verb pro·cure \ prə-ˈkyu̇r , prō- \
|Updated on: 12 Jul 2018

Definition of procure

procured; procuring
transitive + intransitive
1 T : 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 T : to bring about or achieve (something) by care and effort
  • was unable to procure the prisoner's release
3 T/I : 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


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

Examples of procure in a Sentence

  1. 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 EisenbergTime30 June 2003
  2. 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 RothAmerican Pastoral1997
  3. 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 GrimesEssenceMarch 1995

Recent Examples of procure from the Web

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.

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.”

Origin and Etymology of procure

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

PROCURE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of procure for English Language Learners

  • : to get (something) by some action or effort

  • : to find or provide (a prostitute) for someone

PROCURE Defined for Kids


verb pro·cure \ prə-ˈkyu̇r \

Definition of procure for Students

procured; procuring
: obtain
  • I procured a ticket to the game.

Law Dictionary


transitive verb pro·cure \ prə-ˈkyu̇r \

legal Definition of procure

procured; procuring
: to obtain, induce, or cause to take place





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