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  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈɡæð.ə.ɹɪŋ/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈɡæð.ɚ.ɪŋ/
    • (file)

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English gadering, from Old English gaderung (gathering, assembly), equivalent to gather +‎ -ing (verbal noun ending).


gathering (plural gatherings)

Coptic binding with eight gatherings (3).
  1. A meeting or get-together; a party or social function.
    I met her at a gathering of engineers and scientists.
  2. A group of people or things.
    A gathering of fruit.
  3. (bookbinding) A section, a group of bifolios, or sheets of paper, stacked together and folded in half.
    This gathering machine forms the backbone of a bookbinding operation.
  4. A charitable contribution; a collection.
  5. (uncountable) The collection of produce, items, goods, etc.; the practice of collecting food from nature.
    • 1981, William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality and the Origins of Culture, London: Rider/Hutchinson & Co., page 130:
      The Neolithic culture from 8000 to 6000 B.C., however, was a brilliant period of the revival of crafts, the transformation of gathering into gardening, the growth of a cross-cultural obsidian trade, and the rise of towns.
  6. (medicine) A tumor or boil suppurated or maturated; an abscess.

Further reading[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English gaderynge, equivalent to gather +‎ -ing (present participle ending).



  1. present participle and gerund of gather


gathering (not comparable)

  1. That gathers together.
    She was worried by the gathering stormclouds.
    • 1961 November, H. G. Ellison, P. G. Barlow, “Journey through France: Part One”, in Trains Illustrated, page 668:
      On once more we swung, bumping uneasily along in the antique narrow-gauge coach, with gloomy woods and gathering night outside, shouts and songs (and quacks) inside—this was not at all the sort of train ordained by the logical strategists in Paris—then grinding to a stop at a mysterious halt which was no more than a nameboard in the pinewoods, without even a footpath leading to it, but nevertheless with a solitary passenger stolidly waiting.
Derived terms[edit]