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attain

play
verb at·tain \ə-ˈtān\

Simple Definition of attain

  • : 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

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to reach as an end :  gain, achieve <attain a goal>

  3. 2 :  to come into possession of :  obtain <he attained preferment over his fellows>

  4. 3 :  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>

  5. intransitive verb
  6. :  to come or arrive by motion, growth, or effort —usually used with to

at·tain·abil·i·typlay \-ˌtā-nə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
at·tain·ableplay \-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



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