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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Synonyms & Antonyms for attainment


accomplishment, achievement, acquirement, baby, coup, success, triumph



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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

Photo: Getty The reorientation of these groups offers another example of how educational attainment has become a powerful predictor of political views among white Americans. Aaron Zitner, WSJ, "In Tight Races, White Males Are the Swing Voters to Watch," 5 Nov. 2018 The tool also contains demographic data such as income, housing affordability, race, gender, age, English-language use and educational attainment. Tyrone Beason, The Seattle Times, "The HEAL Act would put environmental justice on the map in Washington state," 26 Mar. 2019 Why are personal life outcomes like educational attainment even influenced by genetics? Brian Resnick, Vox, "How scientists are trying to predict your future with your genes," 23 Aug. 2018 Imagination was never high on their list of attainments or virtues. Joseph Epstein, WSJ, "George Bush Was the Last True WASP in the White House," 2 Dec. 2018 The attainment of a college degree is, to some extent, a function of broad socioeconomic patterns. Jennifer Victor, Vox, "What good are elections, anyway?," 30 Oct. 2018 The region’s economy is far more diverse, educational attainment is up and incomes are rising, but home ownership is down and commute times and crime are up. Meredith Cohn,, "Greater Baltimore Committee holds annual meeting Monday," 15 May 2018 This year’s election results showed a widening divide among white voters, as those with higher educational attainment increasingly supported Democrats. Soo Oh, WSJ, "An Overlooked Key to Democratic Victories: Diversity in the Suburbs," 21 Nov. 2018 And the entire set of 1,271 sites can only account for about 12 percent of the total variation in educational attainment, meaning nearly 90 percent of the variation is caused by something else. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "The genetics of education: 1,271 genes account for 10% of the variation," 25 July 2018

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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Statistics for attainment

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for attainment

The first known use of attainment was in 1543

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More Definitions for attainment



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

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