attain

play
verb at·tain \ə-ˈtān\

Definition of attain

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to reach as an end :  gain, achieve attain a goal

  3. 2 :  to come into possession of :  obtain he attained preferment over his fellows

  4. 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

  5. intransitive verb
  6. :  to come or arrive by motion, growth, or effort —usually used with to will probably attain to a height of six feet

attainability

play \-ˌtā-nə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

attainable

play \-ˈtā-nə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of attain in a Sentence

  1. a quest to attain enlightenment

  2. She refused to let the injury keep her from attaining her goal of being in the Olympics.

  3. This kind of tree can attain a height of 20 feet within just a few years.

  4. The car can attain a top speed of 200 mph.

Recent Examples of attain from the Web

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


ATTAIN Defined for English Language Learners

attain

play
verb

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

attain

play
verb at·tain \ə-ˈtān\

Definition of attain for Students

attained

;

attaining

  1. 1 :  to accomplish or achieve attain a goal

  2. 2 :  to come into possession of :  obtain attain knowledge

  3. 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?


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to reach the highest or a decisive point

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