- to reach, achieve, or accomplish; gain; obtain: to attain one's goals.
- to come to or arrive at, especially after some labor or tedium; reach: to attain the age of 96; to attain the mountain peak.
- to arrive at or succeed in reaching or obtaining something (usually followed by to or unto): to attain to knowledge.
- to reach in the course of development or growth: These trees attain to remarkable height.
Origin of attain
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for attain
“The U.S. Navy will attain IOC [initial operational capability] in 2018 with 3F software,” DellaVedova wrote.Pentagon Misfires in Stealth Jet Scandal
January 8, 2015
Dahl went on to attain nationwide fame and his own syndicated broadcast as a result of Disco Demolition Night.Of Gamers, Gates, and Disco Demolition: The Roots of Reactionary Rage
October 16, 2014
Before you attempt this risky fashion move, you need to attain the chest necessary to fill out even the most modest of V-necks.Jude Law and the Great Male ‘He-Vage’ Crisis
May 20, 2014
This family of doctrines held that human beings had the potential to attain immortality through their own agency.The Core Mormon Teaching the LDS Church Didn’t Jettison
April 7, 2014
Again, take weight loss: it appears that lacking a network of social support can make it much harder to attain.3 Ways to Make Your New Year’s Resolution Stick, 1 Week Later
January 7, 2014
The ideal, or even my own ideal, I shall probably not attain.
And to attain it, we must be aware of its full meaning—and ready to pay its full price.
Every thought was bent to attain the end, no labour was deemed to arduous.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
While God's Will may be for our happiness, we can attain to neither the happiness nor the Will—as yet.The Conquest of Fear
I may attain great merit by my struggle, but I cannot make myself a Kant.Understanding the Scriptures
- (tr) to achieve or accomplish (a task, goal, aim, etc)
- (tr) to reach or arrive at in space or timeto attain old age
- (intr often foll by to) to arrive (at) with effort or exertionto attain to glory
Word Origin and History for attain
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.