Definition of win in US English:


verbwins, winning, won

[with object]
  • 1Be successful or victorious in (a contest or conflict)

    ‘the Mets have won four games in a row’
    no object ‘a determination to win’
    with complement ‘the Pirates won 2–1’
    • ‘The best of his five hopefuls is surely Lucky Story, who won four races last season.’
    • ‘Most of the ties were sadly one-sided, England winning four matches by an average margin of 34 points.’
    • ‘To the Welsh, success can only mean winning the championship.’
    • ‘It was the second time he has won a British championship race having being victorious last year in the Brecon Beacons.’
    • ‘Rarely do we see accounts of how housewives struggled at home while the men of valor fought the battles and won the wars.’
    • ‘If successful in winning the race to stage the 2012 Olympics, she said the repercussions would be felt far outside London.’
    • ‘After winning their first playoff game, the Magic then had an epic battle with Lethbridge.’
    • ‘The Irish team had a very successful outing in winning the tournament.’
    • ‘London-based Wanderers' fans are celebrating a double survival success after winning their own battle to beat the drop.’
    • ‘York Groves could climb off the foot of Pennine League division four if they win their clash at Littleborough.’
    • ‘They've won the world championships four times, and they are the reigning champs.’
    • ‘I ended up tying for medallist and helping the team win the tournament by four shots.’
    • ‘And the President believes the best way to be successful in winning a war is to let the experts run the war.’
    • ‘He won four races off the reel in the first half of last season and ran well on his reappearance on the Flat at Navan on Wednesday.’
    • ‘After a very close battle the Athy team won the match and were thrilled with their victory.’
    • ‘After losing the first game, the Warriors responded by taking three straight games, winning the match.’
    • ‘The old football adage that offense wins games and defense wins championships still scores.’
    • ‘But they have yet to win successive matches in the Premiership this season.’
    • ‘Named player of the championship, he was one of the victorious Army team that won the championship.’
    • ‘Just over four years ago she won a transatlantic race, routing the competition.’
    come first in, finish first in, be victorious in, triumph in, take first prize in, achieve success in, be successful in, prevail in
    come first, finish first, be the winner, be victorious, be the victor, carry the day, win the day, carry all before one, defeat the opposition, overcome the opposition, take the crown, take the honours, gain the palm, come out ahead, come out on top, succeed, triumph, prevail, achieve mastery
    View synonyms
  • 2Acquire or secure as a result of a contest, conflict, bet, or other endeavor.

