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: .
- (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.
- 1595 December 9 (first known performance), William Shakespeare, “The life and death of King Richard the Second”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene iii]:
- Lord Ross. Your presence makes us rich, most noble lord.
Lord Willoughby. And far surmounts our labour to attain it.
- 1937, George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier, New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1958, Part 1, Chapter 5, p. 82,
- […] solitude is never easy to attain in a working-class home
- 1964 July, S. W. Smart, “The Southern needs no centralised Control”, in Modern Railways, page 50:
- But an absolutely right time arrival of all trains on the same day is never attained.
- 2007, Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Orlando: Harcourt, Chapter 11, p. 157,
- Where else could I […] hope to attain such an impressive income?
- (transitive) To reach or come to, by progression or motion; to arrive at (a place, time, state, etc.).
- 1599, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Iulius Cæsar”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene v]:
- […] my bones would rest,
That have but labour’d to attain this hour.
- 1818, [Mary Shelley], chapter 3, in Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. […], volume (please specify |volume=I to III), London: […] [Macdonald and Son] for Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, OCLC 830979744:
- the southern gales […] blow us speedily towards those shores which I so ardently desire to attain
- (intransitive) To come or arrive, by motion, growth, bodily exertion, or efforts toward a place, object, state, etc.
- 1782, William Cowper, letter to Joseph Hill dated 11 November, 1782, in Private Correspondence of William Cowper, London: Henry Colburn, 1824, Volume 1, p. 222,
- You may not, perhaps, live to see your trees attain to the dignity of timber—I, nevertheless, approve of your planting, and the disinterested spirit that prompts you to it.
- 1810, Walter Scott, “Canto I. The Chase.”, in The Lady of the Lake; a Poem, Edinburgh: […] [James Ballantyne and Co.] for John Ballantyne and Co.; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, and William Miller, OCLC 6632529, stanza 7, page 10:
- 1874, John Richard Green, A Short History of the English People, London: Macmillan, Chapter 2, Section 6, p. 90,
- Few boroughs had as yet attained to power such as this,
- (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.
- (transitive, obsolete) To reach in excellence or degree.
- Synonym: equal
- (transitive, obsolete) To reach a person after being behind them.
- 1622, Francis, Lord Verulam, Viscount St. Alban [i.e. Francis Bacon], The Historie of the Raigne of King Henry the Seventh, […], London: […] W[illiam] Stansby for Matthew Lownes, and William Barret, OCLC 1086746628, page page-174:
- The Earle finding […] the enemie retired, pursued with all celeritie into Scotland; hoping to haue ouer-taken the Scottish King, and to haue giuen him Battaile; But not attaining him in time, sate downe before the Castle of Aton […] which in a small time hee tooke.