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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for acquire

Synonyms

Antonyms

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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 Mondale served as a regent of the Smithsonian Institution during his vice presidency, and his late wife, Joan, was a strong supporter of the plan to acquire the National Museum of African Art, then existing in a series of Washington rowhouses. Alice George, Smithsonian Magazine, "Remembering Walter Mondale," 22 Apr. 2021 In early March, the EasyPark parking group out of Europe announced plans to acquire the company. Andy Meek, BGR, "If you use this popular smartphone app, change your password immediately," 19 Apr. 2021 In some ways what Soundstripe does is reminiscent of how Shutterstock SSTK -1.5% opened up consumers’ ability to acquire photographs at a relatively low price for such varied uses as presentations, articles and advertising. Eric Fuller, Forbes, "Soundstripe Makes Noise Creating Affordable Royalty Free Music Licenses For Use In Video Productions," 19 Apr. 2021 Less than a month after announcing a $100 million fund to acquire catalogs from female music makers, Influence Media has made its first purchase. Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone, "Star Songwriter Ali Tamposi Sells Catalog to New Female-Focused Music Fund," 19 Apr. 2021 And Bibb used the chance to acquire two of the tallest players in the class. Aaron Kasinitz, Dallas News, "Dallas Wings take advantage of historic chance to stockpile talent, go big with top picks in WNBA draft," 16 Apr. 2021 Veolia’s struggle to acquire Suez, however, shows how difficult consolidation remains in a sector that is highly fragmented and enmeshed with local politics. Nick Kostov, WSJ, "French Firms Strike $15.5 Billion Deal to Create Water, Waste-Management Behemoth," 12 Apr. 2021 Another team would have had to give up a second-round pick plus a free agent contract to acquire Jackson, and the Patriots would have had the right to match the contract. BostonGlobe.com, "Cornerback J.C. Jackson signs his tender to remain with Patriots," 16 Apr. 2021 Any deal to acquire Toshiba would likely value the company at more than $20 billion. Kosaku Narioka, WSJ, "Toshiba CEO Nobuaki Kurumatani Steps Down Under Pressure From Shareholders," 14 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for acquire

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for acquire

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Acquire.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/acquire. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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

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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

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Comments on acquire

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