achieve·​ment | \ə-ˈchēv-mənt \

Definition of achievement 

1 : the act of achieving something the achievement of an ambition

2a : a result gained by effort : accomplishment being honored for her academic achievements a major scientific achievement

b : a great or heroic deed

3 : the quality and quantity of a student's work standardized tests to measure achievement

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Synonyms & Antonyms for achievement


accomplishment, acquirement, attainment, baby, coup, success, triumph



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Choose the Right Synonym for achievement

feat, exploit, achievement mean a remarkable deed. feat implies strength or dexterity or daring. an acrobatic feat exploit suggests an adventurous or heroic act. his exploits as a spy achievement implies hard-won success in the face of difficulty or opposition. her achievements as a chemist

Examples of achievement in a Sentence

The discovery of DNA was a major scientific achievement. It was a great achievement. Getting the project done on time was a real achievement.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Trump, meanwhile, spent two years acting as if winning 46 percent of the vote was the greatest achievement in the history of American politics, when in reality, Mitt Romney and John Kerry did better than that and Michael Dukakis did nearly as well. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Trump voters stood by Trump in the midterms — but there just aren’t enough of them," 10 Nov. 2018 For me, this is a big achievement, to be here in Mexico City. Robbie Whelan, WSJ, "Migrant Caravan Makes a Stop in Mexico City," 6 Nov. 2018 Is the new iPad Pro a stunning engineering achievement? Nilay Patel, The Verge, "Apple iPad Pro review 2018: the fastest iPad is still an iPad," 5 Nov. 2018 Even getting the rocket off in 2021 would be an achievement, as would a national security launch in 2022. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: SpaceX nabs another contract, Vector cashes in, Vulcan delay," 26 Oct. 2018 Nominated to the court by former president Barack Obama in 2009, Sotomayor's ascension to the country's highest court was a monumental achievement for women of color and Latinx people across the country. Marilyn La Jeunesse, Teen Vogue, "Sonia Sotomayor's Tenure as a Supreme Court Justice Makes Latinx Law Students Hopeful for the Future," 12 Oct. 2018 Given that around 70 percent of freshwater is used for agriculture globally, this kind of recycling is a massive achievement. Jen Maylack, Vogue, "A Farm—and School of Fish!—Grows in Bushwick Thanks to One Woman’s Vision," 28 Sep. 2018 Scoring two touchdowns in a game is great achievement for most high school running backs. Benjamin Brown, Fox News, "Blind Arizona high school football player scores two touchdowns," 19 Sep. 2018 Women increasingly value—or are pressured to value—career and professional achievement over family. Erica Komisar, WSJ, "The Human Cost of Sweden’s Welfare State," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'achievement.' 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 achievement

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for achievement

borrowed from Anglo-French achevement, from achever "to achieve" + -ment -ment

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Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for achievement

The first known use of achievement was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of achievement

: something that has been done or achieved through effort : a result of hard work

: the act of achieving something : the state or condition of having achieved or accomplished something


achieve·​ment | \ə-ˈchēv-mənt \

Kids Definition of achievement

1 : the state of having gotten through great effort achievement of a goal

2 : something gotten especially by great effort a scientific achievement

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