\ ə-ˈchēv How to pronounce achieve (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from achieve

achievable \ ə-​ˈchē-​və-​bəl How to pronounce achieve (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for achieve


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Since Paris, well over 100 countries have pledged to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner. CNN, "BP CEO and climate leader: We can only fight climate change if businesses help," 5 Jan. 2021 Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, projects the country may achieve herd immunity by the fall, reaching a degree of normality by the end of 2021. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "Testing positive for coronavirus after getting a vaccine? Here's how likely that is and what to know if it happens," 5 Jan. 2021 The funding comes ahead of what is expected to be a significant climate push from Biden, who campaigned on a $2 trillion plan to modernize the U.S. energy system and achieve a 100 percent clean electricity standard by 2035. NBC News, "Major climate change measures included in Covid aid bill," 28 Dec. 2020 Also in Arizona, officials approved new rules last month requiring utilities to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. Los Angeles Times, "Boiling Point: The coal industry comes tumbling down in the American West," 24 Dec. 2020 While some pans achieve this by putting a good bit of distance between each cup, other models have an open design. Allen Foster,, "The best popover pan," 23 Dec. 2020 Former President Barack Obama said the target would put the U.S. on a path to achieve economywide emissions reductions of 80% or more by 2050. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "US leads in emissions reductions — what that means for Biden’s climate agenda," 12 Dec. 2020 The president-elect has vowed the U.S. will achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and rejoin the Paris climate agreement abandoned by President Donald Trump. Theophilos Argitis,, "Trudeau Hikes Carbon Tax in Bid to Reach 2030 Climate Goal," 11 Dec. 2020 The European Union, Japan and South Korea have all recently committed to achieve net zero emissions by mid-century. Andrew Steer, Fortune, "Biden will bring back climate diplomacy, and the planet will benefit," 10 Dec. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about achieve

Time Traveler for achieve

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for achieve

Last Updated

13 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Achieve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for achieve


How to pronounce achieve (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of achieve

: to get or reach (something) by working hard
: to become successful : to reach a goal


\ ə-ˈchēv How to pronounce achieve (audio) \
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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!