achieve

[uh-cheev]
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verb (used with object), a·chieved, a·chiev·ing.
  1. to bring to a successful end; carry through; accomplish: The police crackdown on speeders achieved its purpose.
  2. to get or attain by effort; gain; obtain: to achieve victory.
verb (used without object), a·chieved, a·chiev·ing.
  1. to bring about an intended result; accomplish some purpose or effect.

Origin of achieve

1275–1325; Middle English acheven < Old French achever to finish, from phrase a chef to (the) head (i.e., to conclusion). See chief
Related formsa·chiev·a·ble, adjectivea·chiev·er, nounout·a·chieve, verb (used with object), out·a·chieved, out·a·chiev·ingpre·a·chieved, adjectivesu·per·a·chiev·er, nounun·a·chiev·a·ble, adjectiveun·a·chieved, adjectivewell-a·chieved, adjective

Synonyms for achieve

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Synonym study

1. See do1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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British Dictionary definitions for achieving

achieve

verb (tr)
  1. to bring to a successful conclusion; accomplish; attain
  2. to gain as by hard work or effortto achieve success
Derived Formsachievable, adjectiveachiever, noun

Word Origin for achieve

C14: from Old French achever to bring to an end, from the phrase a chef to a head, to a conclusion
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 achieving

achieve

v.

early 14c., from Old French achever (12c.) "to finish, accomplish, complete," from phrase à chef (venir) "at an end, finished," or Vulgar Latin *accapare, from Late Latin ad caput (venire); both the French and Late Latin phrases meaning literally "to come to a head," from stem of Latin caput "head" (see capitulum).

The Lat. caput, towards the end of the Empire, and in Merov[ingian] times, took the sense of an end, whence the phrase ad caput venire, in the sense of to come to an end .... Venire ad caput naturally produced the Fr. phrase venir à chef = venir à bout. ... From this chief, O.Fr. form of chef (q.v.) in sense of term, end, comes the Fr. compd. achever = venir à chef, to end, finish. [Auguste Brachet, "An Etymological Dictionary of the French Language," transl. G.W. Kitchin, Oxford, 1878]

Related: Achieved; achieving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper