Definition of earn verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    earn

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ɜːn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɜːrn//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they earn
    BrE BrE//ɜːn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɜːrn//
     
    he / she / it earns
    BrE BrE//ɜːnz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɜːrnz//
     
    past simple earned
    BrE BrE//ɜːnd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɜːrnd//
     
    past participle earned
    BrE BrE//ɜːnd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɜːrnd//
     
    -ing form earning
    BrE BrE//ˈɜːnɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɜːrnɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  [transitive, intransitive] to get money for work that you do earn (something) He earns about $40 000 a year. She earned a living as a part-time secretary. She must earn a fortune (= earn a lot of money). All the children are earning now. earn somebody something His victory in the tournament earned him $50 000. Wordfinderbonus, commission, deduction, earn, overtime, pay, rise, salary, tax, wage CollocationsFinanceIncome earn money/​cash/(informal) a fortune make money/​a fortune/(informal) a killing on the stock market acquire/​inherit/​amass wealth/​a fortune build up funds/​savings get/​receive/​leave (somebody) an inheritance/​a legacy live on a low wage/​a fixed income/​a pension get/​receive/​draw/​collect a pension depend/​be dependent on (British English) benefits/(North American English) welfare/​social securityExpenditure spend money/​your savings/(informal) a fortune on… invest/​put your savings in… throw away/​waste/ (informal) shell out money on… lose your money/​inheritance/​pension use up/ (informal) wipe out all your savings pay (in) cash use/​pay by a credit/​debit card pay by/​make out a/​write somebody a/​accept a (British English) cheque/(US English) check change/​exchange money/​currency/(British English) traveller’s cheques/(US English) traveler’s checks give/​pay/​leave (somebody) a depositBanks have/​hold/​open/​close/​freeze a bank account/​an account credit/​debit/​pay something into/​take money out of your account deposit money/​funds in your account withdraw money/​cash/£30 from an ATM, etc. (formal) make a deposit/​withdrawal find/​go to/​use (especially North American English) an ATM/(British English) a cash machine/​dispenser be in credit/​in debit/​in the black/​in the red/​overdrawnPersonal finance manage/​handle/​plan/​run/ (especially British English) sort out your finances plan/​manage/​work out/​stick to a budget offer/​extend credit (to somebody) arrange/​take out a loan/​an overdraft pay back/​repay money/​a loan/​a debt pay for something in (especially British English) instalments/(usually North American English) installmentsFinancial difficulties get into debt/​financial difficulties be short of/ (informal) be strapped for cash run out of/​owe money face/​get/ (informal) be landed with a bill for £… can’t afford the cost of…/payments/​rent fall behind with/ (especially North American English) fall behind on the mortgage/​repayments/​rent incur/​run up/​accumulate debts tackle/​reduce/​settle your debts
  2. 2  [transitive] earn something to get money as profit or interest on money you lend, have in a bank, etc. Your money would earn more in a high-interest account.
  3. 3  [transitive] to get something that you deserve, usually because of something good you have done or because of the good qualities you have earn something He earned a reputation as an expert on tax law. As a teacher, she had earned the respect of her students. I need a rest. I think I've earned it, don't you? She's having a well-earned rest this week. earn somebody something His outstanding ability earned him a place on the team.
  4. Word Origin Old English earnian, of West Germanic origin, from a base shared by Old English esne ‘labourer’.Extra examples ‘I feel I’ve really earned this, ’ she said, taking up her mug of tea. First you have to earn their respect. He deservedly earned the admiration of his colleagues. He went on to earn a PhD in astronomy from the University of Maryland. She reportedly earns more than $475 000 a year The company expects to earn €600 million on sales. The workers barely earn enough to live on. his ability to earn a living lecturing profits earned from real estate sales the difficulty of earning a living as an artist the opportunity to earn more money All her children are earning now. All this new technology will have to earn its keep. As a teacher, she had earned the respect and admiration of her students. He was willing to earn his keep. Her outstanding ability earned her a place on the team. His victory in the tournament earned him $50 000. I need a drink. I think I’ve earned it, don’t you? I’ve been an actor for 20 years, earning a crust wherever I can. She’s having a well-earned rest this week. The plant will make/​earn £950 million for the UK.Idioms (British English, informal) to earn enough money to live on I’ve been an actor for 20 years, earning a crust wherever I can.
    1. 1to do useful or helpful things in return for being allowed to live or stay somewhere
    2. 2to be worth the amount of time or money that is being spent He felt he no longer deserved such a high salary. He just wasn't earning his keep.
    (formal) to achieve fame or success
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: earn