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attain definition


This page has 6 definitions of attain in English. Attain is a verb. Examples of how to use attain in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .



From Anglo-Norman ataindre, from Old French, from Latin attingō.



attain (third-person singular simple present attains, present participle attaining, simple past and past participle attained)

  1. (transitive) To gain (an object or desired result).
    Synonyms: accomplish, achieve, get
    To attain such a high level of proficiency requires hours of practice each day.
  2. (transitive) To reach or come to, by progression or motion; to arrive at (a place, time, state, etc.).
  3. (intransitive) To come or arrive, by motion, growth, bodily exertion, or efforts toward a place, object, state, etc.
    Synonyms: get, reach
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To get at the knowledge of.
    Synonym: ascertain
    • 1655, Thomas Fuller, “Section II”, in James Nichols, editor, The Church History of Britain, [], volume (please specify |volume=I to III), new edition, London: [] [James Nichols] for Thomas Tegg and Son, [], published 1837, OCLC 913056315:
      [] Master Camden, sometimes acknowledgeth, sometimes denieth him for an English Earle. Not that I accuse him as inconstant to himself, but suspect my self not well attaining his meaning therein.
  5. (transitive, obsolete) To reach in excellence or degree.
    Synonym: equal
  6. (transitive, obsolete) To reach a person after being behind them.
    Synonyms: catch up with, overtake

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Related terms