attain

attain
verb Etymology: Middle English atteynen, from Anglo-French ateign-, stem of ateindre to reach, accomplish, convict, from Vulgar Latin *attangere, alteration of Latin attingere, from ad- + tangere to touch — more at tangent Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. to reach as an end ; gain, achieve <
attain a goal
>
2. to come into possession of ; obtain <
he attained preferment over his fellows
>
3. to come to as the end of a progression or course of movement <
they attained the top of the hill
>
<
attain a ripe old age
>
intransitive verb to come or arrive by motion, growth, or effort — usually used with toattainability nounattainable adjective

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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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