    ‘there are hundreds of prizes to be won’
    with two objects ‘the sort of play that won them the World Cup’
    • ‘There have been reports of Welsh students even going as far as entering wet t-shirt contests to win prize money so they can pay their rent.’
    • ‘A collection of poems, Lapidarium, won the National Literary Prize for a debut book.’
    • ‘In 1999, he won a prize in the Better Photography contest in the amateur category.’
    • ‘It won the Booker Prize last year, but received no garlands from Pat.’
    • ‘Yes, it's true, I've won first prize in the Writer Online Minuscule Fiction Contest.’
    • ‘Up to £30 could be won in prizes at the contest, which was held to replace Broughton Sports.’
    • ‘He has also won several prizes in novel and serial story writing contests held by teen and women's magazines.’
    • ‘This is said to be the first such endeavour in Kerala, in which passengers stand to win prizes.’
    • ‘Ben Wyvis, for instance, is unlikely to win any prizes in a contest against some of the more shapely Highland summits.’
    • ‘The entrant which gets the highest number of text votes will walk away with the trophy, while one of the voters will be picked at random to win a prize.’
    • ‘He would probably have won a prize in a Beatles lookalike contest in 1965.’
    • ‘And while Smith himself will not win any prizes for eloquence, his achievements speak loud and clear.’
    • ‘Reproduced are paintings, which won the top prizes in a contest organised by a Malayalam daily.’
    • ‘The pick of the lot will win a prize of £100 donated by Bedfordshire on Sunday.’
    • ‘All you have to do to win this incredible prize is collect the coupons and fill in the answers to each evening's questions.’
    • ‘Last year, he won the second prize at a contest in Spain and the fourth spot at China.’
    • ‘Remember, the youth member who collects the most lids wins the prize.’
    • ‘Part of this involves a trivia contest that allows kids to win McDonald's prizes.’
    • ‘To add to the excitement, families can take part in a lucky draw contest with fabulous prizes to be won.’
    • ‘Competing in a contest with seventeen other girls she missed winning the overall prize by the narrowest of margins.’
    secure, gain, achieve, attain, earn, obtain, acquire, procure, get, collect, pick up, walk away with, walk off with, come away with, carry off
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Gain (a person's attention, support, or love), typically gradually or by effort.
      ‘you will find it difficult to win back their attention’
      • ‘She prescribes sponge layer cakes or a tray of muffins to make the cook feel good and win the love and admiration of everyone around.’
      • ‘The proposals have won the support of North Yorkshire Police and the county's fire and rescue service.’
      • ‘For this Olympics, Taiwan spared neither money nor effort to win international recognition.’
      • ‘Here, Millie's warm personality won the attention of staff and students alike.’
      • ‘When she had turned fifteen, she had given up trying to win her father's love and attention.’
      • ‘The proposals have won enthusiastic support from the government and the media.’
      • ‘And after a hard sell, the plan is winning the support of the international community.’
      • ‘The new king, he summed up, would have to win the love, confidence and support of the Nepalese people.’
      • ‘An assessment program that wins the support of American families must recognize effort and achievement.’
      • ‘However one British expert claimed previous efforts by him to win support for such work had fallen on deaf ears.’
      • ‘There must be something else inside that fearsome figure, to have won such love and devotion.’
      • ‘But the company is now winning the attention of some of Australia's biggest corporate players.’
      • ‘The plans have also won the support of the Association of North East Councils.’
      • ‘However, he will bring fresh thinking to the party's efforts to win support.’
      • ‘And the friendly tot is already winning the attention of everyone who knows him.’
      • ‘Neither of those lofty attributes encompassed the desperate desire to win the support of tabloid newspapers.’
      • ‘As a result the two brothers went to Rome in 867 with the intention of winning the support of the Pope.’
      • ‘These proposals have won wide support from local government, business, and community groups.’
      • ‘She also experienced reps regularly taking young doctors out for boozy meals in an effort to win their favour.’
      • ‘The plans won some support from the unions, but there are concerns about cutting the inspection notice period.’
      captivate, steal, gain
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2win someone over Gain the support or favor of someone by action or persuasion.
      ‘her sense of humor had won him over at once’
      • ‘By relying on a characteristically low-key form of moral persuasion, he believes he is slowly winning them over and that the foundations will eventually reflect his influence.’
      • ‘Likewise, she had had to greet many young and eligible bachelors, all of whom did their best to impress her and win her over, asking for dances and favours from the princess.’
      • ‘For the ones who are skeptical but convincing, one might think that publishing a series of papers, all with consistent data supporting your model, would eventually win them over.’
      • ‘It's a charmer, a movie that slowly wins you over with its subtle humour and its depiction of the great, stupid little moments that characterize the beginning of a relationship.’
      • ‘The soft-spoken artist, using his persuasive charm, won her over.’
      • ‘When dealing with people who seem to have basic socialist principles but are dead-set against immigration, what arguments can convincingly win them over?’
      • ‘The hardware store dramatics, however, won her over and I proudly brought my rolled up rug to school.’
      • ‘Therefore he wins her over with gentle persuasion.’
      • ‘By the time Scott finished reading the script, he was won over by its humour and by the chance to play someone he'd never played before.’
      • ‘An air of pessimism has descended on the support and it will take a good start to win them over.’
      • ‘The reenactments don't always work so smoothly, but the tales of enduring romance and the subjects' senses of humour will win you over, without a doubt.’
      • ‘However, his unsubtle, overtly physical techniques of persuasion fail to win them over.’
      • ‘Many anarchists and syndicalists supported the revolution and he was keen to win them over.’
      • ‘What is it about the island that won you over?’
      • ‘His poised, persuasive presentation won them over.’
      • ‘By doing so, the chain hopes to bring regulars back and win them over with exceptional service.’
      • ‘He suffered early houndings from the Rangers support, but won them over.’
      • ‘Watch it with friends and let the subtle observational humour win you over until the smile washes over your face and you laugh in unison like lightly tickled hyenas.’
      • ‘It took weeks of persuasion for her to win them over.’
      • ‘But by the end, she's won them over as her greatest supporters.’
      persuade, talk round, bring round, convince, induce, sway, prevail on
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3win outno object Manage to succeed or achieve something by effort.
      ‘talent won out over bureaucracy’
      • ‘Her drive to succeed began to win out as her career developed further into both choreographing and producing.’
      • ‘Even then, ethnic allegiances won through and they weren't eliminated.’
      • ‘His honesty and integrity won through in the end.’
      • ‘But Thornton's determination has won through and for the past four seasons, he has topped 50 winners.’
      • ‘North Carolina looked far from sharp last week, but talent eventually will win out.’
      • ‘Our readers seem to like it chilly, but this year Adriatic sunshine has won through, pipping perennial favourites Iceland, Finland and Norway.’
      • ‘Entrants had to complete a simple physical test, a problem-solving command task, working as part of a team, a logic test and an interview in their efforts to win through to a national competition with ten places at stake.’
      • ‘They were all miserable efforts, but at least the least bad one won through in the end.’
      • ‘There are several occasions when the intrepid adventurer looks destined to fail as a result of failing health or a lack of cash, but owing to his unnerving determination he always manages to win through.’
      • ‘We can operate on a level playing field, in which effort, struggle, and talent win out in the end.’
      • ‘It was tough going out there but we won through with hard graft.’
      • ‘The teams had won through from a series of county events.’
      • ‘But it is determination and the will to succeed that will eventually win out.’
      • ‘The Stagecoach millionaire claims that the ‘power of public opinion’ has won through.’
      • ‘If Celtic had won through in Europe their efforts on the domestic front may also have been spoken of more favourably.’
      • ‘Pat won through to complete her course in Key Skills in IT.’
      • ‘Powerful water lances were used to loosen the hold and, with only minutes left, 32 members of the assembled emergency services won through and got him out.’
      • ‘Down Minors have succeeded again in showing their stamina and determination in winning through in the quarter-finals of the All Ireland Minor Championship when they beat Galway in Cavan.’
      • ‘But her determination has won through and while Grace will sadly never meet her father, Mrs Scott has the baby she longed for.’
      • ‘What a shame it would be if racing ends in Ballybeggan Park - filthy lucre winning out over sportsmanship and pride in your home town achievements - sad if that happens to be the case.’
    4. 2.4archaic Manage to reach (a place) by effort.
      ‘many lived to win the great cave’
    5. 2.5 Obtain (ore) from a mine.
      • ‘Since excavations began at Loy Yang in 1982, the large numbers speak for themselves with 398 million m3 of coal (or 446 million tonnes of coal) being won.’

