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 The most prolific companies acquire specialists who have a top-notch portfolio in doing, promoting and inventing the unexpected. Jill Douka, Forbes, "Five Tips To Help You Be More Innovative At Work," 7 May 2021 Southington voters didn’t acquire property in their vote, but instead got to ensure that the 97-acre Southington Country Club can’t be developed by the current owners or any future buyers. Don Stacom, courant.com, "Voters choose open space over new housing: Simsbury to help buy Meadowood, Southington to preserve golf course," 5 May 2021 The team, however, did recently acquire Rodney Hudson in a trade with the Las Vegas Raiders, making offensive line not as much as a need in the 2021 NFL draft. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray has 'influence' on team's 2021 NFL draft, quarterback says," 28 Apr. 2021 The winning bidder didn’t acquire a copyright, or even exclusive access to it. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "Why Warriors are the first professional sports team to get into NFTs," 28 Apr. 2021 The character will acquire new powers and has to learn how to use them. Paulina Jayne Isaac, Glamour, "Whoopi Goldberg Is Writing a Movie About an Older Black Female Superhero," 22 Apr. 2021 Forever, the Knicks formula has been to desperately covet the best players in the game, get ignored by them in their free agency prime, and then acquire them—late in their careers, often after injury. Jason Gay, WSJ, "The New York Knicks Are Pretty Good. This Is Huge News.," 19 Apr. 2021 Brandon Hole, 19, the FedEx gunman who shot and killed eight people before taking his own life on Thursday, was able to acquire two rifles, despite a prior FBI investigation and seizure of his shotgun in March 2020. Jake Dima, Washington Examiner, "FedEx gunman was able to buy two rifles despite FBI investigation and prior weapons seizure," 18 Apr. 2021 The Utah Arts Alliance plans to acquire, preserve and renovate the historic 15th Ward Chapel, at 900 West and 100 South in Salt Lake City. Sean P. Means, The Salt Lake Tribune, "A $4M plan will turn historic Salt Lake City church into Art Castle, a cultural event space," 16 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

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Acquire.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/acquire. Accessed 16 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

Comments on acquire

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