attain

verb
at·​tain | \ ə-ˈtān How to pronounce attain (audio) \
attained; attaining; attains

Definition of attain

transitive verb

1 : to reach as an end : gain, achieve attain a goal
2 : to come into possession of : obtain he attained preferment over his fellows
3 : to come to as the end of a progression or course of movement They attained the top of the hill. attain a ripe old age

intransitive verb

: to come or arrive by motion, growth, or effort usually used with to will probably attain to a height of six feet

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Other Words from attain

attainability \ ə-​ˌtā-​nə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce attain (audio) \ noun
attainable \ ə-​ˈtā-​nə-​bəl How to pronounce attain (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for attain

Synonyms

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Examples of attain in a Sentence

a quest to attain enlightenment She refused to let the injury keep her from attaining her goal of being in the Olympics. This kind of tree can attain a height of 20 feet within just a few years. The car can attain a top speed of 200 mph.
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Recent Examples on the Web The format gives podcasters easy access to music that would be difficult or too costly to attain on their own and presents listeners with a seamless interface for learning more about a song or adding it to their library. New York Times, 14 May 2021 One billion dollars is a lot of money, but Massachusetts is a wealthy state with sufficient resources to ensure that everyone can attain a basic standard of living. BostonGlobe.com, 12 May 2021 By the time Nora’s story intersects with Lurie’s, readers sense that neither will attain the standard Western hero’s goal of laying claim to the land. Anna North, The Atlantic, 28 Feb. 2021 Tens of millions will have to be vaccinated in order to attain President Joe Biden's goal of 70% of adults with at least one shot by July 4. CBS News, 21 May 2021 Now, one month into his presidency, Joe Biden is on a glide path to attain that goal and pitching well beyond it to the far more ambitious and daunting mission of vaccinating all eligible adults against the coronavirus by the end of the summer. Arkansas Online, 21 Feb. 2021 The Cowboys quarterback threw for a career-high 502 yards, becoming the first player in NFL history to attain over 450 passing yards in three consecutive games. Calvin Watkins, Dallas News, 4 Oct. 2020 Focusing on common cultural experiences can lead to greater understanding and improve your ability to attain financial contentment. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 14 May 2021 But with its economy heavily reliant on tourism, the country called in favors to attain a vaccine supply from regional allies, including India and the United Arab Emirates. Adam Taylor, Anchorage Daily News, 7 May 2021

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for attain

Middle English atteynen, from Anglo-French ateign-, stem of ateindre to reach, accomplish, convict, from Vulgar Latin *attangere, alteration of Latin attingere, from ad- + tangere to touch — more at tangent entry 2

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Time Traveler for attain

Time Traveler

The first known use of attain was in the 14th century

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Statistics for attain

Last Updated

10 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Attain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/attain. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for attain

attain

verb

English Language Learners Definition of attain

somewhat formal
: to accomplish or achieve (something) : to succeed in getting or doing (something)
: to grow or increase to (a particular amount, size, etc.)

attain

verb
at·​tain | \ ə-ˈtān How to pronounce attain (audio) \
attained; attaining

Kids Definition of attain

1 : to accomplish or achieve attain a goal
2 : to come into possession of : obtain attain knowledge
3 : to reach or come to gradually : arrive at … surely no bug in all the Land of Oz had ever before attained so enormous a size.— L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz

Other Words from attain

attainable \ ə-​ˈtā-​nə-​bəl \ adjective

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