Meaning of WIN in English


I. win 1 S1 W1 /wɪn/ BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle won /wʌn/, present participle winning )

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ win , ↑ winner , ↑ winnings ; verb : ↑ win ; adjective : ↑ winning ]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: winnan 'to work, fight' ]

1 . COMPETITION/RACE [intransitive and transitive] to be the best or most successful in a competition, game, election etc OPP lose

win a race/a game/an election etc

Who do you think will win the next election?

He won the Tour de France last year.

win a war/battle

the young pilots who won the Battle of Britain

Who’s winning (=who is most successful at this point in the game) ?

win at

I never win at cards.

win by 10 points/70 metres etc

We won by just one point.

2 . PRIZE [transitive] to get something as a prize for winning in a competition or game:

How does it feel to have won the gold medal?

She won £160 on the lottery.

win something for somebody

the man who helped win the Cup for Arsenal

3 . GET/ACHIEVE [transitive] to get something that you want because of your efforts or abilities SYN gain

win sb’s approval/support/trust etc

The proposal has won the approval of the city council.

Kramer has certainly won the respect of his peers.

win sb’s heart (=make them love you or feel sympathy for you)

The company has won a contract to build a new power plant outside Houston.

win something from somebody

Davis hopes to win financial backing from a London investment firm.

4 . MAKE SOMEBODY WIN SOMETHING [transitive] if something, usually something that you do, wins you something, you win it or get it because of that thing

win somebody something

That performance won Hanks an Oscar.

That kind of behaviour won’t win you any friends.

5 . you win spoken used to agree to what someone wants after you have tried to persuade them to do something else:

OK, you win – we’ll go to the movies.

6 . you can’t win spoken used to say that there is no satisfactory way of dealing with a particular situation:

You can’t win, can you? You either work late and upset your family, or go home early and risk your job.

7 . you can’t win them all ( also you win some, you lose some ) spoken used to show sympathy when someone has had a disappointing experience

8 . win or lose informal no matter whether you win or lose:

Win or lose, I love competitive sports.

9 . win the day to finally be successful in a discussion or argument SYN triumph :

Common sense won the day, and the plans were dropped.

⇨ win the toss at ↑ toss 2 (1), ⇨ ↑ winner , ↑ winning

• • •


■ nouns

▪ win a race

He should have won that race but he came third.

▪ win a game/match

It’s supposed to be easier to win your home games.

▪ win a competition

The competition was won by a team from Surrey.

▪ win an election

Which party is likely to win the election?

▪ win a battle/war

Who won the battle of Waterloo?

▪ win a victory

The protesters have won one victory already.

■ adverbs

▪ easily

Chavez won the election easily.

▪ comfortably (=by a large amount, so that you do not have to worry about winning)

The Celtics won comfortably, with a 22-point lead.

▪ convincingly (=by a large amount)

United won convincingly by three goals to nil.

▪ outright (=clearly and completely)

If one candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, he will win the seat outright.

▪ narrowly (=by only a small amount)

In 1916 he narrowly won re-election.

▪ hands down (=very easily or by a large amount)

Everyone expected Sam to win hands down.

■ phrases

▪ win by 10 points/ten metres etc

We won by 23 points.

▪ a winning streak (=when you win many competitions one after another)

They came here with a four-game winning streak.

• • •


▪ win to be the best or most successful in a competition, game, election etc:

Italy won the World Cup in 2006.


He has a realistic chance of winning the Championship.

▪ come first/be first to win a race or competition:

Our team came first.


Jo was first in the race and I was second.

▪ finish in first place ( also come in first ) to win a race, competition, or election:

The Democratic candidate finished in first place.


I couldn’t believe it when the horse I chose came in first.

▪ triumph written to win a great victory, especially after a long and difficult battle, game etc:

Britain triumphed over its enemies.


In the end, the Yankees triumphed.

▪ come out on top informal to win a game, competition, argument etc:

United came out on top after a thrilling game.


