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obtain

[uh b-teyn] /əbˈteɪn/
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)
3.
to be prevalent, customary, or in vogue; prevail:
the morals that obtained in Rome.
4.
Archaic. to succeed.
Origin of obtain
late Middle English
1375-1425
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 forms
obtainable, adjective
obtainability, noun
obtainer, noun
obtainment, noun
preobtain, verb (used with object)
preobtainable, adjective
reobtain, verb (used with object)
reobtainable, adjective
unobtainable, adjective
unobtained, adjective
Synonyms
1. gain, achieve, earn, win, attain. See get.
Antonyms
1. lose, forgo.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for obtaining
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He had let the habit of obtaining whatever he started after get the better of him.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • I am foolish, indeed, to be so sad in obtaining the very object I have sought!

    Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • His experiences were most interesting in obtaining some of the rarest specimens.

    How the Piano Came to Be Ellye Howell Glover
  • Then, after obtaining her number, she entered the wash-house.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • obtaining money with a cheque you knew your bank could not meet.

British Dictionary definitions for obtaining

obtain

/əbˈteɪn/
verb
1.
(transitive) to gain possession of; acquire; get
2.
(intransitive) to be customary, valid, or accepted: a new law obtains in this case
3.
(transitive) (archaic) to arrive at
4.
(intransitive) (archaic) to win a victory; succeed
Derived Forms
obtainable, adjective
obtainability, noun
obtainer, noun
obtainment, 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
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Word Origin and History for obtaining

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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