What does obtain mean?

Definitions for obtain

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word obtain.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. obtainverb

    come into possession of

    "How did you obtain the visa?"

  2. receive, get, find, obtain, incurverb

    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"

  3. prevail, hold, obtainverb

    be valid, applicable, or true

    "This theory still holds"


  1. obtainverb

    To get hold of; to gain possession of, to procure; to acquire, in any way.

  2. obtainverb

    To secure (that) a specific objective or state of affairs be reached.

  3. obtainverb

    To prevail, be victorious; to succeed.

  4. obtainverb

    To hold; to keep, possess or occupy.

  5. obtainverb

    To exist or be the case; to hold true, be in force.

  6. Etymology: From obtenir, optiner et al., and obtenir, from obtinere, from ob- + tenere.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Obtainverb

    to hold; to keep; to possess

  2. Obtainverb

    to get hold of by effort; to gain possession of; to procure; to acquire, in any way

  3. Obtainverb

    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

  4. Obtainverb

    to prevail; to succeed

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Obtain

    ob-tān′, v.t. to lay hold of: to hold: to procure by effort: to gain: to keep possession of.—v.i. to be established: to continue in use: to become customary or prevalent: to hold good: (rare) to succeed.—adj. Obtain′able, that may be obtained, procured, or acquired.—ns. Obtain′er; Obtain′ment; Obten′tion, procurement.—Obtain to (Bacon), to attain to. [Fr.,—L. obtinēreob, upon, tenēre, to hold.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. obtain

    To get hold of by effort; to gain possession of.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'obtain' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2198

  2. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'obtain' in Verbs Frequency: #175

How to pronounce obtain?

How to say obtain in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of obtain in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of obtain in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of obtain in a Sentence

  1. Duncan Lorimer:

    This exciting discovery highlights how little we know about the origin of FRBs, further observations of a larger number of FRBs will be needed in order to obtain a clearer picture about these periodic sources and elucidate their origin.

  2. Andrew Jackson:

    Peace, above all things, is to be desired, but blood must sometimes be spilled to obtain it on equable and lasting terms.

  3. White House:

    The Framers did not envision the use of the presidential pardon power to encourage criminal acts at the President's direction, as the Committee continues its investigation into whether to recommend articles of impeachment, it is imperative that we are able to obtain information about ongoing presidential misconduct and abuses of power.

  4. Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus:

    Whether it’s the weak Obama-Clinton nuclear deal that paves the way for Iran to obtain an atomic bomb or Martin O’Malley’s absurd claim that climate change is responsible for ISIS, it’s abundantly clear no one in the Democratic Party has the foreign policy vision to keep America safe.

  5. Sanita Belgrave:

    Mirror, Mirror on the wall, I’m ready to face today and obtain it ALL.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for obtain

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • حصلArabic
  • získatCzech
  • bestehen, erlangenGerman
  • obtenerSpanish
  • olla olemassa, olla, pitää hallussaan, hankkiaFinnish
  • obtenir, avoir, réussir, s'établir, se procurer, avoir succèsFrench
  • प्राप्तHindi
  • megkap, kap, hozzájutHungarian
  • ottenere, stabilirsi, riuscire, avereItalian
  • לְהַשִׂיגHebrew
  • 獲得, 持っている, 手に入れる, 成し遂げる, 持つ, 取得Japanese
  • 이루다, 얻다, 굳히다, 갖다Korean
  • ده‌سکه‌وتن, په‌یداکردنKurdish
  • consequor, succedo, assequor, teneo, impetro, obtineoLatin
  • dabūt, būt, iegūtLatvian
  • verkrijgenDutch
  • nabyć, dostawać, dostać, otrzymać, otrzymywać, uzyskać, nabywać, uzyskiwaćPolish
  • obterPortuguese
  • reuși, avea succes, avea, obține, a se stabiliRomanian
  • доставать, добыть, получить, добывать, получать, достатьRussian
  • erhållaSwedish
  • பெறTamil
  • సమకూర్చుకొనుTelugu
  • ได้รับThai
  • elde etmekTurkish
  • حاصل کریںUrdu

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    an unincorporated business owned by a single person who is responsible for its liabilities and entitled to its profits
    • A. appellative
    • B. proprietary
    • C. unsealed
    • D. elusive

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