American English

Definition of earn verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they earn
    he / she / it earns
    past simple earned
    -ing form earning
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  1. 1[transitive] 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 bookkeeper. She must earn a fortune (= earn a lot of money). earn somebody something His victory in the tournament earned him $50,000.
  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. Idioms
      earn your keep
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    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.
    a penny saved is a penny earned (saying)
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    used to say that it is important to save money whenever possible
    win/earn your spurs (formal)
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    to achieve fame or success
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: earn