They did a survey and the Swedish car-maker came out on top.


If you try to argue with him, he always comes out on top.

▪ be leading/be in the lead to be winning a game, race election etc at the moment:

The High School team are leading with sixty points.


With only two minutes left to play, we were still in the lead.

▪ be ahead to be doing better than someone else in a game, competition, or election:

He’s still fifty seconds ahead of his nearest rival.


A week before the election, they were still ahead in the polls.

■ someone who wins something

▪ winner the person or thing that wins a race, competition etc:

A prize of £500 will be awarded to the winner.

▪ the winning team/player/horse etc the one that wins:

The winning team will go through to the grand final in Milan.

▪ champion ( also the title holder American English ) someone who has won a competition, especially in sport:

He became the heavyweight boxing champion.

▪ record-holder someone who has achieved the fastest speed, the longest distance etc in a sport:

the world high-jump record-holder

win somebody/something ↔ back phrasal verb

to succeed in getting back something or someone that you had before SYN regain :

How can I win back her trust?

win out phrasal verb

to finally succeed or defeat other people or things

win out over

Often presentation wins out over content (=is treated as more important than content) .

win somebody ↔ over ( also win somebody ↔ round British English ) phrasal verb

to get someone’s support or friendship by persuading them or being nice to them:

We’ll be working hard over the next ten days to win over the undecided voters.

win through phrasal verb especially British English

to finally succeed in spite of problems SYN triumph :

As in most of his films, it’s the good guys who win through in the end.

II. win 2 W3 BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ win , ↑ winner , ↑ winnings ; verb : ↑ win ; adjective : ↑ winning ]

a success or victory, especially in sport OPP defeat :

We’ve had two wins so far this season.

win over

In the under-16 event England had their first win over Germany.

⇨ ↑ no-win , ↑ win-win

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)


▪ a big win (=an important win, or one that you win by a large amount)

This is one of the biggest wins I’ve had.

▪ an easy win

The Australian appeared to be heading for an easy win.

▪ a comfortable win (=one that you win by a large amount, so that you do not have to worry about winning)

Chelsea had a comfortable win against Crystal Palace.

▪ a convincing win especially British English (=a win by a large amount)

Scotland cruised to a convincing win over Ireland.

▪ a five-point/two-goal etc win

The team had a nine-point win over Arizona.

■ verbs

▪ have/score a win

We haven’t had a win for three games.

▪ notch up a win (=achieve a win)

Escude has now notched up three consecutive wins over him.

▪ pull off a win (=win when it is difficult to win)

The side has pulled off two excellent wins in the past couple of weeks.

▪ clinch a win (=finally win after a difficult contest)

He suffered some anxious moments before clinching a 9–6 win over Dennis Taylor last night.

▪ cruise to a win (=win easily)

Arsenal cruised to a win over Chelsea.

• • •


▪ victory noun [uncountable and countable] a situation in which you win a battle, game, election, or ↑ dispute :

The crowds celebrated Italy’s victory against England.


The party won a comfortable victory in the general election.


We’re very confident of victory.

▪ win noun [countable] a victory in a sports game or in a competition:

It was an important win for the Yankees.


A couple from London are celebrating a big lottery win.

▪ triumph noun [countable] written an important victory, especially in war or politics:

Thatcher’s greatest triumph was becoming the UK’s first female Prime Minister.

▪ conquest noun [countable] a situation in which one country wins a war against another country and takes control of it:

the Spanish conquest of Mexico


Caesar is well-known for his military conquests.

▪ landslide noun [countable] an election victory in which one party or ↑ candidate gets far more votes than their opponents:

In 1945, there was a Labour landslide.

▪ walkover especially British English , cakewalk American English noun [countable] informal a very easy victory:

The match was expected to be a walkover for Brazil.

▪ upset noun [countable] a situation in which the person, team, party etc that was expected to win is defeated:

Truman pulled off the greatest election upset in United States history.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.