Definition of gather in English:



  • 1[no object] Come together; assemble or accumulate.

    ‘a crowd gathered in the square’
    • ‘Philip's statement brought a ripple of laughter from the crowd of assembled contestants gathered around the archery range.’
    • ‘Mike looked around at the assemblage gathered around him.’
    • ‘Many in a strong crowd, who had gathered around the screens, were heard to remark it was all about politics rather than singing and the song.’
    • ‘Large crowds have gathered around him, and he begins to teach them.’
    • ‘A crowd of 300 demonstrators gathered around the jail, hurling firebombs, rockets and stones at the patrol.’
    • ‘A crowd had gathered around one of the cottages in the town square.’
    • ‘From atop a tree-house, the big picture of a man with a white flowing beard gazed down on a merry crowd gathered around a huge cake.’
    • ‘The grocery shop was next door to the sweet shop and when I got there I saw a crowd of children gathered around a television camera and some photographers.’
    • ‘I still remember a lover's quarrel last February when I'd walked desolately along Madison Avenue, only to come across a small crowd gathered around the store.’
    • ‘And judging from the crowds gathered around the trophy and the queues looping around the Brunel Plaza, the tour looks to be on target for success.’
    • ‘As we stood there conversing in this manner, a crowd gathered around to listen.’
    • ‘A big crowd gathered around the freshly painted Red Cross Centre to join in the celebrations of the new facilities to the region.’
    • ‘Nearby, anxious crowds gathered around lists of injured posted on the walls of the hospital buildings.’
    • ‘And again, she told herself that as she entered the party and viewed the crowd of fans gathered around him.’
    • ‘A crowd gathered around one of the burned-out cars.’
    • ‘It seems that a crowd of them had gathered around the quarrelling demonstrators, while the British cops attempted to keep the two sides apart.’
    • ‘A lot of young girls had experienced terrible intimidation by the crowds gathered around the shop in the past.’
    • ‘He said that when he arrived on the scene at 2.46 pm a crowd of youths had gathered around the southern edge of the lagoon, off Northfield Lane.’
    • ‘Crowds also gathered around a television where footage of the annual school drills from the 1960s was being shown.’
    • ‘The sporting entertainment kicked off early in the day as crowds gathered around large TV screens to watch the World Cup final.’
    congregate, convene, assemble, meet, collect, come together, get together, muster, rally, converge
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  • 2[with object] Bring together and take in from scattered places or sources.

