obtain

[uhb-teyn]
See more synonyms for obtain on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. 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.
  2. Obsolete. to attain or reach.
verb (used without object)
  1. to be prevalent, customary, or in vogue; prevail: the morals that obtained in Rome.
  2. Archaic. to succeed.

Origin of obtain

1375–1425; late Middle English obteinen < Middle French obtenir < Latin obtinēre to take hold of, equivalent to ob- ob- + -tinēre (combining form of tenēre to hold)
Related formsob·tain·a·ble, adjectiveob·tain·a·bil·i·ty, nounob·tain·er, nounob·tain·ment, nounpre·ob·tain, verb (used with object)pre·ob·tain·a·ble, adjectivere·ob·tain, verb (used with object)re·ob·tain·a·ble, adjectiveun·ob·tain·a·ble, adjectiveun·ob·tained, adjective

Synonyms for obtain

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1. gain, achieve, earn, win, attain. See get.

Antonyms for obtain

1. lose, forgo.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for obtaining

Contemporary Examples of obtaining

Historical Examples of obtaining

  • He had let the habit of obtaining whatever he started after get the better of him.

    Dust

    Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

  • I am foolish, indeed, to be so sad in obtaining the very object I have sought!

  • His experiences were most interesting in obtaining some of the rarest specimens.

    How the Piano Came to Be

    Ellye Howell Glover

  • Then, after obtaining her number, she entered the wash-house.

    L'Assommoir

    Emile Zola

  • Obtaining money with a cheque you knew your bank could not meet.


British Dictionary definitions for obtaining

obtain

verb
  1. (tr) to gain possession of; acquire; get
  2. (intr) to be customary, valid, or accepteda new law obtains in this case
  3. (tr) archaic to arrive at
  4. (intr) archaic to win a victory; succeed
Derived Formsobtainable, adjectiveobtainability, nounobtainer, nounobtainment, noun

Word Origin for obtain

C15: via Old French from Latin obtinēre to take hold of, from ob- (intensive) + tenēre to hold
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 obtaining

obtain

v.

early 15c., from Middle French obtenir "acquire, obtain" (14c.), from Latin obtinere "hold, hold fast, take hold of, get possession of, acquire," from ob "to" (though perhaps intensive in this case; see ob-) + tenere "to hold" (see tenet). Related: Obtained; obtaining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper