Definition of win in English:

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Pronunciation: /win/

verb (wins, winning; past and past participle won /wən/ /wän/)

[with object]
1Be successful or victorious in (a contest or conflict): the Mets have won four games in a row [no object]: a determination to win [with complement]: the Pirates won 2-1
More example sentences
  • If successful in winning the race to stage the 2012 Olympics, she said the repercussions would be felt far outside London.
  • The Irish team had a very successful outing in winning the tournament.
  • Named player of the championship, he was one of the victorious Army team that won the championship.
take, be the victor in, be the winner of, come first in, take first prize in, triumph in, be successful in
be the winner, come in first, be victorious, carry the day, win the day, come out on top, succeed, triumph, prevail
2Acquire or secure as a result of a contest, conflict, bet, or other endeavor: there are hundreds of prizes to be won [with two objects]: the sort of play that won them the World Cup
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Remember, the youth member who collects the most lids wins the prize.
secure, gain, garner, collect, pick up, walk away/off with, carry off
informal land, net, bag, scoop
2.1Gain (a person’s attention, support, or love), typically gradually or by effort: you will find it difficult to win back their attention
More example sentences
  • However, he will bring fresh thinking to the party's efforts to win support.
  • However one British expert claimed previous efforts by him to win support for such work had fallen on deaf ears.
  • She also experienced reps regularly taking young doctors out for boozy meals in an effort to win their favour.
captivate, steal, snare, capture
2.2 (win someone over) Gain the support or favor of someone by action or persuasion: her sense of humor had won him over at once
More example sentences
  • His poised, persuasive presentation won them over.
  • He suffered early houndings from the Rangers support, but won them over.
  • Therefore he wins her over with gentle persuasion.
2.3 [no object] (win out) Manage to succeed or achieve something by effort: talent won out over bureaucracy
More example sentences
  • But it is determination and the will to succeed that will eventually win out.
  • If Celtic had won through in Europe their efforts on the domestic front may also have been spoken of more favourably.
  • 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.
2.4 archaic Manage to reach (a place) by effort: many lived to win the great cave
2.5Obtain (ore) from a mine.
Example sentences
  • 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.


A successful result in a contest, conflict, bet, or other endeavor; a victory: a win against Norway
More example sentences
  • The five-year-old's last two starts on an all-weather surface, both at Wolverhampton, have resulted in two pillar-to-post wins.
  • This was a very disappointing result following their wins over Ballinrobe and Ballyhaunis.
  • The recent results and contract wins have provided a boost to the share price, which has begun to steadily lift from recent lows.
victory, triumph, conquest



one can't win

informal Said when someone feels that no course of action open to them will bring success or please people.
Example sentences
  • Second, you can't win with an irrational critic like Bowers.
  • 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.
  • In this kind of ethical dilemma you can't win; damned if you do, damned if you don't.

win the day

Be victorious in battle, sport, or argument.
Example sentences
  • People-power has won the day in the battle to have Old Town's hated bus-priority traffic lights switched off.
  • But they have one argument which might just win the day.
  • It would be an unforgivable tragedy for apathy to win the day and alter our sport for all time.

win or lose

Whether one succeeds or fails: win or lose, the important thing for him is to set a good example
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • It's not how you play the game, it's whether you win or lose that counts.
  • 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.

win (or earn) one's spurs

historical Gain a knighthood by an act of bravery.
Example sentences
  • Aspiring knights will have to earn their spurs.
  • By 1794 the average age of French generals was 33, and most of Napoleon's marshals won their spurs during this period.
informal4.1 Gain one’s first distinction or honors.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • This was, without question, the Shamrocks clubman's finest display since he first won his spurs with the squad.
  • You've earned your spurs, you're in the union, you've got your license to practise…

you can't win them all (or win some, lose some)

informal Said to express consolation or resignation after failure in a contest.
Example sentences
  • You expect to win some, lose some, but you don't expect to lose some, lose some and then lose some more.
  • 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.
  • He added: ‘It's a win some, lose some situation.’



Example sentences
  • The Selects have two more games to finish off their pre-Christmas schedule including a game last night against winless Kenora.
  • That might sound like splitting hairs but, for a winless Bulls side struggling near the foot of the Super League table, it is an important distinction.
  • Australia finished third in their pool, a result against the US largely irrelevant as hosts Greece were winless.


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

Words that rhyme with win

agin, akin, begin, Berlin, bin, Boleyn, Bryn, chin, chin-chin, Corinne, din, fin, Finn, Flynn, gaijin, Glyn, grin, Gwyn, herein, Ho Chi Minh, in, inn, Jin, jinn, kin, Kweilin, linn, Lynn, mandolin, mandoline, Min, no-win, pin, Pinyin, quin, shin, sin, skin, spin, therein, thin, Tientsin, tin, Tonkin, Turin, twin, underpin, Vietminh, violin, wherein, whin, whipper-in, within, Wynne, yin

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: win

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