at·​tain·​ment | \ ə-ˈtān-mənt \

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

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 White voters with lower educational attainment, meanwhile, have shifted toward the GOP. Brian Mcgill, WSJ, "The New Divide in Politics: Education," 10 Nov. 2018 African-Americans lag behind white Americans in almost every conceivable measure of well-being: educational attainment, homeownership rates, income, health outcomes, life expectancy. Vanessa Gregory, New York Times, "A Lynching’s Long Shadow," 25 Apr. 2018 In Georgia, the degree attainment percentages were nearly identical to the national averages, 32 percent for African-Americans and 21 percent for Latinos. Eric Stirgus, ajc, "Georgia gets mixed grades for college grad rates of black, Latino students," 14 June 2018 Such high-poverty neighborhoods are often characterized by high crime rates, low educational attainment rates, and high unemployment. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, "Metro Detroit's poverty gets worse despite city's comeback," 26 Apr. 2018 But people’s perceptions of their economic situation varied by race and educational attainment. Paul Kiernan, WSJ, "Fed Survey: Americans See Brighter Economic Prospects, but Fragility Remains," 22 May 2018 Texas tied for first in exports per capita, but failed to make the top five in GDP growth, startup activity, employment, nonfarm payrolls, government surplus, educational attainment of immigrants, jobs in high tech and patents. Mark Collette, Houston Chronicle, "Texas has mediocre 'innovation potential,' ranking of state economies finds," 5 June 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

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for attainment

The first known use of attainment was in 1543

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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 \

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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