verb \ə-ˈtān\

: to accomplish or achieve (something) : to succeed in getting or doing (something)

: to grow or increase to (a particular amount, size, etc.)

Full Definition of ATTAIN

transitive verb
:  to reach as an end :  gain, achieve <attain a goal>
:  to come into possession of :  obtain <he attained preferment over his fellows>
:  to come to as the end of a progression or course of movement <they attained the top of the hill> <attain a ripe old age>
intransitive verb
:  to come or arrive by motion, growth, or effort —usually used with to
at·tain·abil·i·ty \-ˌtā-nə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
at·tain·able \-ˈtā-nə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of ATTAIN

  1. a quest to attain enlightenment
  2. She refused to let the injury keep her from attaining her goal of being in the Olympics.
  3. This kind of tree can attain a height of 20 feet within just a few years.
  4. The car can attain a top speed of 200 mph.

Origin of ATTAIN

Middle English atteynen, from Anglo-French ateign-, stem of ateindre to reach, accomplish, convict, from Vulgar Latin *attangere, alteration of Latin attingere, from ad- + tangere to touch — more at tangent
First Known Use: 14th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: attainableness
Previous Word in the Dictionary: attagirl (noun)
All Words Near: attain

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up attain? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More