    ‘we have gathered the information’
    • ‘Stars are not scattered randomly through space, they are gathered together into vast groups known as galaxies.’
    • ‘I gathered a crew and brought in reinforcements from Brooklyn.’
    • ‘Journalists will protect their confidential sources and will try to gather information with honest and legal means and will not conceal their occupation.’
    • ‘Many of the Christian themes scattered throughout his writings are here gathered together.’
    • ‘‘For the fifth task, you must gather both flags and bring them back here,’ said Bradley.’
    • ‘The main sources used to gather information were as follows.’
    • ‘He scoured medical textbooks and science web sites to gather information on the sources of many human illnesses.’
    • ‘A compiled fist is data gathered from third-party public sources, such as government records, newspapers and directories.’
    • ‘He gathers information from a variety of sources such as newspapers, trade journals, and books on the latest topics and trends.’
    • ‘Nevertheless here, and in the Source book, material previously scattered in archives is gathered together and ordered.’
    • ‘We've gathered information from many sources and organized it to provide complete yet understandable information on decisions you now face.’
    • ‘All the information used for the article was gathered from public sources.’
    • ‘The growth of the internet has made it so easy for people both to gather information from diverse sources and to disseminate information to diverse recipients.’
    • ‘We've gathered reports from sources we trust - and we plan to add more.’
    • ‘I gathered the information from books and other sources and created the pages.’
    • ‘I tried to gather the suddenly scattered memories of court etiquette that had been drilled into me since I understood the concept of courtesy.’
    • ‘The former is deathmatch with the expected setting choices, while the latter is a competition to gather items scattered around the maps.’
    • ‘All information contained herein is gathered from sources we believe to be reliable.’
    • ‘Student editors spend an enormous amount of time gathering every source cited by the author, then checking each one to make sure it supports what the author is saying.’
    • ‘Earlier literature was gathered from non-electronic sources by the authors.’
    collect, get together, put together, accumulate, amass, assemble, garner
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    1. 2.1Pick up from the ground or a surface.
      ‘they gathered up the dirty plates and cups’
      • ‘She gathered up her things and hurried after him.’
      • ‘As soon as she reached the Nurse's Station, she gathered up her things and slung her purse over her shoulder, accidentally knocking over a coat stand by the exit.’
      • ‘The place is secluded and beautiful and, as I gathered up some of the golf balls that we'd scattered, her dad and her brother zoomed off on their motorcycles.’
      • ‘For years thereafter, the comic book would dutifully be gathered up every evening and locked in a safe.’
      • ‘Muttering a curse, she put the other two boxes down before starting to gather the papers scattered all around the hallway and into the living room.’
      • ‘He gathered the paper scattered across the desk into a pile, and added it to the heap on the floor, frowning deeply.’
      • ‘She gathered up a rusty shovel and a pair of rakes and leaned them against a corner.’
      • ‘He gathered up the cards, shuffled them, and re-dealt.’
      • ‘I gathered up a dozen and dropped them on the floor of the forest, far away from our reckless river, at a spot where the sun was shining through.’
      • ‘My grandmother was not sure who might have gathered up the poet's clothes.’
      • ‘We scattered the fire and gathered all of our things.’
      • ‘Instead, Maya's world continued to crumble as she bent down to gather the hay scattered around, refusing to look at the couple now.’
      • ‘He gathered up some snow, creating a small hill.’
      • ‘She shrugged and gathered up the dirty instruments from my tray.’
      • ‘He snapped a few pictures, gathered up the pipes, and returned home.’
      • ‘They gathered up the sheet they put on the ground and shoved it into the bundle they carried with them.’
      • ‘All scraps and sawdust should be gathered up and disposed of properly off-site.’
      • ‘She gathered up her pictures and tucked them in the pink notebook.’
      • ‘I gathered my things, brought them out, put them in my notebook, and put it in the filing cabinet.’
      • ‘Charlotte reluctantly obeyed her Aunt as they gathered up her belongings, one by one, and packed them into suitcases and bags for the trip to North Carolina.’
    2. 2.2Collect (grain or other crops) as a harvest.
      • ‘To most Pagans Samhain is a sacred day - a time when the last harvests are gathered in before winter's arrival, and the time when family members who have passed away are remembered and honored.’
      • ‘The abundance of apple sellers, though, harks back to the old days when all the crops would be gathered in and no fruit picked after this date for the puca, a supernatural being, would be busy spoiling unpicked fruit at Halloween.’
      • ‘August to November heralds another period of fair weather, when the harvest is gathered in.’
      collect, get together, put together, accumulate, amass, assemble, garner
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    3. 2.3Collect (plants, fruits, etc.) for food.
      • ‘The diet of Inuit hunters in the Arctic is composed almost entirely of meat and fish, but most hunter-gatherers in other parts of the world obtain more food from gathering plants than from hunting animals.’
      • ‘After two quick rounds of food gathering, the students learn about the variety of animal species that live underground and glean insight into their fragile cave habitat.’
      • ‘Women performed extensive plant gathering, including a wide variety of roots, berries, and seeds.’
      • ‘Sixteen Irish people would be brought to an uninhabited island in the South Pacific and left there to survive on the food they could gather or kill for themselves.’
      • ‘I even threw some tortilla chips on the ground, and the jays gathered up the chips as rapidly as they did the peanuts.’
      • ‘Life inside the reserve is harsh, as the Bushmen are banned from hunting, gathering and collecting firewood.’
      • ‘Because they need a lot of food, especially when the days shorten and sustenance becomes scarce, chickadees spend all autumn gathering and storing food.’
      • ‘It has changed from necessary food gathering to commercial harvest by way of eel traps.’
      • ‘Following a difficult voyage, the sailors enjoyed some months on Tahiti gathering and cultivating breadfruit plants.’
      • ‘Botanical knowledge is (and would have been in prehistory) greatest among the women who gather, collect, harvest, and process plant resources.’
      • ‘Who will feed those kids if they go to school and their parents are working in the dingiest of atmospheres to gather barely enough food to feed themselves?’
      • ‘Apples and pears, when lying on the ground, could be gathered up as public fruit.’
      • ‘Based on situational requirements these handguns can be used for food gathering, and in some instances, defense against dangerous wild animals.’
      • ‘After collecting several branches of large red berries, he gathered as many wedge fruit as he could carry from the nearby tree and walked back to their spot on the grass.’
      • ‘In some areas of low population density hunting of wild pigs predominates, along with food gathering, hunting and collection of wild plants and animals.’
      • ‘For example, bereaved relatives were not allowed to participate in food gathering until someone fed them the first wild rice or maple sugar of the season.’
      • ‘Expect to see more extreme food gathering from these boys in future episodes.’
      • ‘This led to the creation of tools to aid them in their activities such as hunting and food gathering.’
      • ‘The summer months were the time when the villagers would collectively gather, grow and store firewood and food to help tide the long winter months.’
      • ‘The basic economy of hunting, fishing, and food gathering, and the settlement pattern that focused on lake margins and river valley locations, remained unchanged.’
      harvest, collect, reap, pick, pluck, garner, crop, glean
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    4. 2.4Draw together or toward oneself.
      ‘she gathered the child in her arms’
      • ‘I gathered up my little ones with just the clothes we were wearing and left for good, not looking back and not knowing our destiny.’
      • ‘In the next instant I felt him pulling me to him, gathering me into his arms.’
      • ‘Then we'd stopped and Wilson had gathered me into his arms, pulling me onto his lap as he claimed a swing.’
      • ‘The two embrace and gather the child between them.’
      • ‘He smiled at her and then gathered her into an embrace holding her tightly with his muscular arms.’
      • ‘She reached out for him, with both hands outstretched, and he responded by standing, and gently pulling her to her feet, and gathering her into his arms.’
      • ‘He stretches over her onto his side of the bed and slides into it, pulling the covers up and gathering her into his arms.’
      • ‘He gathered me up into his arms and pulled me close into him.’
      clasp, clutch, take, pull, embrace, enfold, hold, hug, cuddle, squeeze
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    5. 2.5Draw and hold together (fabric or a part of a garment) by running thread through it.
      ‘the front is gathered at the waist’
      • ‘The cami tied around my neck and scooped in the back, with some ruffly parts down the middle of the back (not overblown ruffles, just gathered fabric).’
      • ‘Jersey and stretch linen are gathered faintly reminiscent of ancient Greece, yet wrapped around the body in hourglass silhouettes.’
      • ‘The fabric is gathered at the waist with a belt which is tied at the side.’
      • ‘Affix rope, fringe or cording to an ordinary throw pillow or gathered slipcover skirt.’
      • ‘Pull the basting bobbin threads to gather the skirt.’
      • ‘Pull up the threads to gather the fabric into pleats.’
      • ‘The dress was a pale lime green, it had a wasp waist and the skirt was gathered the tiniest bit to give it some twirl.’
      pleat, shirr, pucker, tuck, fold, corrugate, ruffle, crimp, crease, scrunch up
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  • 3[with object] Infer; understand.

