Obtain
Obtain Ob*tain", v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Obtained}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Obtaining}.] [F. obtenir, L. obtinere; ob (see {Ob-}) + tenere to hold. See {Tenable}.] [1913 Webster] 1. To hold; to keep; to possess. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

His mother, then, is mortal, but his Sire He who obtains the monarchy of heaven. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. To get hold of by effort; to gain possession of; to procure; to acquire, in any way. [1913 Webster]

Some pray for riches; riches they obtain. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

By guileful fair words peace may be obtained. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

It may be that I may obtain children by her. --Gen. xvi. 2. [1913 Webster]

Syn: To attain; gain; procure; acquire; win; earn.

Usage: See {Attain}. -- To {Obtain}, {Get}, {Gain}, {Earn}, {Acquire}. The idea of getting is common to all these terms. We may, indeed, with only a slight change of sense, substitute get for either of them; as, to get or to gain a prize; to get or to obtain an employment; to get or to earn a living; to get or to acquire a language. To gain is to get by striving; and as this is often a part of our good fortune, the word gain is peculiarly applicable to whatever comes to us fortuitously. Thus, we gain a victory, we gain a cause, we gain an advantage, etc. To earn is to deserve by labor or service; as, to earn good wages; to earn a triumph. Unfortunately, one does not always get or obtain what he has earned. To obtain implies desire for possession, and some effort directed to the attainment of that which is not immediately within our reach. Whatever we thus seek and get, we obtain, whether by our own exertions or those of others; whether by good or bad means; whether permanently, or only for a time. Thus, a man obtains an employment; he obtains an answer to a letter, etc. To acquire is more limited and specific. We acquire what comes to us gradually in the regular exercise of our abilities, while we obtain what comes in any way, provided we desire it. Thus, we acquire knowledge, property, honor, reputation, etc. What we acquire becomes, to a great extent, permanently our own; as, to acquire a language; to acquire habits of industry, etc. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • obtain — I verb accumulate, achieve, acquire, adipisci, appropriate, arrive at, attain, be in receipt of, capture, collect, come into possession, consequi. earn, enter into possession, gain, gain possession, gather, get, get hold of, get possession of,… …   Law dictionary

  • Obtain — Ob*tain , v. i. 1. To gain or have a firm footing; to be recognized or established; to become prevalent or general; to prevail; as, the custom obtains of going to the seashore in summer. [1913 Webster] Sobriety hath by use obtained to signify… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • obtain — [əb tān′] vt. [ME obteinen < OFr obtenir < L obtinere, to obtain, prevail, maintain < ob (see OB ) + tenere, to hold: see TENANT] 1. to get possession of, esp. by some effort; procure 2. Archaic to arrive at; reach or achieve vi. 1. to… …   English World dictionary

  • obtain — (v.) early 15c., from M.Fr. obtenir (14c.), from L. obtinere hold, take hold of, acquire, from ob to (though perhaps intensive in this case; see OB (Cf. ob )) + tenere to hold (see TENET (Cf. tenet)). Related: Obtained; obtaining …   Etymology dictionary

  • obtain — *get, procure, secure, acquire, gain, win Analogous words: gain, *reach, achieve, attain: effect, fulfill, accomplish, *perform …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • obtain — is a formal and often pretentious word, and no one should be afraid of using the perfectly respectable word get in most contexts …   Modern English usage

  • obtain — [v] get, acquire access, accomplish, achieve, annex, attain, beg borrow or steal*, capture, chalk up*, collect, come by, compass, cop*, corral, drum up*, earn, effect, fetch, gain, gather, get at, get hold of*, get one’s hands on*, glean, gobble… …   New thesaurus

  • obtain — ► VERB 1) come into possession of; get. 2) formal be prevalent, customary, or established. DERIVATIVES obtainable adjective. ORIGIN Latin obtinere …   English terms dictionary

  • obtain — 01. Where can I [obtain] information about registering for regular courses? 02. Some medicinal herbs that were previously [obtainable] at health stores are now available only with a doctor s prescription. 03. I bought this CD at a store a few… …   Grammatical examples in English

  • obtain — verb formal 1 (T) to get something that you want, especially through your own effort, skill, or work: Further information can be obtained from head office. | They ve extended the growing season to obtain a larger crop. | the difficulty of… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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