Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To succeed in gaining possession of as the result of planning or endeavor; acquire.
  • intransitive verb To be in existence, in effect, or customary.
  • intransitive verb Archaic To succeed.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To get; procure; secure; acquire; gain: as, to obtain a month's leave of absence; to obtain riches.
  • To attain; reach; arrive at.
  • To attain or reach by endeavor; succeed in (reaching, receiving, or doing something); manage.
  • Hence To achieve; win.
  • To hold; keep; maintain possession of.
  • Synonyms Attain, Obtain, Procure. See attain.
  • To secure what one desires or strives for; prevail; succeed.
  • To be common or customary; prevail or be established in practice; be in vogue; hold good; subsist; prevail: as, the custom still obtains in some country districts.
  • To attain; come.

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

  • intransitive verb To gain or have a firm footing; to be recognized or established; to become prevalent or general; to prevail.
  • intransitive verb archaic and Rare To prevail; to succeed.
  • transitive verb obsolete To hold; to keep; to possess.
  • transitive verb To get hold of by effort; to gain possession of; to procure; to acquire, in any way.

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

  • verb receive a specified treatment (abstract)
  • verb be valid, applicable, or true
  • verb come into possession of

Etymologies

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

[Middle English obteinen, from Old French obtenir, from Latin obtinēre : ob-, intensive pref.; see ob– + tenēre, to hold; see ten- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman obtenir, optiner et al., and Middle French obtenir, from Latin obtinēre ("to gain, achieve, succeed, possess"), from ob- + tenēre ("to hold").

Examples

  • And the very things which the Jews speak of the Hebrew word obtain also in the Greek.

    From the Talmud and Hebraica

  • Recently, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (ABCNY) posted an Ethics Opinion commenting on the developing issue of what lawyers may properly obtain from the Internet concerning clients or adversaries.

    Bill Singer: Danger: Legal Sharks Circle Online Posters

  • But also, as previously mentioned, what most people really obtain is not so much insurance (characterized by infrequent events and high payouts) but rather a product called insurance that really functions as insulation or consumption smoothing (characterized by frequent events and low pay outs).

    Archive 2009-08-01

  • Recently, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (ABCNY) posted an Ethics Opinion commenting on the developing issue of what lawyers may properly obtain from the Internet concerning clients or adversaries.

    Bill Singer: Danger: Legal Sharks Circle Online Posters

  • But also, as previously mentioned, what most people really obtain is not so much insurance (characterized by infrequent events and high payouts) but rather a product called insurance that really functions as insulation or consumption smoothing (characterized by frequent events and low pay outs).

    More Health Care Thoughts

  • Recently, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (ABCNY) posted an Ethics Opinion commenting on the developing issue of what lawyers may properly obtain from the Internet concerning clients or adversaries.

    Bill Singer: Danger: Legal Sharks Circle Online Posters

  • Recently, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (ABCNY) posted an Ethics Opinion commenting on the developing issue of what lawyers may properly obtain from the Internet concerning clients or adversaries.

    Bill Singer: Danger: Legal Sharks Circle Online Posters

  • He seems not to accept "authority" in any terms other than those that might obtain from a guarantee of preservation from all error by the Spirit.

    Fr. Robert Barron on Protestantism, authority, and Cardinal Newman

  • The central & north European pies I tasted were on par with what one might obtain from a day old Chuck-E-Cheese slice, after it has been carefully aged on the floor of a truck stop bathroom in Gaffney, SC.

    I Should Not Have Come.....

  • Many figures were obtain from the Norton Online Living Report by Symantec.

    Internet News: Statistics on Internet Use

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