obtain Definition

  • 1to get or acquire something through effort
  • 2to be generally accepted or established

Using obtain: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "obtain" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    I was able to obtain a copy of the report.

  • Example

    The necessary information can be obtained from the website.

  • Example

    The permit can be obtained at the city hall.

  • Example

    The right to vote is a privilege that must be obtained by meeting certain requirements.

obtain Synonyms and Antonyms

Synonyms for obtain

Antonyms for obtain

Idioms Using obtain

  • obtain (something) by hook or by crook

    to obtain something by any means necessary, even if it is illegal or unethical


    He was determined to obtain the information by hook or by crook.

  • obtain one's objectives

    to achieve one's goals or objectives


    With hard work and determination, she was able to obtain her objectives.

  • to establish a position or gain an advantage in a particular area or situation


    The company was able to obtain a foothold in the new market.

Phrases with obtain

  • able to be obtained or acquired


    The information is readily obtainable from the internet.

  • to secure a loan from a financial institution


    He was able to obtain a loan to start his business.

  • to successfully complete the requirements for a degree program and receive a diploma


    She worked hard to obtain her degree in engineering.

Origins of obtain

from Old French 'obtenir', from Latin 'obtinere', meaning 'hold fast, keep hold of, take possession of'


Summary: obtain in Brief

The verb 'obtain' [əbˈteɪn] means to acquire something through effort or to be generally accepted or established. It is often used in formal contexts, such as 'The permit can be obtained at the city hall,' but also in informal contexts like 'I was able to obtain a copy of the report.' 'Obtain' extends into phrases like 'obtain a loan,' and idioms like 'obtain one's objectives,' denoting achieving goals, and 'obtain a foothold,' implying gaining an advantage.

How do native speakers use this expression?