Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

Old French[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


Of Germanic origin: from Frankish *waidanjan ‎(get food), a calque of Latin petere. Compare Occitan ganhar, Catalan guanyar, Italian guadagnare, Portuguese ganhar, cf. also Spanish ganar.



  1. to win
    • circa 1250, Marie de France, Milun
      tost i pout perdre u guaaignier
      Straight away, he could lose or win
  2. (by extension) to make money; to save money
    • circa 1200, author unknown, Aucassin et Nicolette
      [] li donra un jour un baceler qui du pain li gaaignera par honor
      [] will give to her a young suitor who will earn his bread through honor


This verb conjugates as a first-group verb ending in -ier, with a palatal stem. These verbs are conjugated mostly like verbs in -er, but there is an extra i before the e of some endings. The forms that would normally end in *-ign, *-igns, *-ignt are modified to ing, inz, int. Old French conjugation varies significantly by date and by region. The following conjugation should be treated as a guide.