[ ak-wuh-zish-uhn ]
/ ˌæk wəˈzɪʃ ən /
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See synonyms for: acquisition / acquisitions on Thesaurus.com


the act of acquiring or gaining possession: the acquisition of real estate.
something acquired; addition: public excitement about the museum's recent acquisitions.
the purchase of one business enterprise by another: the acquisition of a rival corporation;mergers and acquisitions.
Linguistics. the act or process of achieving mastery of a language or a linguistic rule or element: child language acquisition; second language acquisition.



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“Evoke” and “invoke” both derive from the same Latin root “vocāre.”

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Origin of acquisition

1375–1425; Middle English adquisicioun, a(c)quisicion<Latin acquīsītiōn- (stem of acquīsītiō), equivalent to acquīsīt(us), past participle of acquīrere to acquire + -iōn--ion

OTHER WORDS FROM acquisition

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What does acquisition mean?

Acquisition most commonly means the process of obtaining something or the thing that is obtained.

It is a noun form of the verb acquire, which most commonly means to get, buy, or learn. Acquire and acquisition have a lot of meanings that vary with context. Most of them refer to the act of getting something permanently.

Acquisition is commonly used to refer to a company that is acquired by another company. It’s especially used this way in the phrase mergers and acquisitions.

It’s also used in a specific way in the context of linguistics: language acquisition is the process of becoming fluent in a language.

Example: The company announced plans for the acquisition of its largest competitor, raising concerns about it becoming a monopoly.

Where does acquisition come from?

The first records of the word acquisition come from around 1400. It ultimately comes from the Latin verb acquīrere, which means “to add to one’s possessions.”

Acquisition is most commonly used in the context of business to refer to the purchase of a company or property or to gaining possession of something. In the context of museums, an acquisition is an addition to the collection, typically one that has been purchased or donated. But acquisition isn’t just used to refer to buying things or gaining possession of physical things—it can be used in many general ways. The goal of learning is acquisition of knowledge and skills. In human resources, the term talent acquisition refers to the recruiting and hiring of employees.

Acquisition should not be confused with the term requisition, which is a noun form of the verb require and most commonly refers to a request or the act of requiring.

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What are some other forms related to acquisition?

  • acquire (verb)
  • acquisitional (adjective)
  • acquisitor (noun)
  • preacquisition (noun)
  • proacquisition (adjective)

What are some synonyms for acquisition?

What are some words that share a root or word element with acquisition


What are some words that often get used in discussing acquisition?

What are some words acquisition may be commonly confused with?

How is acquisition used in real life?

Acquisition is often used in a somewhat formal way. It can be used in all kinds of contexts, but it is commonly used to refer to obtaining property, businesses, or other financial assets.



Try using acquisition!

Is acquisition used correctly in the following sentence? 

The conglomerate is pursuing the acquisition of several new tech startups.

How to use acquisition in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for acquisition

/ (ˌækwɪˈzɪʃən) /


the act of acquiring or gaining possession
something acquired
a person or thing of special merit added to a group
astronautics the process of locating a spacecraft, satellite, etc, esp by radar, in order to gather tracking and telemetric information

Word Origin for acquisition

C14: from Latin acquīsītiōn-, from acquīrere to acquire
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

Medical definitions for acquisition

[ ăk′wĭ-zĭshən ]


The empirical demonstration in psychology of an increase in the strength of the conditioned response in successive trials in which the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli are paired.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.