acquire

verb
ac·​quire | \ ə-ˈkwī(-ə)r \
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

Belgium has for years tightened regulations in response to gun violence, such as a 2006 killing spree by an 18-year-old who legally acquired a rifle. Valentina Pop, WSJ, "Gun Use Surges in Europe, Where Firearms Are Rare," 7 Jan. 2019 There was no caption accompanying the photo, which soon acquired several million likes on the platform. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Ariana Grande posts Mac Miller photo on Instagram after his death," 8 Sep. 2018 Deadline reported that a production company has acquired the live theatrical rights to the title, though there's not much info yet on what to expect with the musical setting. Devon Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, ""The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" Will Soon Be a Musical," 18 July 2018 Walt Disney recently agreed to buy Sky News and boost its annual funding to help Fox get final U.K. approval for its bid to acquire full ownership of European pay TV giant Sky. Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter, "U.K. Clears Fox's Sky Bid," 12 July 2018 Maletta, 23, was acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets system last year and has yet to make his NHL debut. Richard Morin, azcentral, "Arizona Coyotes complete seven-player deal with Chicago Blackhawks," 12 July 2018 Entrepreneur First helped create Magic Pony, yet another A.I. company, which Twitter acquired for $150 million in 2016. New York Times, "Silicon Valley’s Giants Take Their Talent Hunt to Cambridge," 3 July 2018 Twitch, which Amazon acquired for $970 million in 2014, has begun giving away 21 games to its Prime members in celebration of the big event. Dieter Holger, PCWorld, "Here's all 21 free games available through Twitch for Prime Day," 3 July 2018 The series will follow the team, each of whom has acquired special powers and has faced alienation from society as a result. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "DC Universe’s Doom Patrol arrives on February 15th," 21 Dec. 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

15 Jan 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

: 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 \
acquired; acquiring

Kids Definition of acquire

: to get especially through effort : gain acquire a skill

acquire

transitive verb
ac·​quire | \ ə-ˈkwī(ə)r \
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 \
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

a complex dispute or argument

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!