I. win1 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)?
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 ↑toss2(1), ⇨ ↑winner, ↑winning
• • •
▪ 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.
▪ 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.
▪ 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. win2 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.
In the under-16 event England had their first win over Germany.
⇨ ↑no-win, ↑win-win
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + win
▪ 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.
▪ 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.
win [win wins won winning] verb, noun [wɪn] [wɪn]
verb (win·ning, won, won [wʌn] ; [wʌn] )
1. intransitive, transitive to be the most successful in a competition, race, battle, etc
• Which team won?
• ~ at sth to win at cards/chess, etc.
• ~ against sb/sth France won by six goals to two against Denmark.
• ~ sth to win an election/a game/a war, etc.
• She loves to win an argument.
2. transitive to get sth as the result of a competition, race, election, etc
• ~ sth Britain won five gold medals.
• He won £3 000 in the lottery.
• How many states did the Republicans win?
• ~ sth from sb The Conservatives won the seat from Labour in the last election.
• ~ yourself/sb sth You've won yourself a trip to New York.
3. transitive ~ sth to achieve or get sth that you want, especially by your own efforts
• They are trying to win support for their proposals.
• The company has won a contract to supply books and materials to schools.
• She won the admiration of many people in her battle against cancer.
see also no-win, winner, winning, win-win
more at carry/win the day at day, win/earn your spurs at spur n.
Old English winnan ‘strive, contend’ also ‘subdue and take possession of, acquire’, of Germanic origin.
• Does he have what it takes to win the Tour?
• He duly won, but was then sidelined by a leg injury.
• He entered election day in a strong position to win.
• He has yet to win a major tournament.
• He succeeded in winning their confidence.
• I never win at tennis.
• President Reagan won by a landslide.
• She narrowly won the first race.
• She won the race by 25 seconds.
• The French team won hands down.
• The actress is tipped to win an Oscar for her performance.
• The far right party failed to win a single seat.
• The match was eventually won on penalties.
• The movie was an instant success and went on to win five Academy Awards.
• There are a lot of teams capable of winning the title.
• They stand a good chance of winning against their league rivals.
• We didn't deserve to win— we played very badly.
• We're confident of winning the title this year.
• Who do you think is going to win?
• You have to try and win every race.
• qualities which help win business and motivate staff
• the chance to win the holiday of a lifetime
• He always won at cards.
• He narrowly won the seat for Labour.
• He won a scholarship to study at Stanford.
• Historians still argue about who really won the war of 1812.
• I think I won the argument.
• The National Party won by a landslide.
Idioms: win hands down ▪ win or lose ▪ win somebody's heart ▪ you can't win them all ▪ you win ▪ you win some, you lose some ▪ you/he can't win
Derived: win out ▪ win somebody back ▪ win somebody over
a victory in a game, contest, etc
• two wins and three defeats
• They have not had a win so far this season.
• France swept to a 6–2 win over Denmark.
Old English winnan ‘strive, contend’ also ‘subdue and take possession of, acquire’, of Germanic origin.
• His only big win came in the French Open ten years ago.
• Liverpool gained a thrilling 5–4 win over Glenavon.
• People still talk about the famous win against Brazil.
• She was in a no-win situation, taking the blame for things she did not have the power to change.
• The Red Sox opened the season with five straight wins.
• The team claimed a 6–3 away win over Middlethorpe.
• They've gone four games without a win.
• Torino notched up a 2–1 win at Lazio.
• We've had three successive wins in the National League.
• Williams's straight-sets win puts her through to the semi-final.
• Woods romped to a 12-shot win in the Open.
• After this year's election win, they have time on their side.
• They have now gone 10 games without a win.
verb winning, won, won
1 [I or T] to achieve first position and/or get a prize in a competition or competitive situation:
Which year was it that Italy won the World Cup?
He won first prize/a bottle of gin in the raffle.
This is the third medal she's won this season.
Who won the men's finals in the tennis?
