win (v.)

"be victorious," c. 1300 fusion of Old English winnan "to labor, toil, struggle for, work at, strive, fight," and gewinnan "to gain or succeed by struggling, conquer, obtain," both from Proto-Germanic *wennanan "to seek to gain" (source also of Old Saxon winnan, Old Norse vinna, Old Frisian winna, Dutch winnen "to gain, win," Danish vinde "to win," Old High German winnan "to strive, struggle, fight," German gewinnen "to gain, win," Gothic gawinnen "to suffer, toil"), from PIE root *wen- (1) "to desire, strive for."

Related: Won; winning. Meaning "gain the affection or esteem of" is from c. 1600. Breadwinner preserves the sense of "toil" in Old English winnan. Phrase you can't win them all (1954) first attested in Raymond Chandler. Winningest is attested by 1804.

win (n.)

Old English winn "labor, toil; strife, conflict; profit, gain," from the source of win (v.). Modern sense of "a victory in a game or contest" is first attested 1862, from the verb.

updated on August 18, 2018

Definitions of win from WordNet
win (v.)
be the winner in a contest or competition; be victorious;
He won the Gold Medal in skating
Our home team won
win (v.)
win something through one's efforts;
win someone's confidence and friendship
Synonyms: acquire / gain
win (v.)
obtain advantages, such as points, etc.;
win points
Synonyms: gain / advance / pull ahead / make headway / get ahead / gain ground
win (v.)
attain success or reach a desired goal;
she struggled to overcome her handicap and won
Synonyms: succeed / come through / bring home the bacon / deliver the goods
win (v.)
acquire or deserve by one's efforts or actions;
its beauty won Paris the name 'City of Lights'
Synonyms: earn / garner
win (n.)
a victory (as in a race or other competition);
he was happy to get the win
win (n.)
something won (especially money);
Synonyms: winnings / profits
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.