[ uh-kwahyuhr ]
See synonyms for acquire on
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.

  1. Linguistics. to achieve native or nativelike command of (a language or a linguistic rule or element).

  2. Military. to locate and track (a moving target) with a detector, as radar.

Origin of acquire

First recorded in 1400–50; from 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, from Middle French aquerre, from Latin, as above

synonym study For acquire

1. See get.

Other words for acquire

Other words from acquire

  • ac·quir·a·ble, adjective
  • ac·quir·a·bil·i·ty, noun
  • ac·quir·er, noun
  • pre·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, adjective
  • un·ac·quir·a·ble, adjective
  • un·ac·quired, adjective
  • well-ac·quired, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use acquire in a sentence

  • And their anger has risen so high that they even propose to make the acquirer of these goods suffer very bitterly indeed.

    Raemaekers' Cartoons | Louis Raemaekers
  • Yes, if the acquirer has any such capacities as we have just outlined.

    The Art of Public Speaking | Dale Carnagey (AKA Dale Carnegie) and J. Berg Esenwein
  • But his chief celebrity was as an acquirer of those of others, provided always that they were old enough or rare enough.

    The Book-Hunter in London | William Roberts
  • I pointed it out to Lincoln; but he missed it, and Mr Whelan was the acquirer.

    The Confessions of a Collector | William Carew Hazlitt
  • One item my agent missed, and I had to hunt down the acquirer, who gave it up to me at a trifling advance.

    The Confessions of a Collector | William Carew Hazlitt

British Dictionary definitions for acquire


/ (əˈkwaɪə) /

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

Origin of acquire

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

Derived forms of acquire

  • acquirable, adjective
  • acquirement, noun
  • acquirer, noun

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