achieved; achieving; achieves

transitive verb

: to succeed at reaching or accomplishing (a goal, result, etc.) especially through effort
achieved fame
achieved a certain level of success
hoping to achieve their objective
talks aimed at achieving peace
You've worked hard, made sacrifices and have finally achieved your dream.Lewis Howes
When a show achieves cult status …, it inevitably loses some of its original charm.Debra Craine
He often achieved an effect with jokes where mere oratory would not work so well …Paul Johnson
Try to achieve a balance between relaxation and responsibility.Russell Grant
A quadruple jump entails four rotations, as the name implies. But exactly how skaters achieve the feat can vary.Candice Choi
… the good work achieved during his long tenure has often been overlooked …James Riach

intransitive verb

: to reach or bring about a desired end or goal : to become successful
We shouldn't be afraid to push our kids to achieve.John Keilman
achievable adjective

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Common Misspellings

acheive, achive

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Artistic swimmers use Knox gelatin powder to achieve their slick, performance hairstyles, and close to half a million people tune to Ramirez’s page to watch her peel and scratch the hardened substance out of her hair. Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 15 July 2024 Actually achieving unity will be far more challenging, especially in the midst of a bitter presidential campaign. Will Weissert, Los Angeles Times, 15 July 2024 Local media report that the film was made on a low budget and has now achieved profitability. Patrick Frater, Variety, 14 July 2024 His research finds little direct correlation between social media use and support for the use of force to achieve political ends, since most people still get their news from major news organizations. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, Washington Post, 14 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for achieve 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'achieve.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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

Dictionary Entries Near achieve

Cite this Entry

“Achieve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


achieved; achieving
: accomplish
achieved our purpose
: to get by effort
achieve greatness
achievable adjective
achiever noun

Middle English acheven "achieve," from early French achever "to finish," from a- "to" and cheef "end, head," from Latin caput "head" — related to capital, chief

More from Merriam-Webster on achieve

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