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

  • noun The act of acquiring.
  • noun An attainment, such as a skill or social accomplishment.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of acquiring; especially, the gaining of knowledge or mental attributes.
  • noun That which is acquired; attainment: commonly in the plural.
  • noun Synonyms Gathering, gaining.
  • noun Acquirements, Acquisitions, Attainments, Accomplishments, Endowments, Enduements; gain, resources. Acquisitions is the most general term, but it is gradually being restricted to material gains. Attainments denotes exclusively intellectual or moral acquisitions: as, a man of great attainments; his spiritual attainments were high. Acquirements has nearly the same meaning as attainments, though it is sometimes loosely used as equivalent to acquisitions; it has more direct reference to particular things acquired: as, skill in boxing was among his acquirements. Accomplishments are attainments or acquirements, particularly such as fit the possessor for society: as, French, dancing, and music were the sum of her accomplishments. Endowments are the gifts of nature, as genius or aptitude. Enduements are endowments, acquirements, or attainments in the field of moral and spiritual life, but they are opposed to attainments in being regarded as gifts from heaven rather than as the result of personal endeavor. See endue.

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

  • noun The act of acquiring, or that which is acquired; attainment.

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

  • noun The act of acquiring, or that which is acquired; attainment.

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

  • noun an ability that has been acquired by training


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From acquire +‎ -ment.



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  • The O.E.D. says an acquirement in the sense of 'that which is acquired' is 'usually a personal attainment of body or mind, as distinct from an acquisition or material and external gain, and opposed to a natural gift or talent'. So maybe something like accomplishment would be a better alternative, depending on the context.

    February 21, 2009

  • Oh gosh, don't let ME be the Decider.

    Might acquisition be what the writer was looking for?

    February 21, 2009

  • Never heard of it myself.

    February 21, 2009

  • That settles it then, I'm taking it out. It was probably translated from Swiss German businesspeak anyway.

    February 20, 2009

  • I've never seen it before either. Huh. Learn something every day.

    February 20, 2009

  • I have just encountered this word in text I'm proofing, and it struck me I've never seen it. Raw Google hits are large enough, but they tend to be dominated by dictionary definitions, a quote from Frankenstein, and some learned-looking titles. That is, despite its ordinary-looking formation, it just ain't plain English.

    February 20, 2009