v. won (wŭn), win·ning, wins
1. To achieve victory or finish first in a competition.
2. To achieve success in an effort or venture: struggled to overcome the handicap and finally won.
1. To achieve victory or finish first in: won the race.
2. To receive as a prize or reward for performance: won a gold medal.
a. To achieve or obtain by effort: win concessions in negotiations.
b. To gain (respect or love, for example) by effort: won their loyalty. See Synonyms at earn.
4. To make (one's way) with effort.
5. To reach with difficulty: The ship won a safe port.
6. To take in battle; capture: won the heights after a fierce attack.
a. To succeed in gaining the affection or loyalty of (someone): He wooed and won her.
b. To succeed in gaining the favor or support of; prevail on: Her eloquence won over the audience.
a. To discover and open (a vein or deposit) in mining.
b. To extract from a mine or from mined ore.
a. A victory, especially in a competition.
b. First place in a competition.
2. An amount won or earned.
To succeed or prevail.
To overcome difficulties and attain a desired goal or end.
win the day
To be successful.
[Middle English winnen, from Old English winnan, to fight, strive; see wen-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.