\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

Trump's assessment comes as lawmakers, analysts and allies have hailed the effort but questioned the substance of what was achieved. John Wagner, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump claims North Korea ‘no longer’ a nuclear threat as he returns to Washington," 13 June 2018 SINGAPORE – South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday urged U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to try harder to achieve a breakthrough in their nuclear negotiations. Fox News, "Moon presses Trump, Kim for breakthrough in nuclear talks," 13 July 2018 It’s hard to deny that what Serena Williams keeps achieving on a tennis court is nothing less than sublime. Sandra Harwitt, USA TODAY, "Chris Evert: Serena Williams' focus 'unbelievable' heading into Wimbledon final," 13 July 2018 That program helped more than 175 homeowners transform their landscapes into climate-appropriate mini-watersheds that not only save water, but achieve additional benefits such as reducing storm water runoff and lessening green waste. Pomerado News, "Water agencies increase incentives to replace turf," 13 July 2018 Prime Minister May rightly is committed to maintaining open borders with Ireland, which in turn were crucial to the 1998 peace accords Britain and Ireland — with the help of U.S. leaders — achieved in Northern Ireland. Arthur I. Cyr, Lake County News-Sun, "Cyr: Britain’s prime minister takes charge of cabinet," 13 July 2018 In this novel way of funding charitable work, a financial institution gives money to a charity, which tries to achieve various specified outcomes. The Economist, "Development-impact bonds are costly, cumbersome—and good," 12 July 2018 The film was produced by Red Bull Media House, which achieves the semi-unbelievable feat of making distance running look exciting. Heather Hansman, Outside Online, "The Newest Adventure Movies You Can Watch Right Now," 12 July 2018 This community-centered, multidisciplinary approach helps our participating members overcome the everyday barriers to achieving their best health. Karen S. Lynch, STAT, "Everyone deserves a holistic, patient-centric health care system," 12 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

6 Oct 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).


one that holds something together

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