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gain 1 (gān)
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v. gained, gain·ing, gains
v.tr.
1. To come into possession or use of; acquire: gained a small fortune in real estate; gained vital information about the enemy's plans.
2. To attain in competition or struggle; win: gained a decisive victory; gained control of the company.
3. To obtain through effort or merit; achieve: gain recognition; gain a hearing for the proposal.
4. To secure as profit or reward; earn: gain a living; gain extra credits in school.
5.
a. To manage to achieve an increase of: a movement that gained strength; gained wisdom with age.
b. To increase by (a specific amount): gained 15 pounds; the market gained 30 points.
6. To come to; reach: gained the top of the mountain.
7. To become fast by (a specified amount of time). Used of a timepiece: My watch gains four minutes a day.
v.intr.
1. To increase; grow: gained in experience and maturity; a painting that gained in value.
2. To become better; improve: gaining in health.
3. To obtain a profit or advantage; benefit: stood to gain politically by his opponent's blunder.
4. To move closer to a person or thing that is moving ahead; close a gap: The runners in the back gained steadily on the leader.
5. To put on weight: I began to gain when I went off my diet.
6. To operate or run fast. Used of a timepiece.
n.
1.
a. Something gained or acquired: territorial gains.
b. Progress; advancement: The country made economic gains under the new government.
2. The act of acquiring; attainment.
3. An increase in amount or degree: a gain in operating income.
4. Electronics An increase in signal power, voltage, or current by an amplifier, expressed as the ratio of output to input. Also called amplification.
5. The reflectivity of a projection screen, usually expressed relative to the reflectivity of a standard surface of magnesium carbonate.
Idioms:
gain ground
To progress, advance, or increase: Stock prices gained ground yesterday.
gain time
1. To run too fast. Used of a timepiece.
2. To delay or prolong something until a desired event occurs.

[From Middle English gayne, booty (from Old French gaigne, gain, gain, from gaaignier, to gain, of Germanic origin; see weiə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots) and Middle English gein, advantage (from Old Norse gegn, ready, and from Old French gain, gain).]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
gain 2 (gān)
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n.
A notch or mortise cut into a board to receive another part.
tr.v. gained, gain·ing, gains
1. To cut out a gain in.
2. To join by or fit into a gain.

[Origin unknown.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

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