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achievement definition


This page has 5 definitions of achievement in English. Achievement is a noun. Examples of how to use achievement in a sentence are shown. Also define these 18 related words and terms: achieving, successful, accomplishment, valor, boldness, heraldry, escutcheon, ensign, armorial, hatchment, video game, trophy, grammar, semantics, lexical aspect, aktionsart, verb, and predicate.



From Middle French achevement, from Old French achevement, from the verb achever, achiever (to finish). Compare Modern French achèvement; the heraldic sense may be influenced by hatchment. Equivalent to achieve +‎ -ment.



achievement (countable and uncountable, plural achievements)

  1. The act of achieving or performing; a successful performance; accomplishment
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 1, in The China Governess[1]:
      The original family who had begun to build a palace to rival Nonesuch had died out before they had put up little more than the gateway, so that the actual structure which had come down to posterity retained the secret magic of a promise rather than the overpowering splendour of a great architectural achievement.
    • 2012 March-April, Terrence J. Sejnowski, “Well-connected Brains”, in American Scientist[2], volume 100, number 2, page 171:
      Creating a complete map of the human connectome would therefore be a monumental milestone but not the end of the journey to understanding how our brains work. The achievement will transform neuroscience and serve as the starting point for asking questions we could not otherwise have answered, […].
    • Successful definition
      Resulting in success; assuring, or promoting, success; accomplishing what was proposed; having the desired effect
  2. A great or heroic deed or feat; something accomplished by valor or boldness
    • a. 1677, Isaac Barrow, Abraham Hill and James Hamilton, editors, The Works of Isaac Barrow, published 1845, Sermon xxxiv, Of Being Imitators of Christ, page 397:
      [The exploits] of the ancient saints ; they do far surpass the most famous achievements of pagan heroes.
    • c. 1837, Thomas Babington Macaulay, Minutes on the Education of India:
      [] the English genius was effecting in science a revolution which will, to the end of time, be reckoned among the highest achievements of the human intellect.
  3. (heraldry) An escutcheon or ensign armorial; now generally applied to the funeral shield commonly called hatchment.
  4. (video games) An award for completing a particular task or meeting an objective in a video game.
    Finishing the game does not give you a 100% score until you have unlocked all of the achievements.
    Synonym: trophy
  5. (grammar, semantics) The lexical aspect (aktionsart) of verbs or predicates that change in an instant.
    • 1997, Robert van Valin and Randy LaPolla, Syntax[3], page 92:
      [] distinctions among states of affairs are reflected to a striking degree in distinctions among Aktionsart types. That is, situations are expressed by state verbs or predicates, events by achievement verbs or predicates, and actions by activity verbs or predicates.
    • Verb definition
      A word that indicates an action, event, or state of being. (1 of 4 verb definitions)
    • Predicate definition
      The part of the sentence (or clause) which states a property that a subject has or is characterized by. (1 of 3 predicate definitions)


Derived terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading