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

The Blackhawks added to their blue line Saturday, acquiring Finnish defenseman Olli Maatta from the Penguins for promising forward Dominik Kahun and a fifth-round pick in next week’s draft. Jimmy Greenfield, chicagotribune.com, "Blackhawks acquire defenseman Olli Maatta from the Penguins for Dominik Kahun," 15 June 2019 Yusniel Díaz is 11 months removed from the trade that made him the Orioles' top prospect, and the main representative of the haul acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Manny Machado. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles prospect Yusniel Díaz's homers highlight progress at plate; Brandon Hyde shuffles rotation," 15 June 2019 Marcus Johansson, another soon-too-be free agent, was non-committal on future Johansson, 28, was acquired from the Devils on Feb. 25. Nick Kelly, BostonGlobe.com, "Choices might be made for David Backes, Bruins’ free agents," 15 June 2019 Data acquired from 26 green turtles included measurements, skin biopsies and bloodwork. USA TODAY, "Retired monkeys, freeze-dried blood, ‘Hidden Figures Way’: News from around our 50 states," 14 June 2019 Lowe, who homered twice in Sunday’s 6-1 win in Boston, hit a two-run shot off Tanner Anderson (0-1), who was promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas to make his debut with Oakland, which acquired him from Pittsburgh last November. Fred Goodall, orlandosentinel.com, "Charlie Morton pitches Rays to 6-2 victory over Oakland and into first place in AL East," 11 June 2019 According to the criminal complaints, Montes, Flores and Alvarez were middleman meth dealers who acquired the drugs from an unnamed source. Nate Gartrell, The Mercury News, "Feds bust alleged meth trafficking ring in Concord, but secret DEA source fails to get meeting with main supplier," 11 June 2019 No attacking United players has so far produced an increase in goals scored under Heath; this includes young players similar to Larin as well as older, more established players Heath either inherited or acquired from other clubs. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Adrian Heath’s track record for developing scorers got him United job, but Loons aren’t scoring," 11 June 2019 When the Angels acquired him from the Cubs in a November trade, La Stella appeared destined for a similar role. Maria Torres, latimes.com, "Tommy La Stella’s numbers ‘out of nowhere’ spark All-Star ballot love," 10 June 2019

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

18 Jun 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

to take the place or position of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!