pro·cure | \ prə-ˈkyu̇r , prō- \
procured; procuring

Definition of procure 

1 transitive : to get possession of (something) : to obtain (something) by particular care and effort procure a loan She had managed to procure a hat shaped like a life-size lion's head, which was perched precariously on her head. —J. K. Rowling

2 transitive : to bring about or achieve (something) by care and effort was unable to procure the prisoner's release

3 transitive + intransitive : to obtain (someone) to be employed for sex (as for an individual or in a house of prostitution) … accused of acting as a "madam" and "procuring girls" for wealthy sex offender Epstein—claims that she strongly denies.The New York Post No one has been prosecuted … for pimping or procuring —Jacqueline Martis

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Other words from procure

procurable \prə-ˈkyu̇r-ə-bəl, prō- \ adjective

Distinctive Meanings of procure

Procure, like many other English words, has a split personality. On the one hand, it may carry a perfectly benign meaning, such as "to obtain" (“she procured supplies”) or "to bring about" (“the settlement was successfully procured”). On the other hand, it has long been used in the specific sense of obtaining someone for, or bringing about, sexually promiscuous purposes. In this regard it is similar to the word pander, which entered the English language with the innocent meaning “a go-between in love intrigues” (the word comes from the name Pandare, a character in Chaucer’s poem Troilus and Criseyde who facilitates the affair between the titular characters), and soon after took on the meaning “pimp.”

Examples of procure in a Sentence

It was at that encounter in Pakistan that Faris was put in charge of procuring acetylene torches to slice suspension cables, as well as torque tools to bend portions of train track. —Daniel Eisenberg, Time, 30 June 2003 He was stationed down in South Carolina about a year when he became engaged to an Irish Catholic girl whose father, a marine major and a one-time Purdue football coach, had procured him the cushy job as drill instructor in order to keep him at Parris Island to play ball. —Philip Roth, American Pastoral, 1997 Unlike an agent, whose chief task is to procure acting roles and handle the legal negotiations of an actor's contract, a personal manager's influence is more pervasive … —Nikki Grimes, Essence, March 1995
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Recent Examples on the Web

He’s particularly troubled by the failure of the US to procure new space systems. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "The New Arms Race Threatening to Explode in Space," 26 June 2018 The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday affirmed the conviction of 57-year-old Ken Ngombwa, who was convicted in 2016 of naturalization fraud, conspiracy to unlawfully procure citizenship and making false statements to federal agents. Fox News, "Court affirms immigration fraud conviction of Rwandan man," 22 June 2018 Brault said that, thanks to a $186,000 grant procured by State Sen. Kenny Yuko, of Richmond Heights, work will begin this year on making improvements to the Regina Auditorium, 1857 S. Green Road. Jeff Piorkowski/special To,, "South Euclid's Mercury Theatre Co. celebrates 20 years; 'Pinocchio' starts new season June 1," 10 May 2018 But for the record, Fusion GPS and its agents played no role in procuring or preparing this dossier. Karl Rove, WSJ, "The Illuminati Embrace Protectionism," 28 Mar. 2018 Barça has faced scrutiny for its own tactics in procuring talent. Vivienne Walt, Fortune, "Inside FC Barcelona's Global Football Empire," 21 Mar. 2018 Berkeley, California, recently approved an ordinance requiring certain transparency and consultation steps when procuring or using surveillance technology, including facial recognition. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "Few Rules Govern Police Use of Facial-Recognition Technology," 22 May 2018 San Antonio and Bexar County formed a task force in August to combat opioid addiction, which has since received millions of dollars in grant money for public education and procuring the overdose-reversal drug Naloxone. Jasper Scherer, San Antonio Express-News, "Bexar County files lawsuit against opioid companies, including Purdue Pharma," 16 May 2018 The Senate Intelligence Committee released a lengthy report in 2014 that concluded that the CIA’s interrogation techniques were not a legitimate or useful way of procuring useful intelligence. David Weigel, Washington Post, "McCain urges Senate to reject Trump’s CIA nominee, Gina Haspel," 9 May 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for procure

Middle English, from Anglo-French procurer, from Late Latin procurare, from Latin, to take care of, from pro- for + cura care

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Statistics for procure

Last Updated

6 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for procure

The first known use of procure was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for procure



English Language Learners Definition of procure

: to get (something) by some action or effort

: to find or provide (a prostitute) for someone


pro·cure | \ prə-ˈkyu̇r \
procured; procuring

Kids Definition of procure

: obtain I procured a ticket to the game.


transitive verb
pro·cure | \ prə-ˈkyu̇r \
procured; procuring

Legal Definition of procure 

: to obtain, induce, or cause to take place

Other words from procure

procurable adjective
procurer noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on procure

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for procure

Spanish Central: Translation of procure

Nglish: Translation of procure for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of procure for Arabic Speakers

Comments on procure

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to make amends

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