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obtain

[uh b-teyn] /əbˈteɪn/
verb (used with object)
1.
to come into possession of; get, acquire, or procure, as through an effort or by a request:
to obtain permission; to obtain a better income.
2.
Obsolete. to attain or reach.
verb (used without object)
3.
to be prevalent, customary, or in vogue; prevail:
the morals that obtained in Rome.
4.
Archaic. to succeed.
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English obteinen < Middle French obtenir < Latin obtinēre to take hold of, equivalent to ob- ob- + -tinēre (combining form of tenēre to hold)
Related forms
obtainable, adjective
obtainability, noun
obtainer, noun
obtainment, noun
preobtain, verb (used with object)
preobtainable, adjective
reobtain, verb (used with object)
reobtainable, adjective
unobtainable, adjective
unobtained, adjective
Synonyms
1. gain, achieve, earn, win, attain. See get.
Antonyms
1. lose, forgo.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for obtain
  • On a deep-sea vessel, scientists dropped traps and nets to obtain a glimmer of the life that exists in the shadowy depths.
  • Sometimes the first study is required in order to obtain funding for a more specific second study.
  • To that extent it recreates a reasonable model of conditions that obtain in orbit.
  • The water they are trying to obtain is valuable agricultural water.
  • As workers obtain skills and find better job matches, their output and earnings rise.
  • He did so because he could not afford to wait years to obtain a business licence.
  • Students can no longer obtain a general visa that covers their time at both language school and university.
  • But it is often impossible to obtain enough admissible evidence to obtain a conviction, the government argues.
  • They have made it easier for rural folk to obtain permission to settle in a middle-sized city than in a large one.
  • Getting federal agencies to work together has helped to take veterans off the streets and obtain health benefits for them.
British Dictionary definitions for obtain

obtain

/əbˈteɪn/
verb
1.
(transitive) to gain possession of; acquire; get
2.
(intransitive) to be customary, valid, or accepted: a new law obtains in this case
3.
(transitive) (archaic) to arrive at
4.
(intransitive) (archaic) to win a victory; succeed
Derived Forms
obtainable, adjective
obtainability, noun
obtainer, noun
obtainment, noun
Word Origin
C15: via Old French from Latin obtinēre to take hold of, from ob- (intensive) + tenēre to hold
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for obtain
v.

early 15c., from Middle French obtenir "acquire, obtain" (14c.), from Latin obtinere "hold, hold fast, take hold of, get possession of, acquire," from ob "to" (though perhaps intensive in this case; see ob-) + tenere "to hold" (see tenet). Related: Obtained; obtaining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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