Definitions for: Attain

[v] reach a point in time, or a certain state or level; "The thermometer hit 100 degrees"; "This car can reach a speed of 140 miles per hour"
[v] reach a destination, either real or abstract; "We hit Detroit by noon"; "The water reached the doorstep"; "We barely made the plane"; "I have to hit the MAC machine before the weekend starts"
[v] find unexpectedly; "the archeologists chanced upon an old tomb"; "she struck a goldmine"; "The hikers finally struck the main path to the lake"
[v] to gain with effort; "she achieved her goal despite setbacks."

Webster (1913) Definition: At*tain" ([a^]t*t[=a]n"), v. t. [imp. & p. p.
Attained (-t[=a]nd"); p. pr. & vb. n. Attaining.] [Of.
atteinen, atteignen, atainen, OF. ateindre, ataindre, F.
atteindre, fr. L. attingere; ad + tangere to touch, reach.
See Tangent, and cf. Attinge, Attaint.]
1. To achieve or accomplish, that is, to reach by efforts; to
gain; to compass; as, to attain rest.

Is he wise who hopes to attain the end without the
means? --Abp.

2. To gain or obtain possession of; to acquire. [Obs. with a
material object.] --Chaucer.

3. To get at the knowledge of; to ascertain. [Obs.]

Not well attaining his meaning. --Fuller.

4. To reach or come to, by progression or motion; to arrive
at. ``Canaan he now attains.'' --Milton.

5. To overtake. [Obs.] --Bacon.

6. To reach in excellence or degree; to equal.

Syn: To Attain, Obtain, Procure.

Usage: Attain always implies an effort toward an object.
Hence it is not synonymous with obtain and procure,
which do not necessarily imply such effort or motion.
We procure or obtain a thing by purchase or loan, and
we obtain by inheritance, but we do not attain it by
such means.

At*tain", v. i.
1. To come or arrive, by motion, growth, bodily exertion, or
efforts toward a place, object, state, etc.; to reach.

If by any means they might attain to Phenice. --Acts
xxvii. 12.

Nor nearer might the dogs attain. --Sir W.

To see your trees attain to the dignity of timber.

Few boroughs had as yet attained to power such as
this. --J. R. Green.

2. To come or arrive, by an effort of mind.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high,
I can not attain unto it. --Ps. cxxxix.

At*tain", n.
Attainment. [Obs.]

Synonyms: accomplish, achieve, arrive at, chance on, chance upon, come across, come upon, discover, fall upon, gain, happen upon, hit, light upon, make, reach, reach, strike

See Also: access, arrive, average, begin, bottom out, break even, breast, catch up, come, come through, come through, come to, compass, culminate, culminate, finagle, find, find, get, get at, get through, get to, go, ground, locomote, make, manage, max out, move, peak, progress to, reach a peak, regain, run aground, scale, score, strike, succeed, surmount, travel, wangle, win

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