Definition of obtain in English:

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Pronunciation: /əbˈtān/
Pronunciation: /äbˈtān/


1 [with object] Get, acquire, or secure (something): an opportunity to obtain advanced degrees
More example sentences
  • A new strain was one that had not been isolated from sputum samples previously obtained from an individual patient.
  • The results obtained by the 2 methods of specimen handling and DNA extraction were indistinguishable.
  • The parameter estimates were obtained using simulated maximum likelihood with Halton sequences as described by Train.
get, acquire, come by, secure, procure, come into the possession of, pick up, be given;
gain, earn, achieve, attain
informal get hold of, get/lay one's hands on, get one's mitts on, land, net
2 [no object] formal Be prevalent, customary, or established: the price of silver fell to that obtaining elsewhere in the ancient world
More example sentences
  • But how does all this fit with what obtains here at home?
  • Or are we to go semi-professional like obtains on the domestic soccer front in Ireland, with such little attraction for fans.
  • I should note that Welborn Rule obtains here: all posts to me are subject to possible posting, so be forewarned!
prevail, be in force, apply, exist, be in use, be in effect, stand, hold, be the case



Example sentences
  • Then why, in Scheidler, did the court hold that a destroyer is not an ‘obtainer’?
  • This place was the home of one great obtainer of any goods needed.


Example sentences
  • The new millennium is the time for mankind's movement and the obtainment of spiritual perfection and a liberated existence, she said.
  • Children of a certain race or ethnicity are also allegedly discriminated against in the obtainment of a birth certificate.
  • The reproducibility of exposures and breath sampling across the test population is critical for the obtainment of comparable data.


Late Middle English: from Old French obtenir, from Latin obtinere 'obtain, gain'.

Words that rhyme with obtain

abstain, appertain, arcane, arraign, ascertain, attain, Bahrain, bane, blain, brain, Braine, Cain, Caine, campaign, cane, cinquain, chain, champagne, champaign, Champlain, Charmaine, chicane, chow mein, cocaine, Coleraine, Coltrane, complain, constrain, contain, crane, Dane, deign, demesne, demi-mondaine, detain, disdain, domain, domaine, drain, Duane, Dwane, Elaine, entertain, entrain, explain, fain, fane, feign, gain, Germaine, germane, grain, humane, Hussein, inane, Jain, Jane, Jermaine, Kane, La Fontaine, lain, lane, legerdemain, Lorraine, main, Maine, maintain, mane, mise en scène, Montaigne, moraine, mundane, ordain, Paine, pane, pertain, plain, plane, Port-of-Spain, profane, rain, Raine, refrain, reign, rein, retain, romaine, sane, Seine, Shane, Sinn Fein, skein, slain, Spain, Spillane, sprain, stain, strain, sustain, swain, terrain, thane, train, twain, Ujjain, Ukraine, underlain, urbane, vain, vane, vein, Verlaine, vicereine, wain, wane, Wayne

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ob·tain

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