gain

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Related to gained: take into account, lined up

gain the upper hand

To come to be in a position of advantage, power, and/or control (over someone, something, or some situation). We've been doing everything we can for your father, but I'm afraid the cancer is gaining the upper hand. The home team gained the upper hand when their opponents' star quarterback went out with an injury.
See also: gain, hand, upper

gain ground against (something)

In finance, especially regarding currency, to increase in value in comparison to something else. With Europe's economy still struggling to recover, the US Dollar continued to gain ground against the Euro on Friday.
See also: gain, ground

what you lose on the swings, you gain on the roundabouts

The losses, setbacks, or negative aspects of a certain situation are offset or balanced by equally advantageous or positive elements, or vice versa. (The formation of the phrase can also be reversed.) Primarily heard in UK. This promotion has meant I can provide for my family much more easily, but it's so demanding that I don't see them all that much—what you gain on the swings, you lose on the roundabouts. People here complain about the high level of taxes, but what you lose on the swings, you gain on the roundabouts—if I were to go into the hospital tomorrow for a major operation, I wouldn't pay a thing.
See also: gain, lose, on, roundabout, what

a penny saved is a penny gained

Every small amount helps to build one's savings (i.e. by saving a penny, you have one more penny). I'm trying not to spend much money right now because, you know what they say, a penny saved is a penny gained .
See also: gain, penny, save

gain entrance

To enter a place or location upon acquiring permission or a means of access. After getting the security guard's attention, we were able to gain entrance to the building.
See also: entrance, gain

gain ground

1. To advance toward a desired location. We need to start gaining ground if we want to get back to camp before sunset. The enemy forces are beginning to gain ground, and they're expected to reach the capital sometime tomorrow.
2. By extension, to make progress or obtain more success, popularity, importance, or acceptance. The opposition to vaccinating children, while still a definite minority, has been gaining ground in recent years. No one thought our fast food chain would do well in such a saturated market, but we've started gaining ground!
See also: gain, ground

gain ground on (someone or something)

1. Of an opponent or enemy, to advance toward someone or something's position. The enemy forces are gaining ground on us. We need to move out! With the finish line only meters away, the runner turned back to see his rival gaining ground on him.
2. To encroach on the success or popularity of someone or something; to advance or prosper at the expense of someone or something else. The fledgling social media website has been gaining ground on the leading platforms in recent months. The underdog candidate's grassroots campaign helped her gain ground on her opponent, making this election much closer than anyone would have anticipated.
See also: gain, ground, on

gain dominion over someone or something

to achieve total authority over someone or something. The dictator sought to gain dominion over the entire country. Harry was not happy until he had gained dominion over the people who worked for him.
See also: gain

gain from something

to benefit from something. I hope you gain from this experience. What do you think I will gain from this?
See also: gain

gain ground

to make progress; to advance; to become more important or popular. Our new product is gaining ground against that of our competitor. Since the government announced its new policies, the opposition has been gaining ground.
See also: gain, ground

gain in something

to advance in a particular quality. Todd grew in stature and gained in wisdom. Mary gained in experience as the weeks went on.
See also: gain

gain on someone or something

to begin to catch up or move ahead of someone or something. We were gaining on them when they suddenly sped up. Our horse was gaining on the horse in front.
See also: gain, on

gain something by doing something

to achieve some benefit by doing something. What did he gain by dropping out of school? I will gain some degree of security by investing in U.S. Treasury bonds.
See also: gain

gain something from something

to earn or achieve something from something. I hope you gain something worthwhile from all this. I know I will gain some valuable experience from this job.
See also: gain

ill-gotten gains

money or other possessions acquired in a dishonest or illegal fashion. Bill cheated at cards and is now living on his ill-gotten gains. Mary is enjoying her ill-gotten gains. She deceived an old lady into leaving her $5,000 in her will.
See also: gain

No pain, no gain.

Fig. If you want to improve, you must work so hard that it hurts. (Associated with sports and physical exercise.) Player: I can't do any more push-ups. My muscles hurt. Coach: No pain, no gain. Come on, everybody! Run one more lap! No pain, no gain!
See also: gain

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

If you do not take risks, you will never accomplish anything. Bill: Should I ask my boss for a promotion? Jane: Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I think I'll audition for a part in that play. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
See also: gain, nothing

One man's loss is another man's gain.

