verb ac·quire \ə-ˈkwī(-ə)r\

: 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

transitive verb
:  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>
:  to locate and hold (a desired object) in a detector <acquire a target by radar>

Examples of ACQUIRE

  1. The two ships were acquired by the navy after the war.
  2. The team acquired three new players this year.
  3. The old word has acquired a new meaning.
  4. This apparently minor event has acquired increasing significance in recent weeks.
  5. 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
ACQUIRING Defined for Kids


verb ac·quire \ə-ˈkwīr\

Definition of ACQUIRE for Kids

:  to get especially through effort :  gain <acquire a skill>
Medical Dictionary


transitive verb ac·quire \ə-ˈkwī(ə)r\

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>


Next Word in the Dictionary: acquired immune deficiency syndromePrevious Word in the Dictionary: acquirableAll Words Near: acquire
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears