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attain

[uh-teyn] /əˈteɪn/
verb (used with object)
1.
to reach, achieve, or accomplish; gain; obtain:
to attain one's goals.
2.
to come to or arrive at, especially after some labor or tedium; reach:
to attain the age of 96; to attain the mountain peak.
verb (used without object)
3.
to arrive at or succeed in reaching or obtaining something (usually followed by to or unto):
to attain to knowledge.
4.
to reach in the course of development or growth:
These trees attain to remarkable height.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English atei(g)nen < Anglo-French, Old French ateign- (stem of ateindre) < Vulgar Latin *attangere (for Latin attingere), equivalent to Latin at- at- + tangere to touch
Related forms
attainer, noun
reattain, verb (used with object)
unattained, adjective
unattaining, adjective
well-attained, adjective
Synonyms
1. secure. See gain1 .
Antonyms
1, 2. miss.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for attain unto

attain

/əˈteɪn/
verb
1.
(transitive) to achieve or accomplish (a task, goal, aim, etc)
2.
(transitive) to reach or arrive at in space or time: to attain old age
3.
(intransitive) often foll by to. to arrive (at) with effort or exertion: to attain to glory
Derived Forms
attainable, adjective
attainability, attainableness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French ateindre, from Latin attingere to reach, from tangere to touch
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for attain unto

attain

v.

c.1300, "to succeed in reaching," from stem of Old French ataindre (11c., Modern French atteindre) "to come up to, reach, attain, endeavor, strive," from Vulgar Latin *adtangere, from Latin attingere "to touch, to arrive at," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + tangere "to touch" (see tangent). Latin attingere had a wide range of meanings, including "to attack, to strike, to appropriate, to manage," all somehow suggested by the literal sense "to touch." Related: Attained; attaining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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