They won the war, although it cost them millions of lives.
If this government win the next election, I'm leaving the country.
Everyone likes winning an argument.
[+ two objects] It was his goal that won us the match/won the match for us.
Her firm have just won (= beaten other companies to get) a cleaning contract worth £3 million.
2 [T] to receive something positive, such as approval, loyalty, affection or love because you have earned it:
Her plans have won the support of many local people.
This is Jamie, the four-year old who won the hearts of the nation (= made everyone love him and/or feel sympathy for him).
She would do anything to win his love.
Winning back his trust was the hardest part.
when someone wins a game or competition:
It was United's sixth consecutive win this season.
Everyone was predicting a Republican win at the last election and look what happened.
winner /ˈwɪn.əʳ/ US /-ɚ/
1 someone who wins a game, competition or election:
There'll be a prize for the winner.
The winner of this match will play Violente in the semi-finals.
And to find out who are the lucky winners of our competition, Samantha is going to draw some names out of the bag.
See also breadwinner.
2 (US ALSO game-winner) INFORMAL in sport, a goal or point that causes a player or team to win a game:
Neil Eaves scored the winner in the last minute of the match.
3 INFORMAL something that is extremely successful and popular:
That lemon tart was a winner, wasn't it?
I think they're onto a winner with this latest product (= it will succeed).
adjective [before noun]
1 that has won something:
Have you heard the winning entry in this year's Eurovision Song Contest?
It's nice to be on the winning side for a change.
2 friendly and charming and tending to make people like you:
a winning smile
an amount of money that has been won:
What are you going to spend your winnings on?
adjective [before noun]
describes a situation, plan, etc. in which you cannot lose, whatever choice of action you make, or in which all the groups involved will gain benefits:
This is a win-win situation for her, because whoever wins this match, she's still going to be champion.
Promoting fairtrade is a win-win option, because everyone, both producers and consumers, benefits.
wins, winning, won
1) VERB If you win something such as a competition, battle, or argument, you defeat those people you are competing or fighting against, or you do better than everyone else involved.
[V n] He does not have any realistic chance of winning the election...
[V n] The NCAA basketball championship was won by North Carolina.
...when Napoleon was winning his great battles in Italy...
The top four teams all won...
[V amount] Sanchez Vicario won 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. [Also V n amount]
Win is also a noun. ...Arsenal's dismal league run of eight games without a win... The voters gave a narrow win to Vargas Llosa.
2) VERB If something wins you something such as an election, competition, battle, or argument, it causes you to defeat the people competing with you or fighting you, or to do better than everyone else involved.
[V n n] The Conservative Party will face the choice of who can best hope to win them the next general election against the present odds...
[V n n] Graham is more determined than ever to win the club its third Championship under his command.
3) VERB If you win something such as a prize or medal, you get it because you have defeated everyone else in something such as an election, competition, battle, or argument, or have done very well in it.
[V n] The first correct entry wins the prize...
[V n] She won bronze for Great Britain in the European Championships.
4) VERB If you win something that you want or need, you succeed in getting it.
[V n] ...moves to win the support of the poor...
[V n] British Aerospace has won an order worth 340 million dollars.
5) VERB If something wins you a prize or wins you something else that you want, it causes you to get it.
[V n n] The feat won them a prize of ₤85,000...
[V n n] Good weather leading to good grain harvests should win the country relief from food shortages.
6) → See also winning
7) PHRASE If you say that someone can't win in a particular situation, you mean that they are certain to fail or to suffer whatever they do. [INFORMAL]
If you're too assertive they regard you as an aggressive hysterical woman. I mean, you can't win!
8) CONVENTION You say `you win' when you have been having a slight argument with someone and you are indicating that you agree to do what they want or that you accept their suggestion, even though you do not really want to. [SPOKEN]
`All right', I said. `You win'.
9) lost the battle but won the war → see battle
to win the day → see day
to win hands down → see hand
- win back
- win out
- win through
- win over
- win through
- win through to