Attain
Attain At*tain" ([a^]t*t[=a]n"), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Attained} (-t[=a]nd"); p. pr. & vb. n. {Attaining}.] [Of. atteinen, atteignen, atainen, OF. ateindre, ataindre, F. atteindre, fr. L. attingere; ad + tangere to touch, reach. See {Tangent}, and cf. {Attinge}, {Attaint}.] 1. To achieve or accomplish, that is, to reach by efforts; to gain; to compass; as, to attain rest. [1913 Webster]

Is he wise who hopes to attain the end without the means? --Abp. Tillotson. [1913 Webster]

2. To gain or obtain possession of; to acquire. [Obs. with a material object.] --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

3. To get at the knowledge of; to ascertain. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Not well attaining his meaning. --Fuller. [1913 Webster]

4. To reach or come to, by progression or motion; to arrive at. ``Canaan he now attains.'' --Milton. [1913 Webster]

5. To overtake. [Obs.] --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

6. To reach in excellence or degree; to equal. [1913 Webster]

Syn: To {Attain}, {Obtain}, {Procure}.

Usage: Attain always implies an effort toward an object. Hence it is not synonymous with obtain and procure, which do not necessarily imply such effort or motion. We procure or obtain a thing by purchase or loan, and we obtain by inheritance, but we do not attain it by such means. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Attain — At*tain , v. i. 1. To come or arrive, by motion, growth, bodily exertion, or efforts toward a place, object, state, etc.; to reach. [1913 Webster] If by any means they might attain to Phenice. Acts xxvii. 12. [1913 Webster] Nor nearer might the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • attain — c.1300, to succeed in reaching, from stem of O.Fr. ataindre (11c., Mod.Fr. atteindre) to come up to, reach, attain, endeavor, strive, from V.L. *adtangere, from L. attingere to touch, to arrive at, from ad to (see AD (Cf. ad )) + tangere to touch …   Etymology dictionary

  • Attain — At*tain , n. Attainment. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • attain — I verb accomplish, achieve, acquire, adsequi, arrive at, be successful, bring about, bring off successfully, bring to pass, carry through, come by, come to, complete, consequi, consummate, earn, effect, effectuate, finish, gain, gain one s end,… …   Law dictionary

  • attain — *reach, compass, gain, achieve Analogous words: *come, arrive: win, acquire, secure, obtain, *get: accomplish, effect (see PERFORM) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • attain — [v] achieve, accomplish accede to, acquire, arrive, arrive at, bring off, come through, complete, cop*, earn, effect, fulfill, gain, get*, get fat*, get hands on, get there, glom onto*, grasp, hit, latch onto, make it, obtain, procure, promote,… …   New thesaurus

  • attain — ► VERB 1) succeed in accomplishing. 2) reach (a specified age, size, or amount). DERIVATIVES attainable adjective. ORIGIN Latin attingere, from tangere to touch …   English terms dictionary

  • attain — [ə tān′] vt. [ME attainen < OFr ataindre < L attingere < ad , to + tangere, to touch: see TACT] 1. to gain through effort; accomplish; achieve 2. to reach or come to; arrive at [he attained the age of ninety] vi. to succeed in reaching… …   English World dictionary

  • attain — 01. It will be difficult to [attain] your goal of fluency if you don t make an effort to speak more in class. 02. The world s largest snakes can [attain] a length of more than 9 yards. 03. The car [attains] its top speed of 180 kmh within seconds …   Grammatical examples in English

  • attain — attainer, n. /euh tayn /, v.t. 1. to reach, achieve, or accomplish; gain; obtain: to attain one s goals. 2. to come to or arrive at, esp. after some labor or tedium; reach: to attain the age of 96; to attain the mountain peak. v.i. 3. to arrive… …   Universalium

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