ac·​qui·​si·​tion | \ ˌa-kwə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce acquisition (audio) \

Definition of acquisition

1 : the act of acquiring something acquisition of property the acquisition of knowledge
2 : something or someone acquired or gained The team announced two new acquisitions.

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Other Words from acquisition

acquisitional \ ˌa-​kwə-​ˈzi-​shnəl How to pronounce acquisition (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
acquisitor \ ə-​ˈkwi-​zə-​tər How to pronounce acquisition (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for acquisition


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Examples of acquisition in a Sentence

Steven Schwartzman, the billionaire CEO of Blackstone, suffers no personal liquidity problems. But his firm, and others like it—have had to call off a series of proposed acquisitions because they can't get financing. — Daniel Gross, Newsweek, 3 Mar. 2008 The gifting of books, too, endured as a legacy of our book hunting. I quickly learned not to ask for newly published books as birthday or Christmas presents, since they provided my father with too little of a challenge. The measure of a gift's value was the amount of thought and effort that went into its acquisition. — Charles Mitchell, Bloomsbury Review, November/December 2002 Although some believe that the rise of advertising and strip malls have fostered slavish devotion to shopping where it didn't exist before, Hine posits that the acquisition of objects has a firm place in humanity's history. Publishers Weekly, 7 Oct. 2002 McKnight and Ward, free-agent acquisitions who each have only one full season as a starter, have brought much-needed speed to the position. But rookie Chris Chambers, a second-round draft pick from Wisconsin, is the jewel. — Jeffri Chadiha, Sports Illustrated, 1 Oct. 2000 the country's acquisition of new ships The big company's newest acquisition is a small chain of clothing stores. The museum has put its latest acquisitions on display.
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Recent Examples on the Web San Diego County’s single largest sale — the 192-room Residence Inn in Mission Valley, which sold for $67 million — is a Project Homekey acquisition. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Dollar value of San Diego hotel sales tumbled 61% in 2020, thanks to the pandemic," 18 Feb. 2021 The second was the largest acquisition in Nasdaq’s history, its $3.7 billion purchase of OMX, a union for the stock exchanges of Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland, as well as those of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Nasdaq at 50: The company behind the tech-heavy stock index reinvents itself as a financial-tech heavyweight," 8 Feb. 2021 This is the fifth acquisition for West Shore Home since 2018. William Thornton |, al, "Pennsylvania home improvement company expands into Alabama," 14 Jan. 2021 General manager Steve Yzerman added forwards Vladislav Namestnikov and Bobby Ryan, defensemen Troy Stecher and Jon Merrill and goaltender Thomas Greiss through free agency; defenseman Marc Staal was a trade acquisition. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Why the Detroit Red Wings have 'a great energy' as 2021 season opens," 14 Jan. 2021 Cornerback is a bit of an issue with Wright and Dunn leaving, but grad transfer E.J. Jones should be a plug-and-play acquisition. oregonlive, "Reviewing Oregon State 2020 football: Defensive backs gained experience, must improve takeaways to elevate position in 2021," 13 Jan. 2021 The cheap Boeing MAXs will replace all of Alaska’s 51 Airbus A320s and 10 smaller A319s, most of which are on expensive leases inherited from Alaska’s acquisition of Virgin America. Author: Dominic Gates, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska Airlines orders more Boeing 737 MAXs to replace most of its Airbus jets," 22 Dec. 2020 The sale of Qualtrics was the largest private-enterprise software acquisition of all time. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: What drives the Utah Jazz’s new owner and his big plans for the team," 18 Dec. 2020 DeSclafani, 30, is a Zaidi-type acquisition, seeking a bounce-back year to re-enter free agency, as Kevin Gausman and Drew Smyly were last winter. John Shea,, "Zaidi on Giants’ new starting pitcher DeSclafani: ‘a guy with pedigree’," 16 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'acquisition.' 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 acquisition

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for acquisition

Middle English adquysicyoun, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French acquisition, borrowed from Latin acquīsītiōn-, acquīsītiō, from acquīsī- (variant stem of acquīrere "to acquire") + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns

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Time Traveler for acquisition

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for acquisition

Last Updated

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Acquisition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for acquisition



English Language Learners Definition of acquisition

: the act or process of gaining skill, knowledge, etc.
: the act of obtaining money, possessions, etc.
: something (such as a company or valuable property) that is acquired


ac·​qui·​si·​tion | \ ˌa-kwə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce acquisition (audio) \

Kids Definition of acquisition

1 : the act of gaining especially through effort the acquisition of knowledge
2 : something gained especially through effort The museum's new acquisitions


ac·​qui·​si·​tion | \ ˌa-kwə-ˈzi-shən How to pronounce acquisition (audio) \

Legal Definition of acquisition

1 : the act or action of acquiring specifically : the obtaining of controlling interest in a company — compare merger, takeover
2 : a thing gained or acquired

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