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

  • intransitive v. To achieve victory or finish first in a competition.
  • intransitive v. To achieve success in an effort or venture: struggled to overcome the handicap and finally won.
  • transitive v. To achieve victory or finish first in.
  • transitive v. To receive as a prize or reward for performance.
  • transitive v. To achieve or attain by effort: win concessions in negotiations.
  • transitive v. To obtain or earn (a livelihood, for example). See Synonyms at earn1.
  • transitive v. To make (one's way) with effort.
  • transitive v. To reach with difficulty: The ship won a safe port.
  • transitive v. To take in battle; capture: won the heights after a fierce attack.
  • transitive v. To succeed in gaining the favor or support of; prevail on: Her eloquence won over the audience.
  • transitive v. To gain the affection or loyalty of.
  • transitive v. To appeal successfully to (someone's sympathy, for example).
  • transitive v. To persuade (another) to marry one: He wooed and won her.
  • transitive v. To discover and open (a vein or deposit) in mining.
  • transitive v. To extract from a mine or from mined ore.
  • n. A victory, especially in a competition.
  • n. First place in a competition.
  • n. An amount won or earned.
  • win out To succeed or prevail.
  • win through To overcome difficulties and attain a desired goal or end.
  • idiom win the day To be successful.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Pleasure; joy; delight.
  • n. gain; profit; income
  • n. wealth; owndom; goods
  • n. an individual victory (opposite of a loss)
  • n. a feat, an (extraordinary) achievement (opposite of a fail)
  • v. To conquer, defeat.
  • v. To triumph or achieve victory in (a game, a war, etc).
  • v. To obtain (someone) by wooing.
  • v. To achieve victory.
  • v. To obtain something that is wanted.
  • v. To cause a victory for someone.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To gain the victory; to be successful; to triumph; to prevail.
  • transitive v. To gain by superiority in competition or contest; to obtain by victory over competitors or rivals
  • transitive v. To allure to kindness; to bring to compliance; to gain or obtain, as by solicitation or courtship.
  • transitive v. To gain over to one's side or party; to obtain the favor, friendship, or support of; to render friendly or approving.
  • transitive v. To come to by toil or effort; to reach; to overtake.
  • transitive v. To extract, as ore or coal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To win; succeed.
  • To acquire by labor, effort, or struggle; secure; gain.
  • Specifically
  • To gain by competition or conquest; take, as from an opponent or enemy; obtain as victor.
  • To earn: as, to win one's bread.
  • To obtain; derive; get: as, to win ore from a mine.
  • To be successful or victorious in: as, to win a game or a battle.
  • To accomplish by effort; achieve, effect, or execute; succeed in making or doing.
  • To reach; attain to; arrive at, as a goal or destination; gain; get to.
  • To cause to attain to or arrive at; hence, to bring; convey.
  • To gain the affection, regard, esteem, compliance, favor, etc., of; move to sympathy, agreement, or consent; gain the good will of; gain over or attract, as to one's self, one's side, or one's cause; in general, to attract.
  • To prevail on; induce.
  • In mining, to sink down to (a bed of coal) by means of a shaft; prepare (a bed of coal) for working by doing the necessary preliminary dead-work: also applied to beds of ironstone and other ores.
  • In the United States the word win, as used in mining, has frequently a more general meaning; it is thus defined in the glossary of the Pennsylvania Survey: “To mine, to develop, to prepare for mining.” See winning.
  • To strive; vie; contend.
  • To struggle; labor; work.
  • To succeed; gain one's end; especially, to be superior in a contest or competition; gain the victory; prove successful: as, let those laugh who win.
  • To reach; attain; make one's way; succeed in making one's way: with to.
  • To get; succeed in getting: as, to win in (to get in); to win through; to win loose; to win up, down, or away; to win on (to get on, either literally or figuratively).
  • To gain ground on; gain upon.
  • To dry or season by exposure to the wind or air: as, to win hay; to win peats.
  • n. A victory; a success; an act of winning.
  • n. Strife; contention.

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

  • n. something won (especially money)
  • v. obtain advantages, such as points, etc.
  • v. attain success or reach a desired goal
  • n. a victory (as in a race or other competition)
  • v. be the winner in a contest or competition; be victorious
  • v. win something through one's efforts


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

Middle English winnen, from Old English winnan, to fight, strive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English winne, wunne, from Old English wynn ("joy, rapture, pleasure, delight, gladness"), from Proto-Germanic *wunjō (“joy, delight, pleasure, lust”), from Proto-Indo-European *wen- (“to strive, wish, desire, love”). Cognate with German Wonne ("bliss, joy, delight"), Danish ynde ("grace"), Icelandic yndi ("delight").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English winnen, from Old English winnan ("to labour, swink, toil, trouble oneself; resist, oppose, contradict; fight, strive, struggle, rage; endure") (compare Old English ġewinnan ("conquer, obtain, gain; endure, bear, suffer; be ill")), from Proto-Germanic *winnanan (“to swink, labour, win, gain, fight”), from Proto-Indo-European *wen- (“to strive, wish, desire, love”). Cognate with Dutch winnen, German gewinnen, Swedish vinna.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English winn, winne, from Old English winn ("toil, labor, trouble, hardship; profit, gain; conflict, strife, war"), from Proto-Germanic *winnan (“labour, struggle, fight”), from Proto-Indo-European *wen- (“to strive, desire, wish, love”). Cognate with German Gewinn ("profit, gain").


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  • I like win in particular as an adjective where it might be synonymous with awesome.

    December 11, 2007