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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The last time the Reds made a notable deadline deal that wasn’t to acquire bus riders or dump salaries was July 31, 1995. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Paul Daugherty: Imagine if the Reds were buyers instead of sellers at MLB trade deadline," 13 July 2018 Both the Museum of London and the National Football Museum in Manchester have declared their desire to acquire Mr. Southgate’s waistcoat and officially enshrine it as a cultural artifact. New York Times, "How Gareth Southgate Made the Waistcoat a Surprise World Cup M.V.P.," 13 July 2018 DirecTV is responding to moves by YouTube TV and Dish’s Sling TV to charge customers more as content becomes more expensive to acquire. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump’s Merger Appeal to Obama," 13 July 2018 Europol also recently confirmed that extremist terrorist groups such as ISIS have been making efforts to acquire chemical weapons. Allison Barrie, Fox News, "Innovative project harnesses Legos and smartphones in the fight against invisible, deadly weapons," 13 July 2018 According to the complaint, BCC asked Chalice back in May to acquire authorization for the temporary event license from either the city or the county where the event would take place. Taylor Mims, Billboard, "Chalice Festival Sues Bureau of Cannabis Control as Weed-Centric Events Battle With Legalization," 13 July 2018 Which company might step in to acquire the naming rights to the University of Louisville Cardinal Stadium? Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "Pizza Hut, Kroger, Republic Bank? Who wants Cardinal Stadium naming rights," 13 July 2018 Scottsdale voters have OK'd sales-tax increases that have allowed the city to spend nearly $1 billion to acquire massive swaths of desert land. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Hiker alert: 3 trailheads getting upgrades in Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve," 13 July 2018 Financially struggling oilfield services firm Weatherford International finally has found a buyer to acquire its Middle East onshore drilling rig business for $287.5 million as part of its long-term divestiture plans. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Weatherford finally sells its Middle East land rig business," 12 July 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.

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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

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Statistics for acquire

Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for acquire

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

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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

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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

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Comments on acquire

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