pro·​cure | \ prə-ˈkyu̇r How to pronounce procure (audio) , 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 How to pronounce procure (audio) , 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 In a statement Thursday, the WHO said organizations like UNICEF and the Pan-American Health Organization could now procure the vaccine for distribution to countries in need. Virginia Langmaid And Angela Dewan, CNN, "WHO approves Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in breakthrough for developing nations," 1 Jan. 2021 Still others have largely replaced efforts to procure medical gear from the national stockpile with PPE from private vendors. Stephanie Armour, WSJ, "U.S. Supplies of Covid-19 PPE Fall Short of Targets," 10 Dec. 2020 Early on in the pandemic, Iran faced medical equipment shortages and struggled to procure more from abroad as domestic prices on available items soared. Washington Post, "U.S. sanctions are impeding Iran’s access to coronavirus vaccines, experts say," 7 Dec. 2020 Administered by the Defense Logistics Agency, the 1033 program is one of several ways law enforcement agencies procure military grade equipment. Anoa Changa, Essence, "New Studies Say Demilitarizing Police Departments Does Not Increase Crime," 11 Dec. 2020 In the spring when the coronavirus first hit, state officials searched far and wide for personal protective equipment, relying on everything from Chinese bankers to a Cromwell lumberman to procure hard-to-find masks and gowns. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Shelter changes, stressed clinics, Statehouse planning: News from around our 50 states," 2 Dec. 2020 In the spring when the coronavirus first hit, state officials searched far and wide for personal protective equipment, relying on everything from Chinese bankers to a Cromwell lumberman to procure hard-to-find masks and gowns. Dave Altimari,, "After scouring the globe for PPE in the spring, the state of Connecticut recently found what it needed on Amazon," 29 Nov. 2020 That blow could usher in new urgency to procure a nuclear weapon, Tabatabai said. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, "Iran under intense pressure over how to respond to top scientist’s brazen killing," 29 Nov. 2020 The Vanity Fair article claims Kushner criticized Governor Andrew Cuomo for failing to procure enough Personal Protective Equipment for his state. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner threaten lawsuit over billboards criticizing COVID-19 response, group says," 24 Oct. 2020

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 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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Time Traveler for procure

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for procure

Last Updated

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Procure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for procure


How to pronounce procure (audio)

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 How to pronounce procure (audio) \
procured; procuring

Kids Definition of procure

: obtain I procured a ticket to the game.
pro·​cure | \ prə-ˈkyu̇r How to pronounce procure (audio) \
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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Comments on procure

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