Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To perform or carry out with success; accomplish. See Synonyms at perform.
  • transitive v. To attain with effort or despite difficulty. See Synonyms at reach.
  • intransitive v. To accomplish something successfully; perform at a standard or above standard level: skills needed to achieve in school.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To carry on to a final close; to bring out into a perfected state; to accomplish; to perform; -- as, to achieve a feat, an exploit, an enterprise.
  • transitive v. To obtain, or gain, as the result of exertion; to succeed in gaining; to win.
  • transitive v. To finish; to kill.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To perform or execute; accomplish, as some great enterprise; finish; carry on to a prosperous close.
  • To gain or obtain, as the result of exertion; bring about, as by effort.
  • Synonyms Effect, Accomplish, etc. (see perform), bring about, work out.
  • To acquire, win, obtain, get.
  • To come to an end.
  • To accomplish some enterprise; bring about a result intended.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. to gain with effort

Etymologies

Middle English acheven, from Old French achever, from a chief (venir), (to come) to a head; see chief.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Anglo-Norman aschever, Middle French achever, achiever et al., apparently from Late Latin *accappō, from ad ("to") + caput ("head") + (verbal suffix). Compare Catalan, Occitan, Portuguese and Spanish acabar, French achever. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I think public opinion has already hardened, and about the only thing he can realistically hope to achieve is to stop the bleeding in his poll numbers.

    Coyote Blog » Blog Archive » Lock of the Week

  • All Clinton can hope to achieve is to make certain that Obama does not win against McCain. chris

    Clinton, McCain camp fire back over Obama energy remarks

  • Paul Flynn has rushed to Alun Cairn's defence, although all he seems to achieve is to remind us just how ancient he really is:

    Archive 2008-06-01

  • All they seem to achieve is to make martyrs of the likes of Griffin and Irving, surely a daft result if ever.

    A Certain Contempt for Free Speech

  • All three of us are very interested in writing and publishing and other creative things, so part of what we hope to achieve is to puttogether a book that we can be proud of.

    Yatterings » Giving life to the Machine of Death

  • So another part of what we hope to achieve is to bring a really good idea to life – which I think is part of what drives every creative project.

    Yatterings » Giving life to the Machine of Death

  • I think that a respectable goal that most students would like to achieve is to get criticisms or critiques on some of their most well-developed ideas, stories, essays, artworks, etc.

    The semester is over

  • But what we have been able to achieve is to provide more and more care on an ambulatory and community basis.

    How to Keep Hospitals Healthy

  • The end result which we are really trying to achieve is to change public attitudes toward our market economy system.

    Of Myths and Men

  • Unfortunately no one vehicle or launch system can really hope to achieve everything without waste one way or another, all that you can hope to achieve is to maximize your abilities and eficiency as best you can, in an ideal world the funds would be available to do this in the best possible way but in the current political climate that seems a very long way off but i'm sure that everyone working at grass roots level is trying to do the best they can with the limited resources available.

    Astronaut Office Weighs In (Officially) On Ares/Orion/EELVs - NASA Watch

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Railroad telegraphers' shorthand for "What will be the expense of action?" --1906 US Railway Assn. Standard Cipher Code.

    January 19, 2013