Meaning of GATHER in English

I. ˈgathə(r), ˈgeth- sometimes ˈgȧth- verb

( gathered ; gathered ; gathering -th(ə)riŋ ; gathers )

Etymology: Middle English gaderen, from Old English gadrian, gaderian; akin to Old Frisian gaderia to gather, Middle Low German gadderen to gather, Middle High German gatern to unite, Old Frisian gadia — more at good

transitive verb


a. : to bring together into a crowd, group, body, or mass : concentrate , collect

the balloon start had gathered a little crowd of people — H.G.Wells

reformers gathering their forces against corrupt city administrations — American Guide Series: New York City

gather a supply of firewood

gathering the frightened children about her


(1) : to draw up or together : accumulate

(2) : to gain gradually with steady increase or acceleration

art will gather social purpose — J.T.Farrell

a movement gathering force

the car gathered speed

c. : to collect (melted glass) on the end of a tube for samples or for blowing


a. : pick , pluck , harvest

gathered a bunch of flowers

gathering walnuts

b. : to cull, take, pick up, receive, or appropriate by or as if by picking or harvesting

many souvenirs … gathered from all parts of the world — American Guide Series: Maine

the vigilantes gathered up Plummer and his gang and hanged them — Seth Agnew

gather meaning not from reading the Constitution but from reading life — Felix Frankfurter

c. : to accumulate and place in order or readiness for being used or carried — often used with up

he gathered up his tools

d. : to assemble in sequence (the signatures and inserts of a volume) for binding


(1) chiefly Britain : to scoop up (as a rolling ball) neatly off the ground

(2) : to catch (a baseball) on the fly — usually used with in

the shortstop easily gathered in the soft liner

3. : to attract or serve as a center of attraction for : cause or facilitate a bringing together or accumulating of

the past … gathers round it all the inscrutable mystery of life and death — G.M.Trevelyan

Puritanism … gathered about it … all the forces of unrest — V.L.Parrington

an age devoted to ornate decor that gathered dust and moths

4. : to effect the collection of (as tax, tribute, dues, contributions)

gather tax moneys for the king


a. : to summon up : muster together : accumulate : bring together and coordinate

his poor, shattered soul had gathered to itself just then a great courage — Liam O'Flaherty

we must … get out of the tumult of the market place to gather our thoughts — M.R.Cohen

reporters gathering the news of the campaign

b. : to prepare (as oneself) by mustering strength and force

the victim had been gathering himself to run across the court — T.B.Costain


a. : to bring or draw together the parts of : collect and compress by or as if by grasping and holding

gathered her long full skirt in each hand and sprang across the little stream

b. : to draw (as a covering) over, about, or close to something

seizing his hat and gathering his cloak about him

gathered the bedclothes up to his neck

c. : to pull (fabric) along one or two lines of stitching so as to draw into puckers : plait

gather the neckline and stitch on the binding


(1) : to haul in or take up (as slack of a rope)

(2) : to begin or increase movement in (a way or direction specified)

the ship gathered headway

e. : to cause (opposite walls of masonry) to approach or come together (as in the abrupt narrowing of the upper part of a fireplace to meet the flue)

7. : to conclude on reflection : draw as an inference : deduce , infer : presume to be the case

I gather that the meeting was not a success

8. : collect 5a

intransitive verb


a. : to come together in a body, group, crowd, cluster, heap, or mass

a crowd quickly gathered and shouted for a speech — American Guide Series: Maryland

the swallows … are gathering to fly farther away — Padraic Colum

the way the wrinkles gathered about his merry gray eyes — Ellen Glasgow

b. : to accumulate, cluster, or form around a focus of attraction

a romance … gathers round the wedge-shaped or cuneiform characters — Edward Clodd

the unpopularity that gathered about the name of Mather — V.L.Parrington


a. : to enlarge in coming to a head : swell and fill with pus : head

the boil is gathering

b. : to become concentrated or intense : grow , increase

where the cold gathered more thickly — E.H.Collis

a time when the gathering dangers were only too apparent — Sir Winston Churchill

3. : to become drawn or compressed together often in folds or creases

a coat that gathers over the shoulders

4. of a ship : to make progress : approach

the boat continued to gather toward the southeast

swiftly gathering on the ship ahead


collect , assemble , congregate : gather , a general term, indicates the fact of bringing or coming together and lacks much especial connotation

it was customary for merchants to gather outside to discuss business affairs — American Guide Series: Rhode Island

It may suggest a picking, culling, or harvesting

a trading post to collect goods already gathered by the native population — R.A.Billington

collect is often interchangeable with gather but may imply greater purposiveness and more careful selectivity

Columbus was forced to collect the natives one night and threaten to darken the moon — Stringfellow Barr

the mass of movable wealth collected in the shops and warehouses of London alone — T.B.Macaulay

Used in reference to persons coming together, assemble may stress a definite aim or purpose and may suggest greater unity or organization in the group formed; used in reference to things brought together, it suggests a logical ordering or uniting

Flandrau … assembled a force of volunteers at St. Peter and hastened to the relief of the village — American Guide Series: Minnesota

immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of the first election — U.S. Constitution

assembling and interpreting statistics on the nation's war programs — Current Biography

congregate may apply to a gregarious flocking together of similar types

the drivers congregated in saloons around the square — Green Peyton

the older people sat rather stiffly in the corners, the young men congregated uneasily in impermanent groups — Irwin Shaw

Synonym: see in addition infer , reap .

II. noun

( -s )

1. : something that is gathered

the final gather of the harvest

smoothing out the gathers of thought between her brows


a. : a puckering in cloth made by gathering — usually used in plural

adjust the gathers evenly and sew on the waistband

b. : a mass of molten glass collected on a gathering iron for use in glassblowing

c. : a lightly collected stance of a horse

2. : an act or instance of gathering

made a final gather of the trash before they left the picnic grounds

especially West : a roundup of cattle

3. : the soffit of masonry formed by gathering

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.