acquire

play
verb ac·quire \ə-ˈkwī(-ə)r\

Definition of acquire

acquired

;

acquiring

  1. transitive verb
  2. 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

  3. 2 :  to locate and hold (a desired object) in a detector acquire a target by radar

Examples of acquire in a Sentence

  1. The two ships were acquired by the navy after the war.

  2. The team acquired three new players this year.

  3. The old word has acquired a new meaning.

  4. This apparently minor event has acquired increasing significance in recent weeks.

  5. He is studying the way that language is acquired by children.

Recent Examples of acquire from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of acquire

Middle English aqueren, from Anglo-French acquerre, from Latin acquirere, from ad- + quaerere to seek, obtain


First Known Use: 15th century



ACQUIRE Defined for English Language Learners

acquire

play
verb

Definition of acquire for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

acquire

play
verb ac·quire \ə-ˈkwīr\

Definition of acquire for Students

acquired

;

acquiring

  1. :  to get especially through effort :  gain acquire a skill


Medical Dictionary

acquire

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

Medical Definition of acquire

acquired

;

acquiring

  1. :  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


Law Dictionary

acquire

play
transitive verb ac·quire \ə-ˈkwīr\

Legal Definition of acquire

acquired

acquiring

  1. :  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

acquirer

also

acquiror

\ə-ˈkwīr-ər\ noun


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