    ‘her clients were, I gathered, a prosperous group’
    • ‘The director, one gathers, wants a Paris Commune purified of all its difficult and perhaps unpleasant associations, a kind of utopian model to hold out to today's radical protesters.’
    • ‘Indeed, the genre blurring of the title is intended, one gathers, to apply not only to Manet and Flaubert but also to Reed's own text.’
    • ‘One gathers from their questions that this was a rare encounter.’
    • ‘You will have gathered by now that it would be an understatement to say he is no admirer of his subject.’
    understand, be given to understand, believe, be led to believe, think, conclude, come to the conclusion, deduce, infer, draw the inference, assume, surmise, fancy
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  • 4[with object] Develop a higher degree of.

    ‘the green movement is gathering pace’
    • ‘It couldn't come at a better time for us, as our improvement programme gathers pace.’
    • ‘The inter-county hurling and football championships have been gathering pace this past few weeks.’
    • ‘The quest to find one of Croydon's best known independent stores a new home gathered pace this week.’
    • ‘As this change gathers pace, many clubs - a legacy of the city's proud working-class past - are in trouble.’
    • ‘The battle for a second doctors' surgery in Westbury gathered pace this week, with residents being urged to take the fight to their local MP.’
    • ‘The prog rock revival gathered pace last year when they toured Europe, South America and South East Asia.’
    • ‘After pitching the ball gathered tremendous pace.’
    • ‘The effect of compounding is often used to show how much a relatively small investment can grow into a surprisingly large sum as the benefit of receiving interest on interest gathers pace over the years.’
    • ‘The club directly above them is gathering a worrying degree of momentum.’
    • ‘As my steep decline into grumpy old manhood gathers pace, I realise I no longer know how to manage even the simplest of contemporary transactions.’
    • ‘The feminist movement of the 1980s was really gathering pace.’
    • ‘The result was the first in a series of ‘restructurings’ which would gather pace in the 1980s.’
    • ‘As Burt feared, the snowball started to roll and it was gathering pace.’
    • ‘As the biotech and digital revolutions gather pace, so the cost of their primary product, knowledge, grows at an exponential rate.’
    • ‘The battle to secure a household recycling centre for Westbury gathered pace this week as senior councillors were urged to back the plan.’
    • ‘The first section can be a bit slow and plodding but once the book gathers steam the second and third sections shine like well burnished steel rails.’
    • ‘Manchester has pledged to blast away the menace of graffiti ‘once and for all’ as its 100-day clean-up gathers pace.’
    • ‘One of Australia's most influential union leaders has called for the top income tax rate to be slashed to 30 cents in the dollar as the push for widespread tax reform gathers pace.’
    • ‘Developments off O'Connell Street are also gathering pace.’
    • ‘After a somewhat awkward first 15 min, the film gathers its pace and form, touching greatness on many levels, not least the performances and camera use.’
    • ‘Slowly at first but then gathering pace the 4,100 tonne warship began to sink.’
  • 5[with object] Summon up (a mental or physical attribute such as one's thoughts or strength) for a purpose.

