acquire

verb
ac·​quire | \ ə-ˈkwī(-ə)r How to pronounce acquire (audio) \
acquired; acquiring

Definition of acquire

transitive verb

1 : to get as one's own:
a : to come into possession or control of often by unspecified means acquire property The team acquired three new players this year.
b : to come to have as a new or added characteristic, trait, or ability (as by sustained effort or natural selection) acquire fluency in French bacteria that acquire tolerance to antibiotics
2 : to locate and hold (a desired object) in a detector acquire a target by radar

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for acquire

Synonyms

cultivate, develop, form

Antonyms

lose

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of acquire in a Sentence

The two ships were acquired by the navy after the war. The team acquired three new players this year. The old word has acquired a new meaning. This apparently minor event has acquired increasing significance in recent weeks. He is studying the way that language is acquired by children.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Prior to being acquired by AOL, Andreessen publicly released the source code for Netscape Navigator 4.0, allowing a worldwide community of programmers to keep working on it. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "Later, Navigator: How Netscape Won and Then Lost the World Wide Web," 4 Apr. 2019 Advertising Goldschmidt, a first baseman acquired by St. Louis from Arizona in December, had a $14.5 million salary this season. Ronald Blum, The Seattle Times, "AP study: MLB average salary on track for 2nd straight drop," 26 Mar. 2019 The diamond was first discovered in South Africa in 1877, and was acquired by Tiffany one year later. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lady Gaga Just Showed up to the Oscars in One of the World's Most Famous Pieces of Jewelry," 25 Feb. 2019 However, the Mountain, priced out of the reach of even the Hollywood elite, seems more likely to be acquired by a bad actor on the global stage. Alex Bhattacharji, Town & Country, "An Empty Lot Above Beverly Hills Is the Most Expensive Real Estate in the World," 17 Jan. 2019 Shipt, the same-day grocery delivery service acquired by Target last year, has announced plans to expand into more cities and offer a wider product selection starting in 2019. Dami Lee, The Verge, "Target’s Shipt same-day delivery service will expand to take on Amazon and Walmart," 18 Dec. 2018 Redactron competed directly with IBM and was ultimately acquired by the Burroughs Corporation. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Computing pioneer Evelyn Berezin died this week—she should be remembered," 15 Dec. 2018 The frigate is one of three former U.S. Coast Guard cutters which were acquired by the Philippine military from the United States and now are the Philippines' largest warships. Jim Gomez, Fox News, "Philippines informs China of grounded frigate amid sea feud," 31 Aug. 2018 The In Between, has officially been acquired by Paramount Players, Deadline reported. Sarah Grace Hart, Teen Vogue, "Joey King's New Movie "The In Between" Is One Step Closer to Production," 2 Aug. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for acquire

borrowed from Latin acquīrere, from ad- ad- + quaerere "to seek, gain, obtain, enquire"; replacing earlier aquere, going back to Middle English aqweren, borrowed from Anglo-French acquerre, going back to Vulgar Latin *acquaerere, restructuring (by restoring the vocalism of quaerere) of acquīrere — more at quest entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about acquire

Statistics for acquire

Last Updated

9 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for acquire

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for acquire

acquire

verb

English Language Learners Definition of acquire

formal : to get (something) : to come to own (something) : to come to have (something)
: to gain (a new skill, ability, etc.) usually by your own effort

acquire

verb
ac·​quire | \ ə-ˈkwīr How to pronounce acquire (audio) \
acquired; acquiring

Kids Definition of acquire

: to get especially through effort : gain acquire a skill

acquire

transitive verb
ac·​quire | \ ə-ˈkwī(ə)r How to pronounce acquire (audio) \
acquired; acquiring

Medical Definition of acquire

: to come to have as a new or additional characteristic, trait, or ability (as by sustained effort, by mutation, or through environmental forces) a cognitive system…that is acquired in early childhood— Noam Chomsky bacteria that acquire tolerance to antibiotics insects that acquire resistance to insecticides

Keep scrolling for more

acquire

transitive verb
ac·​quire | \ ə-ˈkwīr How to pronounce acquire (audio) \
acquired; acquiring

Legal Definition of acquire

: to come into possession, ownership, or control of : obtain as one's own the target's directors don't want the company to be acquired— R. C. Clark the court acquired jurisdiction

Other Words from acquire

acquirer also acquiror \ ə-​ˈkwīr-​ər \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on acquire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with acquire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for acquire

Spanish Central: Translation of acquire

Nglish: Translation of acquire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of acquire for Arabic Speakers

Comments on acquire

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

WORD OF THE DAY

likely to have or produce good results

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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