- 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 attaining
There is an aura of transcendence, a spiritual fulfillment that comes with attaining “an intense transactional present.”Must Read Novels: Ballard, Dybek, and Krasznahorkai
Jacob Silverman, Malcolm Forbes, John McIntyre
April 23, 2012
This journey of discovering the balance between the spirit and the flesh is “attaining spiritual greatness” for me.Prop 8’s Aftermath: With Gay Rights, Religion Still Lags
Sir Ari Gold
February 8, 2012
Overcoming Fear The third chakra, at the solar plexus, manipura, is about overcoming fear and attaining a sense of belonging.The Tantric Sex in Avatar
Asra Q. Nomani
March 4, 2010
For the longer that manoeuver was deferred, the better was his chance of attaining his object.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
The gods were ever crafty, and they had unguessed ways of attaining their ends.White Fang
To this method of attaining an object, they have frequent recourse.Chronicles of Border Warfare
Alexander Scott Withers
But most men have never had the opportunity of attaining this pre-eminence of evil.Gorgias
Who knows but we may be aiming at the greater, and fail of attaining the lesser?Laws
- (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 attaining
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.