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.
Obsolete. to attain or reach.
to be prevalent, customary, or in vogue; prevail: the morals that obtained in Rome.
Archaic. to succeed.
- ob·tain·a·ble, adjective
- ob·tain·a·bil·i·ty, noun
- ob·tain·er, noun
- ob·tain·ment, noun
- pre·ob·tain, verb (used with object)
- pre·ob·tain·a·ble, adjective
- re·ob·tain, verb (used with object)
- re·ob·tain·a·ble, adjective
- un·ob·tain·a·ble, adjective
- un·ob·tained, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use obtain in a sentence
Many schools were created in churches because obtaining funding to build separate structures was difficult.My great-grandmother Ida B. Wells left a legacy of activism in education. We need that now. | Michelle Duster | February 11, 2021 | Washington Post
The disconnect disproportionately affects low-income Americans and people of color, further depriving them of access to the tools they need to obtain financial help, find jobs and otherwise participate in digital life.
In addition, since the contracts we analyzed and reviewed consisted only of those we could obtain from the PERC website, they may not be representative of all contracts in New Jersey.How We Found Pricey Provisions in New Jersey Police Contracts | by Agnes Chang, Jeff Kao and Agnel Philip, ProPublica, and Andrew Ford, Asbury Park Press | February 8, 2021 | ProPublica
They stand about eight feet apart, according to the video, which was obtained by The Washington Post.Video shows fatal shooting of man by Montgomery County sheriff’s deputy | Ian Duncan, Dan Morse | February 8, 2021 | Washington Post
Many of the owners, including 11-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater, installed the protections without first obtaining the state’s permission.Hawaii’s Beaches Are Disappearing. New Legislation Could Help ... if It’s Enforced. | by Sophie Cocke, Honolulu Star-Advertiser | February 7, 2021 | ProPublica
In order to extend their legal residence in the United States, they had to obtain other visas.ISIS, Boko Haram, and the Growing Role of Human Trafficking in 21st Century Terrorism | Louise I. Shelley | December 26, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Rebels in Africa trade in children to fund their conflicts and obtain child soldiers.ISIS, Boko Haram, and the Growing Role of Human Trafficking in 21st Century Terrorism | Louise I. Shelley | December 26, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
That McCulloch failed to obtain an indictment of Wilson means only one thing: He did not want to obtain an indictment.Prosecutor Used Grand Jury to Let Darren Wilson Walk | Tom Nolan | November 28, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The investigation stems from Dec. 2013 charges that 25 Russian diplomats allegedly tried to obtain fraudulent Medicaid benefits.
The interview then shifts to interrogation, which is a conversation intended to obtain inculpatory statements.
The worst loss is that of Winston's ear; high principles won't obtain high explosives.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I | Ian Hamilton
The startled operators at Umballa could obtain no further intelligence and the boy was slain at his post.The Red Year | Louis Tracy
In the course of time, absolution for the sacrilege was obtained from the Pope; but my father could never obtain it from himself.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
Yet there never was lacking a volunteer, either man or woman, to go to that well and obtain the precious water.The Red Year | Louis Tracy
Allcraft took care to obtain the consent of Bellamy to his arrangement.
British Dictionary definitions for obtain
(tr) to gain possession of; acquire; get
(intr) to be customary, valid, or accepted: a new law obtains in this case
(tr) archaic to arrive at
(intr) archaic to win a victory; succeed
- obtainable, adjective
- obtainability, noun
- obtainer, noun
- obtainment, 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