    ‘he lay gathering his thoughts together’
    ‘he gathered himself for a tremendous leap’
    • ‘But they gathered themselves and came good at the last.’
    • ‘For years he had longed for his friendship with this woman to become something more, and having recently gathered up the nerve to court her, his wishes had been granted.’
    • ‘He stared for a moment, gathered himself mentally, and bowed his head.’
    • ‘He gathered himself up with as much dignity as he could muster before glaring at me.’
    • ‘That barren garden: where, presumably, he soon woke, wounded, worried, gathering himself together, and vowed never to return.’
    • ‘In search of some peace, I gathered myself out of bed.’
    • ‘John gathered himself up, trying to look important.’
    • ‘I chuckled, but finally gathered myself and stopped laughing.’
    • ‘Brian stopped at the red light, and gathered himself.’
    • ‘Thankfully that was not the case as the lads once again gathered themselves and shot two late points to secure that all-important victory.’
    • ‘Somehow, they gathered themselves to beat Limerick in the first round of the qualifiers but the core discontent hadn't been addressed.’
    • ‘He gathered himself up and tried to perform first aid.’
    • ‘She gathered herself up and took a good look around.’
    • ‘That was when she gathered her senses and noticed the mosaic floor beneath her.’
    • ‘She could hear then breathing and gathering their courage.’
    • ‘Finally, I gathered my courage and brought my gaze up to look at him.’
    • ‘Feeling utterly stupid I gathered myself up from under the rubble and hobbled inelegantly to find a first aider.’
    • ‘He blinked a few times before he gathered himself.’
    • ‘Still, after a certain number of blows, I managed to gather myself to the degree that I knew what to do, which was to run.’
    • ‘When they've gathered themselves within striking range, we're dead.’
    summon, summon up, call together, bring together, assemble, convene, rally, round up
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  • A part of a garment that is gathered or drawn in.

    • ‘Ruffles, lace, pin tucks, gathers, folkloric embroidery or lettuce leaf edging are the perfect accent to more classic silhouettes or a pair of well-worn jeans.’
    • ‘For evening, the collection is a procession of gathers, plunging necklines and backs, irregular lines.’
    • ‘Buy a runner that is approximately 1 1/2 times the width of your window; the extra width will allow for soft, gentle gathers.’
    • ‘Small tucks or soft gathers can accomplish the same thing.’
    • ‘This is how pattern drafters take a bust dart from the basic design and move it to the shoulder, then replace it with gathers rather than a dart.’
    • ‘The soleplate comes to a point, making it easy to iron button bands and gathers.’
    • ‘It ripples and furrows, drips in long trails, gathers in gritty, crusty patches.’
    • ‘The prismatic oil-stick scrawls are applied in intricate gathers, loose skeins and impenetrable tangles.’
    • ‘This can be accomplished at side seams, the center back seam, gathers, pleats, darts or a combination of the above.’
    • ‘The garments would have soft volume with gathers, frills, layers and plenty of patterns, reads the forecast.’
    • ‘This full-length jersey has a double shoulder/yoke with full-cut sleeves and underarm gusset, plus elastic ribbed gathers on edges of sleeves.’
    • ‘In their Seam Displacement series, by applying an extraordinary cutting and tailoring technique, students were able to displace seams, pleats and gathers for a new look.’
    • ‘Pear shaped women tend to have bigger bottoms so choose garments that have easing at the waistline with soft pleats and gathers.’


  • gather way

    • (of a ship) begin to move.

      • ‘She gathered way quickly, went about like clockwork and stopped when the need arose as if she had power braking.’
      • ‘The moment the engine is speeded up the clutch comes in, backward movement is checked and the car gathers way up the hill.’
      • ‘Then with a casual twist she pirouetted and now bows-on to the scene of impending carnage, quietly, almost innocently, began to gather way once more.’
      • ‘Gradually the two battleships gathered way and proceeded to head down the river abreast of each other.’
      • ‘At one time just before she commenced to gather way and draw off we were no more than a hundred yards from that towering cliff of ice which it looked as if our yardarms were going to touch.’
      • ‘The boat slows, stops, and if the lever isn't pushed into neutral, she'll gather way astern.’
      • ‘It bellied in the wind, and the dark wave hissed loud at the keel, as she gathered way over the water.’
      • ‘The U-boat then gathered way and disappeared into the darkness.’
      • ‘If the Alps were strongly manned, the movement for independence would gather way and the Gallic provinces decide the limits of their dominion at will.’
      • ‘Shortly afterwards she began to move down the bank, bumped, gathered way and then bumped very heavily.’


Old English gaderian; related to Dutch gaderen, also to together.