Definition of win in English:



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

    ‘United won four games in a row’
    ‘the government is winning the battle against inflation’
    no object, with complement ‘Sunderland won 2–1’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Most of the ties were sadly one-sided, England winning four matches by an average margin of 34 points.’
    • ‘After winning their first playoff game, the Magic then had an epic battle with Lethbridge.’
    • ‘To the Welsh, success can only mean winning the championship.’
    • ‘The Irish team had a very successful outing in winning the tournament.’
    • ‘York Groves could climb off the foot of Pennine League division four if they win their clash at Littleborough.’
    • ‘I ended up tying for medallist and helping the team win the tournament by four shots.’
    • ‘After a very close battle the Athy team won the match and were thrilled with their victory.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Just over four years ago she won a transatlantic race, routing the competition.’
    • ‘If successful in winning the race to stage the 2012 Olympics, she said the repercussions would be felt far outside London.’
    • ‘London-based Wanderers' fans are celebrating a double survival success after winning their own battle to beat the drop.’
    • ‘The best of his five hopefuls is surely Lucky Story, who won four races last season.’
    • ‘Named player of the championship, he was one of the victorious Army team that won the championship.’
    • ‘After losing the first game, the Warriors responded by taking three straight games, winning the match.’
    • ‘They've won the world championships four times, and they are the reigning champs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And the President believes the best way to be successful in winning a war is to let the experts run the war.’
    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
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  • 2Acquire or secure as a result of a contest, conflict, bet, or other endeavour.

    ‘there are hundreds of prizes to be won’
    with two objects ‘the sort of play that won them the World Cup so brilliantly’
    • ‘Yes, it's true, I've won first prize in the Writer Online Minuscule Fiction Contest.’
    • ‘He has also won several prizes in novel and serial story writing contests held by teen and women's magazines.’
    • ‘All you have to do to win this incredible prize is collect the coupons and fill in the answers to each evening's questions.’
    • ‘Reproduced are paintings, which won the top prizes in a contest organised by a Malayalam daily.’
    • ‘Last year, he won the second prize at a contest in Spain and the fourth spot at China.’
    • ‘Part of this involves a trivia contest that allows kids to win McDonald's prizes.’
    • ‘The pick of the lot will win a prize of £100 donated by Bedfordshire on Sunday.’
    • ‘Up to £30 could be won in prizes at the contest, which was held to replace Broughton Sports.’
    • ‘To add to the excitement, families can take part in a lucky draw contest with fabulous prizes to be won.’
    • ‘And while Smith himself will not win any prizes for eloquence, his achievements speak loud and clear.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Remember, the youth member who collects the most lids wins the prize.’
    • ‘He would probably have won a prize in a Beatles lookalike contest in 1965.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This is said to be the first such endeavour in Kerala, in which passengers stand to win prizes.’
    • ‘Competing in a contest with seventeen other girls she missed winning the overall prize by the narrowest of margins.’
    • ‘Ben Wyvis, for instance, is unlikely to win any prizes in a contest against some of the more shapely Highland summits.’
    • ‘A collection of poems, Lapidarium, won the National Literary Prize for a debut book.’
    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’
      • ‘However, he will bring fresh thinking to the party's efforts to win support.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And after a hard sell, the plan is winning the support of the international community.’
      • ‘As a result the two brothers went to Rome in 867 with the intention of winning the support of the Pope.’
      • ‘The plans have also won the support of the Association of North East Councils.’
      • ‘For this Olympics, Taiwan spared neither money nor effort to win international recognition.’
      • ‘But the company is now winning the attention of some of Australia's biggest corporate players.’
      • ‘Here, Millie's warm personality won the attention of staff and students alike.’
      • ‘She also experienced reps regularly taking young doctors out for boozy meals in an effort to win their favour.’
      • ‘When she had turned fifteen, she had given up trying to win her father's love and attention.’
      • ‘There must be something else inside that fearsome figure, to have won such love and devotion.’
      • ‘The plans won some support from the unions, but there are concerns about cutting the inspection notice period.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The proposals have won enthusiastic support from the government and the media.’
      • ‘These proposals have won wide support from local government, business, and community groups.’
      • ‘The proposals have won the support of North Yorkshire Police and the county's fire and rescue service.’
      • ‘However one British expert claimed previous efforts by him to win support for such work had fallen on deaf ears.’
      • ‘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.’
      captivate, steal, gain
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2win someone over Gain the support or favour of someone by action or persuasion.
      ‘her sense of humour 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.’
      • ‘An air of pessimism has descended on the support and it will take a good start to win them 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 soft-spoken artist, using his persuasive charm, won her over.’
      • ‘He suffered early houndings from the Rangers support, but won 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, his unsubtle, overtly physical techniques of persuasion fail to win them 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.’
      • ‘The hardware store dramatics, however, won her over and I proudly brought my rolled up rug to school.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What is it about the island that won you over?’
      • ‘It took weeks of persuasion for her to win them over.’
      • ‘But by the end, she's won them over as her greatest supporters.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Many anarchists and syndicalists supported the revolution and he was keen to 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.’
      persuade, talk round, bring round, convince, induce, sway, prevail on
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3win out/throughno object Manage to succeed or achieve something by effort.
      ‘a determination to win through against all the odds’
      • ‘Even then, ethnic allegiances won through and they weren't eliminated.’
      • ‘But her determination has won through and while Grace will sadly never meet her father, Mrs Scott has the baby she longed for.’
      • ‘They were all miserable efforts, but at least the least bad one won through in the end.’
      • ‘The Stagecoach millionaire claims that the ‘power of public opinion’ has won through.’
      • ‘We can operate on a level playing field, in which effort, struggle, and talent win out in the end.’
      • ‘Pat won through to complete her course in Key Skills in IT.’
      • ‘It was tough going out there but we won through with hard graft.’
      • ‘North Carolina looked far from sharp last week, but talent eventually will win out.’
      • ‘The teams had won through from a series of county events.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Her drive to succeed began to win out as her career developed further into both choreographing and producing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If Celtic had won through in Europe their efforts on the domestic front may also have been spoken of more favourably.’
      • ‘But Thornton's determination has won through and for the past four seasons, he has topped 50 winners.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His honesty and integrity won through in the end.’
      • ‘But it is determination and the will to succeed that will eventually win out.’
      • ‘Our readers seem to like it chilly, but this year Adriatic sunshine has won through, pipping perennial favourites Iceland, Finland and Norway.’
    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.’
  • 3Dry (hay) by exposure to the air.

