Simple Definition of acquire
: to get (something) : to come to own (something) : to come to have (something)
: to gain (a new skill, ability, etc.) usually by your own effort
Full Definition of acquire
1 : to get as one's own: a : to come into possession or control of often by unspecified means b : to come to have as a new or added characteristic, trait, or ability (as by sustained effort or natural selection) <acquire fluency in French> <bacteria that acquire tolerance to antibiotics>
2 : to locate and hold (a desired object) in a detector <acquire a target by radar>
Examples of acquire in a sentence
The two ships were acquired by the navy after the war.
The team acquired three new players this year.
The old word has acquired a new meaning.
This apparently minor event has acquired increasing significance in recent weeks.
He is studying the way that language is acquired by children.
Origin of acquire
Middle English aqueren, from Anglo-French acquerre, from Latin acquirere, from ad- + quaerere to seek, obtain
First Known Use: 15th century
ACQUIRE Defined for Kids
Medical Definition of acquire
: to come to have as a new or additional characteristic, trait, or ability (as by sustained effort, by mutation, or through environmental forces) <a cognitive system…that is acquired in early childhood—Noam Chomsky> <bacteria that acquire tolerance to antibiotics> <insects that acquire resistance to insecticides>
Legal Definition of acquire
: to come into possession, ownership, or control of : obtain as one's own <the target's directors don't want the company to be acquired — R. C. Clark> <the court acquired jurisdiction>
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up acquire? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).