win / win/ • v. (win·ning; past and past part. won / wən; wän/ ) [tr.] 1. be successful or victorious in (a contest or conflict): the Mets have won four games in a row | [intr.] a determination to win | the Pirates won 2–1. 2. acquire or secure as a result of a contest, conflict, bet, or other endeavor: there are hundreds of prizes to be won | the sort of play that won them the World Cup. ∎ gain (a person's attention, support, or love), typically gradually or by effort: you will find it difficult to win back their attention. ∎ (win someone over) gain the support or favor of someone by action or persuasion: her sense of humor had won him over at once. ∎ [intr.] (win out) manage to succeed or achieve something by effort: talent won out over bureaucracy. ∎ archaic manage to reach (a place) by effort: many lived to win the great cave. ∎ obtain (ore) from a mine. • n. a successful result in a contest, conflict, bet, or other endeavor; a victory: a win against Norway.PHRASES: one can't win inf. said when someone feels that no course of action open to them will bring success or please people.win the day be victorious in battle, sport, or argument.win or lose whether one succeeds or fails: win or lose, the important thing for him is to set a good example.win (or earn) one's spurs hist. gain a knighthood by an act of bravery. ∎ inf. gain one's first distinction or honors.you can't win them all (or win some, lose some) inf. said to express consolation or resignation after failure in a contest.DERIVATIVES: win·less n.win·na·ble adj.
you can't win them all proverbial saying, mid 20th century, used as an expression of consolation or resignation. (Compare you win a few, you lose a few.)
you win a few, you lose a few proverbial saying, mid 20th century, meaning that one has to accept failure as well as success, and used as an expression of consolation or resignation. In 1995, the dramatist Alan Bennett was reported as having cancelled an interview with a newspaper which had described him as ‘winsome’ with the words, ‘Winsome, lose some.’ (Compare you can't win them all.)
So win sb. †A. conflict, strife OE.; †gain, wealth XII; B. victory XIX; gains. In A. OE. (ġe)win(n), ME. (i)win; in B f. the vb.