\ə-ˈchēv \
achieved; achieving

Definition of achieve 

transitive verb

1 : to carry out successfully : accomplish achieve a gradual increase in production

2 : to get or attain as the result of exertion : reach achieved a high degree of skill achieved greatness

intransitive verb

: to attain a desired end or aim : become successful

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Other Words from achieve

achievable \ -​ˈchē-​və-​bəl \ adjective
achiever noun

Choose the Right Synonym for achieve

perform, execute, discharge, accomplish, achieve, effect, fulfill mean to carry out or into effect. perform implies action that follows established patterns or procedures or fulfills agreed-upon requirements and often connotes special skill. performed gymnastics execute stresses the carrying out of what exists in plan or in intent. executed the hit-and-run discharge implies execution and completion of appointed duties or tasks. discharged his duties accomplish stresses the successful completion of a process rather than the means of carrying it out. accomplished everything they set out to do achieve adds to accomplish the implication of conquered difficulties. achieve greatness effect adds to achieve an emphasis on the inherent force in the agent capable of surmounting obstacles. effected sweeping reforms fulfill implies a complete realization of ends or possibilities. fulfilled their ambitions

Examples of achieve in a Sentence

a diet that achieves dramatic results With much practice, she has achieved a high level of skill. They achieved high scores on their math tests. We give students the skills they need in order to achieve in college.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Staff from several organisations spent months pinning down what Educate Girls would aim to achieve, how progress would be measured and what would be repaid. The Economist, "Development-impact bonds are costly, cumbersome—and good," 12 July 2018 Tesla also went to great lengths to achieve it, including constructing a tent to accommodate an additional assembly line outside of the factory. Johana Bhuiyan, Recode, "Tesla hit a major production milestone — but will have to keep that going before it can be a ‘real car company’," 2 July 2018 As a quietly anxious person who spends a great deal of time thinking about self care—and significantly less time actually practicing it—meditation has long seemed the answer to achieving a healthier mental state. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appetit, "5 Things People Get Wrong About Meditation," 26 June 2018 The mountain gorillas really are the expression of what Virunga can achieve, which is this incredible success story. National Geographic, "Virunga National Park Sees Its Worst Violence in a Decade, Director Says," 14 June 2018 But the crisis has far exceeded the limits of what nonprofits can achieve. Zoie Matthew, Los Angeles Magazine, "Here’s What’s Being Done to End L.A.’s Homelessness Crisis," 14 June 2018 For her supporters, Thursday was a day to celebrate what Breed has achieved. Dominic Fracassa, San Francisco Chronicle, "London Breed returns to her roots to celebrate election as SF mayor," 14 June 2018 His current mark of 26 eclipses his previous best of 24, achieved on April 8, 2017. Trevor Anderson, Billboard, "Drake Ties The Game For Most No. 1s on Top Rap Albums Chart," 13 July 2018 But the track record of giant companies successfully achieving such synergies is dismal. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Trump Diplomacy, Wilbur Ross, China Surplus: CEO Daily for July 13, 2018," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'achieve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of achieve

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for achieve

Middle English acheven, borrowed from Anglo-French achever "to complete, carry out, succeed," from a-, prefix forming telic and transitive verbs (going back to Latin ad- ad-) + -chever, verbal derivative from chef, chief "end, head" — more at chief entry 3

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Statistics for achieve

Last Updated

3 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for achieve

The first known use of achieve was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for achieve



English Language Learners Definition of achieve

: to get or reach (something) by working hard

: to become successful : to reach a goal


\ə-ˈchēv \
achieved; achieving

Kids Definition of achieve

1 : to get by means of hard work She achieved a perfect score.

2 : to become successful Our school provides us with the skills to achieve in college.

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Comments on achieve

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


playful or foolish behavior

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