Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To gain possession of.
  • transitive verb To get by one's own efforts.
  • transitive verb To gain through experience; come by.
  • transitive verb To locate (a target) with an aiming device or a tracking system, such as radar.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To get or gain, the object being something which is more or less permanent, or which becomes vested or inherent in the subject: as, to acquire a title, estate, learning, habits, skill, dominion, etc.; to acquire a stammer; sugar acquires a brown color by being burned.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To gain, usually by one's own exertions; to get as one's own.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To get.
  • verb To gain, usually by one's own exertions; to get as one's own, as, to acquire a title, riches, knowledge, skill, good or bad habits.

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

  • verb win something through one's efforts
  • verb take on a certain form, attribute, or aspect
  • verb gain knowledge or skills
  • verb come into the possession of something concrete or abstract
  • verb come to have or undergo a change of (physical features and attributes)
  • verb locate (a moving entity) by means of a tracking system such as radar
  • verb gain through experience

Etymologies

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

[Middle English acquere, from Old French aquerre, from Latin acquīrere, to add to : ad-, ad- + quaerere, to seek, get.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English aqueren, from Old French aquerre, from Latin adquaerere; ad + quaerere. See quest.

Examples

  • Only later, when fear had been replaced by boredom, did the term acquire a derogatory shading.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • Only later, when fear had been replaced by boredom, did the term acquire a derogatory shading.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • Only later, when fear had been replaced by boredom, did the term acquire a derogatory shading.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • Only later, when fear had been replaced by boredom, did the term acquire a derogatory shading.

    No Uncertain Terms

  • Not until the time of Linnæus (1707-1778) did the term acquire a definite and precise meaning.

    Q. E. D., or New Light on the Doctrine of Creation

  • The historical events which mothers take part in acquire the greatness and invincibility of natural phenomena.

    italo calvino | if on a winter’s night a traveler « poetry dispatch & other notes from the underground

  • The historical events which mothers take part in acquire the greatness and invincibility of natural phenomena.

    August « 2009 « poetry dispatch & other notes from the underground

  • I know an Aussie company who had been negotiating a possible buyout that would have seen them move across to join that firm but in the end the company in question decided to only recruit/acquire from the Bay Area!

    Zoho to go, next? « Squash

  • Perhaps the most notorious example was Attorney General Robert Jackson's opinion (prior to the Lend-Lease Act) that existing statutes gave the President the authority to acquire from the British Government rights for the establishment of naval and air bases in exchange for over-age destroyers and obsolescent military material.

    Balkinization

  • The principal object of this request is to enable me to obtain the countenance and protection of the government in the enterprise of conveying, exhibiting and explaining models and specimens of American arts and productions under the auspices of the American Institute, and of obtaining whatever information may be practicable to acquire from the ancient nation for the benefit of our country.

    The Romance of China: Excursions to China in U.S. Culture: 1776-1876

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