• synonyms


[uh-kwahyuh r]
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verb (used with object), ac·quired, ac·quir·ing.
  1. to come into possession or ownership of; get as one's own: to acquire property.
  2. to gain for oneself through one's actions or efforts: to acquire learning.
  3. Linguistics. to achieve native or nativelike command of (a language or a linguistic rule or element).
  4. Military. to locate and track (a moving target) with a detector, as radar.
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Origin of acquire

1400–50; < Latin acquīrere to add to one's possessions, acquire (ac- ac- + -quīrere, combining form of quaerere to search for, obtain); replacing late Middle English aquere < Middle French aquerre < Latin
Related formsac·quir·a·ble, adjectiveac·quir·a·bil·i·ty, nounac·quir·er, nounpre·ac·quire, verb, pre·ac·quired, pre·ac·quir·ing.re·ac·quire, verb (used with object), re·ac·quired, re·ac·quir·ing.self-ac·quired, adjectiveun·ac·quir·a·ble, adjectiveun·ac·quired, adjectivewell-ac·quired, adjective

Synonyms for acquire

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1. See get. 2. win, earn, attain; appropriate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for acquired

collected, seized, realized, accomplished, learned, obtained, secured, won, attained, given, endowed, granted, inherited, bequeathed, accrued

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Contemporary Examples of acquired

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British Dictionary definitions for acquired


  1. (tr) to get or gain (something, such as an object, trait, or ability), esp more or less permanently
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Derived Formsacquirable, adjectiveacquirement, nounacquirer, noun

Word Origin for acquire

C15: via Old French from Latin acquīrere, from ad- in addition + quaerere to get, seek
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 acquired


c.1600, "gained by effort," past participle adjective from acquire. Of diseases, "occurring after birth, thus not dependent on heredity," 1842 (opposed to congenital). Acquired taste is attested from 1734.

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mid-15c., acqueren, from Old French aquerre "acquire, gain, earn, procure," from Vulgar Latin *acquaerere, from Latin acquirere "to seek in addition to" (see acquisition). Reborrowed in current form from Latin c.1600. Related: Acquired; acquiring.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

acquired in Medicine


  1. Of or relating to a disease, condition, or characteristic that is not congenital but develops after birth.
  2. Developed in response to an antigen, as resistance to a disease by vaccination or previous infection.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.