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obtain

[uh b-teyn]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to come into possession of; get, acquire, or procure, as through an effort or by a request: to obtain permission; to obtain a better income.
  2. Obsolete. to attain or reach.
verb (used without object)
  1. to be prevalent, customary, or in vogue; prevail: the morals that obtained in Rome.
  2. Archaic. to succeed.

Origin of obtain

1375–1425; late Middle English obteinen < Middle French obtenir < Latin obtinēre to take hold of, equivalent to ob- ob- + -tinēre (combining form of tenēre to hold)
Related formsob·tain·a·ble, adjectiveob·tain·a·bil·i·ty, nounob·tain·er, nounob·tain·ment, nounpre·ob·tain, verb (used with object)pre·ob·tain·a·ble, adjectivere·ob·tain, verb (used with object)re·ob·tain·a·ble, adjectiveun·ob·tain·a·ble, adjectiveun·ob·tained, adjective

Synonyms

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1. gain, achieve, earn, win, attain. See get.

Antonyms

1. lose, forgo.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for obtainable

Historical Examples

  • Where such a flame is not obtainable, a hot carbon rod is used.

    The Automobile Storage Battery

    O. A. Witte

  • Surely the information is obtainable, if not from Mr. Morley, then from some other source.

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • No gold nor ivory nor other article of value was obtainable.

  • Only by doing the will of the Father is the saving grace of the Son obtainable.

    Jesus the Christ

    James Edward Talmage

  • Meat is often used—when obtainable—dried, in strips, generally of beef.

    Mexico

    Charles Reginald Enock


British Dictionary definitions for obtainable

obtain

verb
  1. (tr) to gain possession of; acquire; get
  2. (intr) to be customary, valid, or accepteda new law obtains in this case
  3. (tr) archaic to arrive at
  4. (intr) archaic to win a victory; succeed
Derived Formsobtainable, adjectiveobtainability, nounobtainer, nounobtainment, noun

Word Origin

C15: via Old French from Latin obtinēre to take hold of, from ob- (intensive) + tenēre to hold
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for obtainable

adj.

1610s, from obtain + -able. Related: Obtainability.

obtain

v.

early 15c., from Middle French obtenir "acquire, obtain" (14c.), from Latin obtinere "hold, hold fast, take hold of, get possession of, acquire," from ob "to" (though perhaps intensive in this case; see ob-) + tenere "to hold" (see tenet). Related: Obtained; obtaining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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