Prov. When one person loses something, another person gets it. (You can substitute appropriate names or pronouns for the phrases one man's and another man's, as in the second example.) Mike found a five-dollar bill on the sidewalk. "One man's loss is another man's gain," he thought to himself, as he took the money. Jane: Andy just got fired. Jill: I know. And Andy's loss is my gain; I'm getting promoted to his job!
See also: another, gain, loss, one

gain ground

1. Advance, make progress; also, win acceptance. For example, The new conservation policy is gaining ground among the voters. This expression alludes to a military advance in which an army literally takes territory from the enemy. Its figurative use dates from about 1800. For an antonym, see lose ground.
2. gain ground on or upon . Encroach on, advance at the expense of. For example, Door-to-door canvassing helped them gain ground on the opposition.
See also: gain, ground

ill-gotten gains

Benefits obtained in an evil manner or by dishonest means, as in They duped their senile uncle into leaving them a fortune and are now enjoying their ill-gotten gains . [Mid-1800s]
See also: gain

no pain, no gain

Suffering is needed to make progress, as in I've worked for hours on those irregular French verbs, but no pain, no gain. Although this idiom is often associated with athletic coaches who urge athletes to train harder, it dates from the 1500s and was already in John Ray's proverb collection of 1670 as "Without pains, no gains."
See also: gain

nothing ventured, nothing gained

One must take risks to achieve something, as in They quit their jobs, packed up, and moved to Wisconsin, saying "nothing ventured, nothing gained." Although this adage has appeared in slightly different form since the late 1300s, it was first recorded in this form only in 1624. For another version, see no pain, no gain.
See also: gain, nothing

ill-gotten gains

Ill-gotten gains are money or other valuable things that someone gets illegally or in a way that is not morally good. They needed to find a route out of the country for their ill-gotten gains. Many museums are returning their ill-gotten gains.
See also: gain

gain ground

COMMON If something or someone gains ground, they make progress and become more important or more powerful. His ideas on nutrition have been gaining ground in recent years. The pound has gained ground on the foreign exchanges this morning. At the time, the Fascists were still steadily gaining ground in the East End. Compare with lose ground.
See also: gain, ground

no pain, no gain

People say no pain, no gain to mean that you cannot achieve anything without effort or suffering. I exercise every day. No pain, no gain.
See also: gain

gain in

v.
To increase with respect to something: The athlete gained in strength, but lost in agility.
See also: gain

gain on

v.
To get closer to something or someone, often in pursuit; close a gap: Run faster—the stampeding cattle are gaining on us!
See also: gain, on

gain ground

To progress, advance, or increase: Stock prices gained ground yesterday.
See also: gain, ground

gain time

1. To run too fast. Used of a timepiece.
2. To delay or prolong something until a desired event occurs.
See also: gain, time
References in classic literature ?
Madame, -- Being unable to have the honor of writing to you myself, by reason of a wound I have received in my right hand, I have commanded my son, the Count de Guiche, who, with his father, is equally your humble servant, to write to tell you that we have just gained the battle of Lens, and that this victory cannot fail to give great power to Cardinal Mazarin and to the queen over the affairs of Europe.
Morland was a very good woman, and wished to see her children everything they ought to be; but her time was so much occupied in lying-in and teaching the little ones, that her elder daughters were inevitably left to shift for themselves; and it was not very wonderful that Catherine, who had by nature nothing heroic about her, should prefer cricket, baseball, riding on horseback, and running about the country at the age of fourteen, to books -- or at least books of information -- for, provided that nothing like useful knowledge could be gained from them, provided they were all story and no reflection, she had never any objection to books at all.
And from Shakespeare she gained a great store of information --
The maddened horse gained twenty toises, and came up within pistol-shot of Fouquet.
The white horse began to rattle in its throat; D'Artagnan gained upon him.
And then, at last, one hot midday, dizzy with hunger, we gained the divide.
I think that our popular theology has gained in decorum, and not in principle, over the superstitions it has displaced.
For every thing you have missed, you have gained something else; and for every thing you gain, you lose something.
Has a man gained any thing who has received a hundred favors and rendered none?
When he is pushed, tormented, defeated, he has a chance to learn something; he has been put on his wits, on his manhood; he has gained facts; learns his ignorance; is cured of the insanity of conceit; has got moderation and real skill.
He remained silent, following her with his eyes, until she had gained her little room and closed the door; and then turning to the dwarf, said abruptly,