nounPlural wins

  • A successful result in a contest, conflict, bet, or other endeavor; a victory.

    ‘a win against Norway’
    • ‘No other Taiwan player has achieved a Pro Tour victory and the win puts Chuan in the big ten of the sport.’
    • ‘The recent results and contract wins have provided a boost to the share price, which has begun to steadily lift from recent lows.’
    • ‘The result was some nice wins against Labour but too many losses against the Tories.’
    • ‘Several short-term wins occurred as a result of the formation of the College Connection.’
    • ‘If you have one or two wild cards, making a full run is relatively easy and will usually result in a win.’
    • ‘This was a very disappointing result following their wins over Ballinrobe and Ballyhaunis.’
    • ‘Yorkshire have advanced to the quarter finals as a result of resounding wins over Minor Counties opponents in the previous two rounds.’
    • ‘As a result of her win on Sunday she will also be competing in the National Athletic finals at Tullamore in July.’
    • ‘However it did take place on Tuesday night and resulted in a win for the Poyntzpass team.’
    • ‘The women participated well, with strong play by all positions and as a result the win was Waterloo's.’
    • ‘Bootham were only five points behind on aggregate as two of the frame wins were black ball results.’
    • ‘The counties met in a challenge a fortnight ago, and it resulted in a convincing win for the Ulster side.’
    • ‘This test will likely be drawn, the only other result is an Indian win.’
    • ‘His first crack over hurdles resulted in a wide-margin win at Uttoxeter.’
    • ‘Vikings are now themselves shooting to the top of the soccer ladder as a result of the win.’
    • ‘The players might tell you they enjoy the occasion, and maybe they do, especially if it results in a win.’
    • ‘After a couple of bad recent league results, a win was needed to move away from the bottom end of the table.’
    • ‘The pairs enjoyed a mixed bag of results, with three wins and creditable performances in their close losses.’
    • ‘He played in one more Test to try to help them get a result and a series win.’
    • ‘The five-year-old's last two starts on an all-weather surface, both at Wolverhampton, have resulted in two pillar-to-post wins.’
    victory, triumph, conquest, success, game, set, and match
    View synonyms


  • win the day

    • Be victorious in battle, sport, or argument.

      • ‘The 33-year-old Cuban's undoubted class may have won the day but the youngster has a great career ahead of him in his chosen sport.’
      • ‘But ultimately, ladies and gentleman, the president of the United States won the day.’
      • ‘It appeared that his line of argument was going to win the day, but at this point the Roman Inquisition demanded that he be sent to Rome to be tried by them.’
      • ‘It would be an unforgivable tragedy for apathy to win the day and alter our sport for all time.’
      • ‘People-power has won the day in the battle to have Old Town's hated bus-priority traffic lights switched off.’
      • ‘Eventually, however, her persuasive powers won the day.’
      • ‘We hope that by the time you hold this issue in your hands, common sense and a true commitment to homeland security will have won the day.’
      • ‘Without going into too much research, it is clear that the reason that we were landed with this road is simply because vested interests won the day.’
      • ‘None of these arguments wins the day, but they're reasonable and fair-minded; the same can't be said for those who oppose the freedom to marry.’
      • ‘But they have one argument which might just win the day.’
  • win or lose

    • Whether one succeeds or fails.

