at·​tain·​ment | \ ə-ˈtān-mənt How to pronounce attainment (audio) \

Definition of attainment

1 : the act of attaining something : the condition of being attained She values educational attainment above all else.
2 : something attained : accomplishment His scientific attainments are well known.

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Examples of attainment in a Sentence

She values educational attainment above all else. Her scientific attainments have made her quite well-known in the field of biology.
Recent Examples on the Web The air pollution control division is proposing that storage tanks at well sites outside the non-attainment area be inspected at least twice a year. Judith Kohler, The Denver Post, "Colorado regulators propose tougher emissions controls on oil and gas industry to clear the air," 17 Dec. 2019 Racial inequalities in educational attainment, which persist in the present cohort of young Americans, probably owe more to the quality of earlier schooling than the anticipated cost of college. The Economist, "College free-for-all Should the federal government subsidise students, or make college free?," 12 Dec. 2019 In fact, if the state of Colorado stands any chance of achieving the ambitious degree attainment goals laid out in its higher education master plan, institutions like MSU Denver and CMU need to be firing on all cylinders. Tim Foster, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Reward Colorado colleges, like ours, that drive down costs and serve disadvantaged students," 4 Dec. 2019 The degree attainment helps shed light on the reasons people choose to labor longer. Michelle Cheng, Quartz at Work, "The US government projects the number of workers over 75 will double in the next decade," 5 Sep. 2019 America is behind Finland on government subsidies, but ahead of it on degree attainment and total funding. Jason Delisle, National Review, "What European Countries Sacrifice for Free College," 15 Aug. 2019 Women’s educational attainment, labor participation and political representation is very low. Güneş Murat Tezcür, The Conversation, "5 years after Islamic State massacre, an Iraqi minority is transformed by trauma," 26 Nov. 2019 Being young, white, male, or more highly educated all correlate with greater support for NASA than being older, non white, female, or having a lower educational attainment. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Partisan differences show up in reasons why Americans support NASA," 12 Nov. 2019 Oregon veterans may be benefitting from relatively high educational attainment: More than 40% of veterans have at least an associate’s degree, while just a third of nonveterans do. Mike Rogoway, oregonlive, "Oregon Insight: The state’s veterans are high earners," 11 Nov. 2019

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

1543, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for attainment

see attain

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Time Traveler for attainment

Time Traveler

The first known use of attainment was in 1543

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Statistics for attainment

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Attainment.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

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More Definitions for attainment


How to pronounce attainment (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of attainment

: the state or condition of having gotten or done something difficult : the act of attaining something
: something that has been gotten, done, or achieved through effort


at·​tain·​ment | \ ə-ˈtān-mənt How to pronounce attainment (audio) \

Kids Definition of attainment

1 : the act of obtaining or doing something difficult : the state of having obtained or done something difficult attainment of a goal
2 : achievement sense 2 scientific attainments

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Comments on attainment

What made you want to look up attainment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


dull or mediocre

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