verb (used with object)

  1. to bring together into one group, collection, or place: to gather firewood; to gather the troops.
  2. to bring together or assemble from various places, sources, or people; collect gradually: The college is gathering a faculty from all over the country.
  3. to serve as a center of attention for; attract: A good football game always gathers a crowd.
  4. to pick or harvest (any crop or natural yield) from its place of growth or formation: to gather fruit; to gather flowers.
  5. to pick up piece by piece: Gather your toys from the floor.
  6. to pick or scoop up: She gathered the crying child in her arms.
  7. to collect (as taxes, dues, money owed, etc.).
  8. to accumulate; increase: The storm gathers force. The car gathered speed.
  9. to take by selection from among other things; sort out; cull.
  10. to assemble or collect (one’s energies or oneself) as for an effort (often followed by up): He gathered up his strength for the hard job.
  11. to learn or conclude from observation; infer; deduce: I gather that he is the real leader.
  12. to wrap or draw around or close: He gathered his scarf around his neck.
  13. to contract (the brow) into wrinkles.
  14. to draw (cloth) up on a thread in fine folds or puckers by means of even stitches.
  15. Bookbinding. to assemble (the printed sections of a book) in proper sequence for binding.
  16. Nautical. to gain (way) from a dead stop or extremely slow speed.
  17. Metalworking. to increase the sectional area of (stock) by any of various operations.
  18. Glassmaking. to accumulate or collect (molten glass) at the end of a tube for blowing, shaping, etc.

verb (used without object)

  1. to come together around a central point; assemble: Let’s gather round the fire and sing.
  2. to collect or accumulate: Clouds were gathering in the northeast.
  3. to grow, as by accretion; increase.
  4. to become contracted into wrinkles, folds, creases, etc., as the brow or as cloth.
  5. to come to a head, as a sore in suppurating.


  1. a drawing together; contraction.
  2. Often gathers. a fold or pucker, as in gathered cloth.
  3. an act or instance of gathering.
  4. an amount or number gathered, as during a harvest.
  5. Glassmaking. a mass of molten glass attached to the end of a punty.

  1. be gathered to one’s fathers, to die.


  1. to assemble or cause to assemble
  2. to collect or be collected gradually; muster
  3. (tr) to learn from information given; conclude or assume
  4. (tr) to pick or harvest (flowers, fruit, etc)
  5. (tr; foll by to or into) to clasp or embracethe mother gathered the child into her arms
  6. (tr) to bring close (to) or wrap (around)she gathered her shawl about her shoulders
  7. to increase or cause to increase gradually, as in force, speed, intensity, etc
  8. to contract (the brow) or (of the brow) to become contracted into wrinkles; knit
  9. (tr) to assemble (sections of a book) in the correct sequence for binding
  10. (tr) to collect by making a selection
  11. (tr) to prepare or make readyto gather one’s wits
  12. to draw (material) into a series of small tucks or folds by passing a thread through it and then pulling it tight
  13. (intr) (of a boil or other sore) to come to a head; form pus


    1. the act of gathering
    2. the amount gathered
  1. a small fold in material, as made by a tightly pulled stitch; tuck
  2. printing an informal name for section (def. 17)

c.1200, agent noun from gather.


Old English gadrian, gædrian “unite, agree, assemble; gather, collect, store up,” used of flowers, thoughts, persons; from Proto-Germanic *gadurojan “bring together, unite” (cf. Old English gæd “fellowship, companionship,” gædeling “companion;” Middle Low German gadderen; Old Frisian gaderia; Dutch gaderen “to gather,” gade “spouse;” German Gatte “husband;” Gothic gadiliggs), from PIE *ghedh- “to unite, join” (see good (adj.). Change of spelling from -d- to -th- is 1500s, reflecting earlier change in pronunciation. Related: Gathered; gathering.

see rolling stone gathers no moss.

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