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.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To OBTAINverb

    Etymology: obtenir, Fr. obtineo, Latin.

    May be that I may obtain children by her. Gen. xvi. 2.

    We have obtained an inheritance. Eph. i. 11.

    Whatever once is denied them, they are certainly not to obtain by crying. John Locke, Education.

    The juices of the leaves are obtained by expression, which is the nutritious juice rendered somewhat more oleaginous. John Arbuthnot, on Aliments.

    In such our prayers cannot serve us as means to obtain the thing we desire. Richard Hooker, b. v. s. 48.

    By his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Heb. ix. 12.

    If they could not be obtained of the proud and crafty tyrant, then to conclude peace with him upon any conditions. Richard Knolles, History of the Turks.

    Some pray for riches, riches they obtain;
    But watch’d by robbers for their wealth are slain. Dryden.

    The conclusion of the story I forbore, because I could not obtain from myself to shew Absalom unfortunate. Dryden.

  2. To Obtainverb

    The Theodosian Code, several hundred years after Justinian’s time, did obtain in the western parts of Europe. Thomas Baker.

    Our impious use no longer shall obtain,
    Brothers no more, by brothers, shall be slain. Dryden.

    The situation of the sun and earth, which the theorist supposes, is so far from being preferable to this which at present obtains, that this hath infinitely the advantage of it. John Woodward.

    The general laws of fluidity, elasticity, and gravity, obtain in animal and inanimate tubes. George Cheyne, Phil. Prin.

    There is due from the judge to the advocate, some commendation where causes are fair pleaded; especially towards the side which obtaineth not. Francis Bacon.

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

Anagrams for obtain »

  1. batino

  2. oatbin

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. Samsung Electronics:

    Today's decision flies in the face of a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in favor of Samsung on the scope of design patent damages, we will consider all options to obtain an outcome that does not hinder creativity and fair competition for all companies and consumers.

  2. Planned Parenthood:

    A woman's ability to make her own health care decisions, including the right to obtain an abortion, is a personal liberty guaranteed in our Iowa Constitution, we are pleased that the Iowa Supreme Court has upheld Iowa's tradition of honoring those freedoms.

  3. Edward Adler:

    What God gave you is not necessarily the same as what I can give you, if your goal is to be normal, that's a difficult thing to obtain when your knee is coming out of a box.

  4. Gold Reserve president:

    We're working on a joint venture with the government, they're using the property as collateral to obtain financing for not only the project but their other financial needs. ... We're in agreement to settle.

  5. Todd Spodek:

    I would never have my clients do anything like this, especially given the acrimonious relationship between the ex-wife and the widow. There was no urgency to the matter and the request could be misconstrued, attorneys have process servers and paralegals who can easily obtain a death certificate. It makes no sense to reach out to the wife.

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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    relating to or involving money
    • A. pecuniary
    • B. lank
    • C. ostensive
    • D. sesquipedalian

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