidence etc…’
      • ‘Ride the bus, then, in pursuit of keeping the air clean, reducing your risk of car accidents, or gaining time to read.’
      • ‘The objective is to gain time for markets to recover, if the trustees believe that they will, instead of immediately making irrevocable changes to the fund.’
      play for time, stall, procrastinate, delay, use delaying tactics, temporize, hold back, hang back, hang fire, dally, drag one's feet, use dilatory tactics
      put something on the back burner
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Late 15th century (as a noun, originally in the sense ‘booty’): from Old French gaigne (noun), gaignier (verb), of Germanic origin.