• Earn


    • RP IPA: /ɜːn/
    • US enPR: ûrn, IPA: /ɝn/
    • Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)n
    • Homophones: ern, erne, urn

    Origin 1

    Old English earnian

    Full definition of earn


    1. (transitive) To gain (success, reward, recognition) through applied effort or work.You can have the s'mores: you earned them, clearing the walkway of snow so well.
      • 2011, November 12, , International friendly: England 1-0 Spain, England will not be catapulted among the favourites for Euro 2012 as a result of this win, but no victory against Spain is earned easily and it is right they take great heart from their efforts as they now prepare to play Sweden at Wembley on Tuesday.
    2. (transitive) To receive payment for work.He earns seven million dollars a year as CEO.My bank account is only earning one percent interest.
    3. (intransitive) To receive payment for work.Now that you are earning, you can start paying me rent.
    4. (transitive) To cause (someone) to receive payment or rewardMy CD earns me six percent!
    5. (transitive) To be worthy of.To earn a spot in the top 20


    Derived terms

    Terms derived from "earn"

    Origin 2

    Anglo-Saxon irnan to run. See rennet, and compare yearnings.


    1. (UK, dialect, dated) To curdle, as milk.

    Origin 3


    1. (obsolete) To long; to yearn.
      • SpenserAnd ever as he rode, his heart did earn
        To prove his puissance in battle brave.
    2. (obsolete) To grieve.

    Origin 4



    (plural earns)
    1. Alternative form of erne


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