Definition of attain
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
: to come or arrive by motion, growth, or effort —usually used with to will probably attain to a height of six feet
attainabilityplay \-ˌtā-nə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
attainableplay \-ˈtā-nə-bəl\ adjective
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.
Recent Examples of attain from the Web
Halestorm may be just a couple more hits away from attaining the elite status of an arena headliner, but its sound is rooted in the hard rock of the ’70s and ’80s acts that also appeared Saturday.
To qualify, a student must have been enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student and must have attained a semester grade point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
Thank you for your thoughts in ‘Love in the Time of Covfefe’. Those of us, weary from almost seven months of angry onslaught with no end in sight will do well to heed your advice to attain, albeit brief, respite.
In the tracking week, Rihanna jumps 75 percent in Instagram reactions, attaining 14.7 million in all, according to Next Big Sound.
But after the conflict ended, certain advancements that had been attained during wartime were applied to civilian life.
The shifted personnel configuration helped attain an 18-15 record for the Eagles, which included their first regional title since 2012.
Many entrepreneurs think that attaining venture capital is the ultimate goal of a startup.
Tests showed the insects could attain an alcohol level as high as 0.2 percent, twice the legal limit for driving in most countries.
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.
Origin and Etymology of 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 2tangent
First Known Use: 14th century
ATTAIN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of attain for English Language Learners
: to accomplish or achieve (something) : to succeed in getting or doing (something)
: to grow or increase to (a particular amount, size, etc.)
ATTAIN Defined for Kids
Definition of attain for Students
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
attainable\ə-ˈtā-nə-bəl\ adjective Are your goals attainable?
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up attain? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).