Definition of acquire in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /əˈkwī(ə)r/


[with object]
1Buy or obtain (an object or asset) for oneself.
Example sentences
  • Instead, tax will become payable automatically 30 days after the date that the purchaser acquires the property or land.
  • On the other side sit large investors who acquire supplier assets at an attractive price.
  • The company has neither improved its financial indicators, nor acquired new assets.
obtain, come by, get, receive, gain, earn, win, come into, be given;
informal get one's hands on, get hold of, land, bag, cop, score
1.1Learn or develop (a skill, habit, or quality): you must acquire the rudiments of Greek I’ve never acquired a taste for whiskey
More example sentences
  • Most teachers recognise that pupils vary in the speed and manner in which they grasp new ideas and acquire skills.
  • When children go to camp, they learn to be more independent and acquire social skills.
  • They want to learn more, know more and acquire skills like any other individual in society.
1.2Achieve (a particular reputation) as a result of one’s behavior or activities.
Example sentences
  • Since the band's cultural rehabilitation, however, hasn't it acquired a certain cachet?
  • The Illegal Eagles have progressed from playing the small local club circuit to acquiring a reputation for themselves at major concert venues.
  • They are rapidly acquiring a reputation for producing accessible and uniquely powerful theatre.


acquired taste

A thing that one has come to like only through experience: pumpkin pie is an acquired taste
More example sentences
  • The flavor combination is something of an acquired taste, which I, unfortunately, had yet to acquire.
  • His music is an acquired taste and I don't think I am going to acquire it any time soon.
  • While I have never tried authentic bird's nest soup, apparently it is an acquired taste - many westerners think it tastes quite rubbery the first time they try it.



Pronunciation: /əˈkwī(ə)rəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • It's simply that these are the obvious, overt qualities or things that are, some think, acquirable.
  • That's my main motive in this thread, to make people realise ‘talent’ is acquirable - it's under your control.
  • ‘Consumers may find digital TVs a little bit more acquirable after retail prices drop in line with the tax cut,’ Lee said.


Pronunciation: /əˈkwī(ə)rər/
Example sentences
  • Preliminary discussions are underway with potential acquirers for all or parts of these activities.
  • These state that acquirers of more than 1% or more of a target company have to be disclosed by midday the day after purchase.
  • At its annual meeting last week, it confirmed it was conducting due diligence with a small number of potential acquirers, but would not be drawn on details.


Late Middle English acquere, from Old French aquerre, based on Latin acquirere 'get in addition', from ad- 'to' + quaerere 'seek'. The English spelling was modified (circa1600) by association with the Latin word.

  • This is from Latin acquirere ‘get in addition’ from ad- ‘to’ and quaerere ‘seek’. The late Middle English spelling was acquere, the change is an example of the many words which developed new spellings around 1600 to make them look more like their Latin originals, evidence of early, if misplaced, interest in word histories.

Words that rhyme with acquire

admire, afire, applier, aspire, attire, ayah, backfire, barbwire, bemire, briar, buyer, byre, choir, conspire, crier, cryer, defier, denier, desire, dire, drier, dryer, dyer, enquire, entire, esquire, expire, fire, flyer, friar, fryer, Gaia, gyre, hellfire, hire, hiya, ire, Isaiah, jambalaya, Jeremiah, Josiah, Kintyre, latria, liar, lyre, Maia, Maya, Mayer, messiah, mire, misfire, Nehemiah, Obadiah, papaya, pariah, peripeteia, perspire, playa, Praia, prior, pyre, quire, replier, scryer, shire, shyer, sire, skyer, Sophia, spire, squire, supplier, Surabaya, suspire, tier, tire, transpire, trier, tumble-dryer, tyre, Uriah, via, wire, Zechariah, Zedekiah, Zephaniah

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ac·quire

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.