Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Garner

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is garner. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

Garner means “to collect or gather something” or “to get or receive something wanted or valued.”

// The researchers garnered more evidence to support their theory.

// The author’s novel has garnered much praise and several awards.

GARNER in Context

“Founded in 2012, the Hidden Genius Project represents that ethos with the value of ubuntu (a Bantu term meaning, ‘I am because we are’), a foundational element for an organization geared toward helping Black youth garner entrepreneurial, technological and leadership skills.” — Zaki Hasan, The San Francisco Chronicle, 10 Nov. 2022

Did You Know?

What do you call a building in which grain is stored? These days, English speakers are most likely to call it a granary, but there was a time when garner was also a good candidate. That noun made its way into the language in the 12th century; the verb garner followed three centuries later with a closely related meaning: “to gather into a granary.” Today the verb has largely abandoned its agrarian roots—it usually means “to earn” or “to accumulate.” And the noun garner is rare in contemporary use. It appears mostly in older literary contexts, such as these lines from Walter Scott’s The Bride of Lammermoor: “Or, from the garner-door, on ether borne, / The chaff flies devious from the winnow’d corn.”

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