Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To gain especially for the performance of service, labor, or work.
  • transitive verb To acquire or deserve as a result of effort or action.
  • transitive verb To yield as return or profit.
  • idiom (spurs/stripes) To gain a position through hard work and the accumulation of experience, often in the face of difficulties.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To curdle, as milk.
  • To yearn.
  • To gain by labor, service, or performance; acquire; merit or deserve as compensation or reward for service, or as one's real or apparent desert; gain a right to or the possession of: as, to earn a dollar a day; to earn a fortune in trade; to earn the reputation of being stingy.
  • In base-ball, to gain or secure by batting or base-running, and not by the errors or bad play of opponents: as, one side scored 5, but had earned only 3 runs.
  • To glean.
  • noun An eagle.
  • Same as yearn.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) See ern, n.
  • verb obsolete To grieve.
  • intransitive verb Prov. Eng. To curdle, as milk.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To long; to yearn.
  • transitive verb To merit or deserve, as by labor or service; to do that which entitles one to (a reward, whether the reward is received or not).
  • transitive verb To acquire by labor, service, or performance; to deserve and receive as compensation or wages
  • transitive verb (Baseball) a run which is made without the assistance of errors on the opposing side.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb UK, dialect, dated To curdle, as milk.
  • verb transitive To gain (success, reward, recognition) through applied effort or work.
  • verb transitive To receive payment for work.
  • verb intransitive To receive payment for work.
  • verb transitive To cause (someone) to receive payment or reward
  • verb transitive To be worthy of.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb acquire or deserve by one's efforts or actions
  • verb earn on some commercial or business transaction; earn as salary or wages

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English ernen, from Old English earnian.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English earnian

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Anglo-Saxon irnan to run. See rennet, and compare yearnings.

Examples

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