Etymology: Middle English gaderen, from Old English gaderian; akin to Middle High German gadern to unite — more at good
Date: before 12th century
1. to bring together ; collect <tried to gather a crowd> <gathered firewood> 2. a. pick, harvest <gather flowers> b. to pick up or amass as if by harvesting <gathering ideas for the project> c. to scoop up or take up from a resting place <gathered the child up in his arms> 3. to serve as an attraction for ; accumulate <books gathering dust> 4. to effect the collection of <gather contributions> 5. a. to summon up <gathered his courage> b. to gain by gradual increase <gather speed> c. to prepare (as oneself) by mustering strength d. to gain or regain control of <gathered his wits> 6. to reach a conclusion often intuitively from hints or through inferences <I gather that you want to leave> 7. a. to pull (fabric) along a line of stitching so as to draw into puckers b. to draw about or close to something <gathering her cloak about her> c. to bring together the parts of <gathered her hair into a ponytail> d. to assemble (the signatures of a book) in sequence for binding e. to haul in <the sailors gathered the sails> intransitive verb 1. a. to come together in a body b. to cluster around a focus of attraction 2. a. to swell and fill with pus b. grow, increase <the gathering crisis> • gatherer noun Synonyms: gather, collect, assemble, congregate mean to come or bring together into a group, mass, or unit. gather is the most general term for bringing or coming together from a spread-out or scattered state <a crowd quickly gathered>. collect often implies careful selection or orderly arrangement <collected books on gardening>. assemble implies an ordered union or organization of persons or things often for a definite purpose <experts assembled for a conference>. congregate implies a spontaneous flocking together into a crowd or huddle <congregating under a shelter>. Synonym: see in addition infer. II. noun Date: 1555 1. something gathered: as a. a puckering in cloth made by gathering b. a mass of molten glass collected for use in glassblowing 2. an act or instance of gathering
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.