A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Gain (noun)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 878

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 878

Gain. n.s. [gain, French.]

  1. Profit; advantage.

    But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Phil. iii. 7.

    Besides the purpose it were now, to teach how victory should be used, or the gains thereof communicated to the general content. Raleigh's Essays.

    It is in praise of men as in gettings and gains; for light gains make heavy purses; for light gains come thick, whereas great come but now and then. Bacon, Essay 53.

    This must be made by some governor upon his own private account, who has a great stock that he is content to turn that way, and is invited by the gains. Temple.

  2. Interest; lucrative views.

    That sir, which serves for gain,
    And follows but for form,
    Will pack, when it begins to rain,
    And leave thee in the storm.
    Shakespeare's King Lear.

  3. Unlawful advantage.

    Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you? 2 Cor. xii. 17.

  4. Overplus in a comparative computation; any thing opposed to loss.

Sources: The Bible - 2. Corinthians (10) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · The Bible - Philemon (6) · Raleigh, Walter (68) · Temple, William (54)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Gain (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 1, 2012. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=5218.


  1. The quote by Francis Bacon is from Essay 52 (“Of Ceremonies and Respects”), not from Essay 53 (“Of Praise”).

  2. Brandi on June 3rd, 2013 at 8:06 am

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