attain


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Attain \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.
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            Is he wise who hopes to attain the end without the
            means?                                --Abp.
                                                  Tillotson.
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   2. To gain or obtain possession of; to acquire. [Obs. with a
      material object.] --Chaucer.
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   3. To get at the knowledge of; to ascertain. [Obs.]
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            Not well attaining his meaning.       --Fuller.
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   4. To reach or come to, by progression or motion; to arrive
      at. "Canaan he now attains." --Milton.
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   5. To overtake. [Obs.] --Bacon.
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   6. To reach in excellence or degree; to equal.
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   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.
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.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

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

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Attain \At*tain"\, v. i.
   1. To come or arrive, by motion, growth, bodily exertion, or
      efforts toward a place, object, state, etc.; to reach.
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            If by any means they might attain to Phenice. --Acts
                                                  xxvii. 12.
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            Nor nearer might the dogs attain.     --Sir W.
                                                  Scott.
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            To see your trees attain to the dignity of timber.
                                                  --Cowper.
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            Few boroughs had as yet attained to power such as
            this.                                 --J. R. Green.
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   2. To come or arrive, by an effort of mind.
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            Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high,
            I can not attain unto it.             --Ps. cxxxix.
                                                  6.
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