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 Most Read Local Stories In spite of increasingly dire finances, the board decided against selling any assets, according to board minutes acquired by The Seattle Times. Glenn Nelson, The Seattle Times, "Battle for ‘soul’ of Seattle’s Japanese American community as Keiro Northwest nursing home closes," 16 Sep. 2019 Nyong’o acquired the rights to the adaptation in 2014. Sydney Scott, Essence, "Lupita Nyong'o And Danai Gurira's 'Americanah' Adaptation Headed To HBO Max," 13 Sep. 2019 By the end of 2018 Ansari had acquired a manager, Tarique Mahmood, and was looking into new ways to monetise his fame. Snigdha Poonam, 1843, "This Indian TikTok star wants you to know his name," 12 Sep. 2019 To gauge the plan's potential impact, The Times acquired the geographic boundaries for thousands of sites listed by council members supporting a ban. Matt Stiles, www.latimes.com, "L.A. might ban homeless people from sleeping on many streets. What about your block?," 9 Sep. 2019 Two large sites in Glendale (identified above) are slated to be acquired by the city to develop affordable housing. Lila Seidman, Glendale News-Press, "Glendale to spend $25M on pair of properties for affordable-housing development," 30 Aug. 2019 On Friday the team acquired offensive linemen to shore up the team’s weakest position group, but the Dolphins must also begin to repair damage (if any) in their relationship with Tunsil caused this week. Safid Deen, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Jadeveon Clowney does not want to play for Dolphins. Here’s what it could mean for Laremy Tunsil | Analysis," 30 Aug. 2019 To suspend Parliament, the prime minister must acquire the assent of the British sovereign. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Queen Approves a Suspension of Parliament amid Brexit Controversy," 29 Aug. 2019 Andres acquired a love of the Pittsburgh Steelers, his father’s favorite NFL team. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Mexican foreign exchange student learned English from TV — and also how to play QB," 22 Aug. 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.

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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 2019

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
How to pronounce acquire (audio)

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
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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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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More from Merriam-Webster on acquire

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for acquire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with acquire

Spanish Central: Translation of acquire

Nglish: Translation of acquire for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of acquire for Arabic Speakers

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