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

The Eagles don’t exactly have a commodity that could procure a second- or third-round selection in return – unless some team finally matches the demands for quarterback Nick Foles – but Kendricks is the most likely to be moved. Jeff Mclane,, "Who are the most likely candidates from the Eagles' roster to be traded during the draft?," 23 Apr. 2018 The report further states that the men were not talking about any specific employees, and had never met the co-worker who procured the recording. Michael Elkins, miamiherald, "In this ‘Me Too’ age, enforcing zero tolerance for offensive behavior may come at a cost," 25 June 2018 Within weeks, Pruitt instructed his aides to find a way to procure Water-Gen's technology, according to two administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. Anchorage Daily News, "Influential outsiders played a key role in EPA administrator’s travel," 4 May 2018 Within weeks, Pruitt instructed his aides to find a way to procure Water-Gen’s technology, according to two administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, "Influential outsiders have played a key role in Scott Pruitt’s foreign travel," 3 May 2018 In contrast, male TA’s were advised that their female students might attempt to seduce them to procure a better grade. Christina Tkacik,, "After 'discriminatory' University of Maryland handbook goes viral, university removes text," 20 Apr. 2018 Entire sections of oak and beech forests were cut down to procure enough wood for the job. William Gurstelle, Popular Mechanics, "The Legend of Ludgar the War Wolf, King of the Trebuchets," 1 May 2017 And one of the mothers, Zaraí Salgado, 32, procured a mop and began to scrub, rubbing away the day’s dirt and grime as if this were now her home. Julie Turkewitz, New York Times, "Sleeping on America’s Doorstep: A Dispatch From the Border," 25 June 2018 Roughly 100,000 out of 120,000 folks who need an organ need a kidney, which can be procured from a living donor, as most of us are born with two kidneys. Amy Dockser Marcus, WSJ, "How to Provide Better Incentives to Organ Donors," 24 June 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

15 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

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