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Meaning of OBTAIN

Pronunciation:  ub'teyn

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [v]  receive a specified treatment (abstract); "These aspects of civilization do not find expression or receive an interpretation"; "His movie received a good review"; "I got nothing but trouble for my good intentions"
  2. [v]  come into possession of; "How did you obtain the visa?"
  3. [v]  be valid, applicable, or true; "This theory still holds"

OBTAIN is a 6 letter word that starts with O.


 Synonyms: find, get, hold, incur, prevail, receive
 See Also: acquire, be, bum, cadge, carry, change, derive, dig up, eke out, excavate, exist, extort, extract, gain, get, get in, get into, grab, grub, mooch, outsource, procure, secure, shop, snag, sponge, squeeze out, take, take out, turn up, wring from



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \Ob*tain"\, v. i.
    To gain or have a firm footing; to become recognized or
    established; to become or be prevalent or general; as, the
    custom obtains of going to the seashore in summer.
  2. \Ob*tain"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Obtained}; p. pr. & vb.
    n. {Obtaining}.] [F. obtenir, L. obtinere; ob (see {Ob-}) +
    tenere to hold. See {Tenable}.]
    1. To hold; to keep; to possess. [Obs.]
             His mother, then, is mortal, but his Sire He who
             obtains the monarchy of heaven.       --Milton.
    2. To get hold of by effort; to gain possession of; to
       procure; to acquire, in any way.
             Some pray for riches; riches they obtain. --Dryden.
             By guileful fair words peace may be obtained.
             It may be that I may obtain children by her. --Gen.
                                                   xvi. 2.
    Syn: To attain; gain; procure; acquire; win; earn.
    Usage: See {Attain}. -- To {Obtain}, {Get}, {Gain}, {Earn},
           {Acquire}. The idea of getting is common to all these
           terms. We may, indeed, with only a slight change of
           sense, substitute get for either of them; as, to get
           or to gain a prize; to get or to obtain an employment;
           to get or to earn a living; to get or to acquire a
           language. To gain is to get by striving; and as this
           is often a part of our good fortune, the word gain is
           peculiarly applicable to whatever comes to us
           fortuitously. Thus, we gain a victory, we gain a
           cause, we gain an advantage, etc. To earn is to
           deserve by labor or service; as, to earn good wages;
           to earn a triumph. Unfortunately, one does not always
           get or obtain what he has earned. To obtain implies
           desire for possession, and some effort directed to the
           attainment of that which is not immediately within our
           reach. Whatever we thus seek and get, we obtain,
           whether by our own exertions or those of others;
           whether by good or bad means; whether permanently, or
           only for a time. Thus, a man obtains an employment; he
           obtains an answer to a letter, etc. To acquire is more
           limited and specific. We acquire what comes to us
           gradually in the regular exercise of our abilities,
           while we obtain what comes in any way, provided we
           desire it. Thus, we acquire knowledge, property,
           honor, reputation, etc. What we acquire becomes, to a
           great extent, permanently our own; as, to acquire a
           language; to acquire habits of industry, etc.
  3. \Ob*tain"\, v. i.
    1. To become held; to gain or have a firm footing; to be
       recognized or established; to subsist; to become prevalent
       or general; to prevail; as, the custom obtains of going to
       the seashore in summer.
             Sobriety hath by use obtained to signify temperance
             in drinking.                          --Jer. Taylor.
             The Theodosian code, several hundred years after
             Justinian's time, did obtain in the western parts of
             Europe.                               --Baker.
    2. To prevail; to succeed. [R.] --Evelyn.
             So run that ye may obtain.            --1 Cor. ix.
             There is due from the judge to the advocate, some
             commendation, where causes are fair pleaded;
             especially towards the side which obtaineth not.
Thesaurus Terms
 Related Terms: accept, acquire, admit, annex, apply, arouse, assume, bag, be, be extant, be found, be in, be in existence, be in force, be met with, be present, be seized of, be the case, be the rage, be the rule, be the thing, be there, breathe, bring, bring back, bring forth, bring on, bring out, bring to light, buy, call for, call forth, call out, call up, capture, catch, chalk up, chase after, come by, come in for, come into, contract, contrive, corral, deduce, derive, derive from, dominate, drag down, drag out, draw, draw down, draw forth, draw from, draw on, draw out, earn, educe, effect, elicit, enter into possession, evoke, exist, fetch, fetch and carry, gain, get, get from, get out of, go after, go and get, go fetch, go for, go get, go to get, grasp, happen to be, harvest, have, have being, have coming in, have place, hold, induce, inspire, instigate, lead, live, make, motivate, net, occur, pick up, predominate, prevail, procure, provoke, pull down, purchase, reap, receive, reign, relate, retrieve, rouse, rule, run after, sack, score, secure, seize, shag, stand, stimulate, subsist, summon forth, summon up, superinduce, take, take in, take on, take over, take possession of, wangle, wangle out of, win, winkle out, worm out, worm out of