    • ‘Silage and baled hay has never been easier won and turf has been saved in the best conditions for many years.’


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

    ‘a 3–0 win over Birmingham’
    • ‘The five-year-old's last two starts on an all-weather surface, both at Wolverhampton, have resulted in two pillar-to-post wins.’
    • ‘As a result of her win on Sunday she will also be competing in the National Athletic finals at Tullamore in July.’
    • ‘This was a very disappointing result following their wins over Ballinrobe and Ballyhaunis.’
    • ‘The pairs enjoyed a mixed bag of results, with three wins and creditable performances in their close losses.’
    • ‘Bootham were only five points behind on aggregate as two of the frame wins were black ball results.’
    • ‘He played in one more Test to try to help them get a result and a series win.’
    • ‘After a couple of bad recent league results, a win was needed to move away from the bottom end of the table.’
    • ‘However it did take place on Tuesday night and resulted in a win for the Poyntzpass team.’
    • ‘If you have one or two wild cards, making a full run is relatively easy and will usually result in a win.’
    • ‘Yorkshire have advanced to the quarter finals as a result of resounding wins over Minor Counties opponents in the previous two rounds.’
    • ‘This test will likely be drawn, the only other result is an Indian win.’
    • ‘The result was some nice wins against Labour but too many losses against the Tories.’
    • ‘The players might tell you they enjoy the occasion, and maybe they do, especially if it results in a win.’
    • ‘Vikings are now themselves shooting to the top of the soccer ladder as a result of the win.’
    • ‘The women participated well, with strong play by all positions and as a result the win was Waterloo's.’
    • ‘His first crack over hurdles resulted in a wide-margin win at Uttoxeter.’
    • ‘No other Taiwan player has achieved a Pro Tour victory and the win puts Chuan in the big ten of the sport.’
    • ‘Several short-term wins occurred as a result of the formation of the College Connection.’
    • ‘The recent results and contract wins have provided a boost to the share price, which has begun to steadily lift from recent lows.’
    • ‘The counties met in a challenge a fortnight ago, and it resulted in a convincing win for the Ulster side.’
    victory, triumph, conquest, success, game, set, and match
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  • I (or he, she, etc.) can't win

    • informal There is no course of action will bring success or please people.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • win the day

    • Be victorious in battle, sport, or argument.

      • ‘It would be an unforgivable tragedy for apathy to win the day and alter our sport for all time.’
      • ‘But they have one argument which might just win the day.’
      • ‘Eventually, however, her persuasive powers won the day.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘People-power has won the day in the battle to have Old Town's hated bus-priority traffic lights switched off.’
      • ‘But ultimately, ladies and gentleman, the president of the United States 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.’
  • win or lose

    • Whether one succeeds or fails.

      ‘win or lose, the important thing for him is to set a good example to his side’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It matters to them whether they miss a spare, whether they win or lose a pot.’
      • ‘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 fight may be more important than whether they win or lose in the end.’
      • ‘It's not whether you win or lose, it's whether you wake up with a good story.’
      • ‘Whether they win or lose, the action is electrifying, it's second to none and owners are right in the thick of it.’
      • ‘However, whether they win or lose, a corner has definitely been turned.’
      • ‘In the great game of life, whether you win or lose depends upon which voice is the loudest at the moment of decision.’
      • ‘It's not how you play the game, it's whether you win or lose that counts.’
      • ‘He seems utterly absorbed with his personal statistics and appears not to care whether the Cubs win or lose.’
  • 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 honours.
        • ‘James had cut his teeth and earned his spurs and like father, like son, he has not been slow to court the Chinese.’
        • ‘Before taking over a year ago as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, he earned his spurs as governor of Utah.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘You've earned your spurs, you're in the union, you've got your license to practise…’
        • ‘This was, without question, the Shamrocks clubman's finest display since he first won his spurs with the squad.’
        • ‘Not that he hadn't already earned his spurs in the business.’
        • ‘He has earned his spurs after time spent in business and corporate banking at a number of locations.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Both bowlers earned their spurs on tours of the Caribbean.’
  • you can't win them all (or win some, lose some)

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

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We treat people with respect and dignity, but you can't win them all.’
      • ‘He added: ‘It's a win some, lose some situation.’’
      • ‘I've probably had better performances in Grand Slam finals but you can't win them all.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Well, I guess you can't win them all, you know?’
      • ‘You have to be on the edge and I guess you can't win them all.’


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