      ‘win or lose, the important thing for him is to set a good example’
      • ‘Whether they fight may be more important than whether they win or lose in the end.’
      • ‘They know a fan truth that is as old as sport itself - it's not whether you win or lose, it's how much of a ruckus you create along the way.’
      • ‘Whether they win or lose, the action is electrifying, it's second to none and owners are right in the thick of it.’
      • ‘It's not whether you win or lose, it's whether you wake up with a good story.’
      • ‘It is nice to win, but I find the last few years, it really doesn't matter whether we do or not and if it's a good game, you enjoy it whether you win or lose.’
      • ‘In the great game of life, whether you win or lose depends upon which voice is the loudest at the moment of decision.’
      • ‘It matters to them whether they miss a spare, whether they win or lose a pot.’
      • ‘However, whether they win or lose, a corner has definitely been turned.’
      • ‘He seems utterly absorbed with his personal statistics and appears not to care whether the Cubs win or lose.’
      • ‘It's not how you play the game, it's whether you win or lose that counts.’
  • win (or earn) one's spurs

    • 1historical Gain a knighthood by an act of bravery.

      • ‘By 1794 the average age of French generals was 33, and most of Napoleon's marshals won their spurs during this period.’
      • ‘Aspiring knights will have to earn their spurs.’
      1. 1.1informal Gain one's first distinction or honors.
        • ‘He has earned his spurs after time spent in business and corporate banking at a number of locations.’
        • ‘Before taking over a year ago as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, he earned his spurs as governor of Utah.’
        • ‘Not that he hadn't already earned his spurs in the business.’
        • ‘Mr Scarlett has a strong following inside MI6 where he won his spurs on operations abroad, including as station chief in Moscow in the 1990s.’
        • ‘You've earned your spurs, you're in the union, you've got your license to practise…’
        • ‘It was a way to earn their spurs as newscasters; to make household names out of their anchors and reporters; to inform their viewers; to serve the public interest.’
        • ‘But if you want to be an academic leader, a dean, a president, a provost, it's very important to win your spurs as a respected faculty member.’
        • ‘James had cut his teeth and earned his spurs and like father, like son, he has not been slow to court the Chinese.’
        • ‘Both bowlers earned their spurs on tours of the Caribbean.’
        • ‘This was, without question, the Shamrocks clubman's finest display since he first won his spurs with the squad.’
  • you can't win them all (or win some, lose some)

    • informal Said to express consolation or resignation after failure in a contest.

      • ‘He added: ‘It's a win some, lose some situation.’’
      • ‘Well, I guess you can't win them all, you know?’
      • ‘If he wins the euro referendum, it will be a huge boost to the new administration; if he loses, well, you can't win them all, and there will be four years to get over it.’
      • ‘It was a case of win some, lose some last weekend, as Sligo teams aimed for the play-offs in Division Three of the National Hurling League and Division Three of the Ladies Gaelic football National League.’
      • ‘You expect to win some, lose some, but you don't expect to lose some, lose some and then lose some more.’
      • ‘Oh well, I suppose that you can't win them all, and the fact that this movie exists is definitely proof of that.’
      • ‘We treat people with respect and dignity, but you can't win them all.’
      • ‘You have to be on the edge and I guess you can't win them all.’
      • ‘I've probably had better performances in Grand Slam finals but you can't win them all.’
      • ‘That one came back to bite the Bucs, of course, when they had their historic breakdown in the fourth quarter last Monday, but like Smith said, you can't win them all.’
  • one can't win

    • informal Said when someone feels that no course of action open to them will bring success or please people.

      • ‘In this kind of ethical dilemma you can't win; damned if you do, damned if you don't.’
      • ‘Second, you can't win with an irrational critic like Bowers.’
      • ‘If it is because the group will treat you differently, then again you can't win because they've already gotten used to a particular way of being, and it is not really under your control to change them.’
      • ‘Some things about parenting you can't win - someone's got to be born first, and someone second, and whatever your place in the birth order, something comes with it.’
      • ‘We know how difficult it is, but you only make it harder for yourself if you go down with the attitude that you can't win.’


Old English winnan ‘strive, contend’ also ‘subdue and take possession of, acquire’, of Germanic origin.