OBTA'IN, v.t. [L. obtineo; ob and teneo, to hold.] 1. To get; to gain; to procure; in a general sense, to gain possession of a thing, whether temporary or permanent; to acquiare. this word usually implies exertion to get possession, and in this it differs from receive, which may or may not imply exertion. it differs from acquire, as genus from species; acquire being properly applied only to things permanently possessed; but obtain is applied both to things of temporary and of permanent possession. We obtain loans of money on application; we obtain answers to letters; we obtain spirit from liquors by distillation and salts by evaporation. We obtain by seeking; we often receive without seeking. We acquire or obtain a good title to lands by deed, or by a judgment of court; but we do not acquire spirit by distillation; nor do we acquire an answer to a letter or an application. He shall obtain the kingdom by flatteries. Daniel 11. In whom we have obtained an inheritance. Ephesians 1. 2. To keep; to hold. OBTA'IN, v.i. 1. To be received in customary or common use; to continue in use; to be established in practice. The Theodosian code, several hundred years after Justinian's time, obtained in the western parts of the empire. 2. To be established; to subsist in nature. The general laws of fluidity, elasticity and gravity, obtain in animal and inanimate tubes. 3. To prevail; to succeed. [Little used.]
v 1: come into possession of; "How did you obtain the visa?" 2: 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" [syn: receive, get, find, obtain, incur] 3: be valid, applicable, or true; "This theory still holds" [syn: prevail, hold, obtain]
verbEtymology: Middle English obteinen, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French obtenir, from Latin obtin?re to hold on to, possess, obtain, from ob- in the way + ten?re to hold — more at thinDate: 15th century transitive verb to gain or attain usually by planned action or effort intransitive verb1.archaicsucceed2. to be generally recognized or established ;prevail • obtainabilitynoun • obtainableadjective • obtainernoun • obtainmentnoun
v. 1 tr. acquire, secure; have granted to one. 2 intr. be prevalent or established or in vogue. Derivatives: obtainable adj. obtainability n. obtainer n. obtainment n. obtention n. Etymology: ME f. OF obtenir f. L obtinere obtent- keep (as OB-, tenere hold)
Obtain 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. --Shak. 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.
Obtain 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. 24. There is due from the judge to the advocate, some commendation, where causes are fair pleaded; especially towards the side which obtaineth not. --Bacon.
(obtains, obtaining, obtained)Frequency: The word is one of the 3000 most common words in English. To obtain something means to get it or achieve it. (FORMAL) Evans was trying to obtain a false passport and other documents...VERB: V n
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