- 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.
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)
SynonymsSee more synonyms for obtain on Thesaurus.com
1. gain, achieve, earn, win, attain. See get.
1. lose, forgo.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for unobtained
And she began already to be envious of Louise's unobtained maid.The Eddy
Clarence L. Cullen
Said Arthur, “Is there any one of the marvels yet unobtained?”The Mabinogion
Lady Charlotte Guest
That episode flitted by, leaving on memory's camera only the degrading tableau of coin burrowed for and unobtained.The Pace That Kills
- (tr) to gain possession of; acquire; get
- (intr) to be customary, valid, or accepteda new law obtains in this case
- (tr) archaic to arrive at
- (intr) archaic to win a victory; succeed
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 unobtained
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper