AskDefine | Define obtain

Dictionary Definition



1 come into possession of; "How did you obtain the visa?"
2 receive a specified treatment (abstract); "These aspects of civilization do not find expression or receive an interpretation"; "His movie received a good review"; "I got nothing but trouble for my good intentions" [syn: receive, get, find, incur]
3 be valid, applicable, or true; "This theory still holds" [syn: prevail, hold]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. : To hold; to keep; to possess.
  2. : To get hold of by effort; to gain possession of; to procure; to acquire, in any way.
  3. : To become held; to gain or have a firm footing; to be recognized or established; to subsist; to become prevalent or general; to prevail.
    the custom obtains of going to the seashore in summer.
  4. : To prevail; to succeed.
  5. : To exist
    Even though the Pervaise confession had never come to light, no reasonable doubt could obtain; for the act in question [...] was on a par with countless other acts committed by the oligarchs, and, before them, by the capitalists. -- Jack London, The Iron Heel.


to hold, possess
  • French: avoir
  • Hungarian: hozzájut
  • Italian: avere
  • Japanese: qualifier gain 持つ; qualifier keep 持っている
  • Korean: 갖다 (gatda)
  • Kurdish:
  • Romanian: avea
  • Spanish: obtener
to get hold of by effort
  • Arabic:
  • Chinese: 获得 (huòdé)
  • Czech: získat
  • Dutch: verkrijgen
  • Finnish: hankkia
  • French: obtenir
  • German: erlangen
  • Hungarian: kap, megkap
  • Italian: ottenere
  • Japanese: 手に入れる, 取得する
  • Korean: 얻다 (eotda)
  • Kurdish: ,
  • Portuguese: obter
  • Romanian: obţine
  • Russian: добывать (dobyvat’)
  • Spanish: obtener
  • Swedish: erhålla
  • Telugu: సమకూర్చుకొను (samakoorchukonu)
to gain a firm footing
to succeed

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

accept, acquire, admit, annex, apply, arouse, assume, bag, be, be extant, be found, be in, be in existence, be in force, be met with, be present, be seized of, be the case, be the rage, be the rule, be the thing, be there, breathe, bring, bring back, bring forth, bring on, bring out, bring to light, buy, call for, call forth, call out, call up, capture, catch, chalk up, chase after, come by, come in for, come into, contract, contrive, corral, deduce, derive, derive from, dominate, drag down, drag out, draw, draw down, draw forth, draw from, draw on, draw out, earn, educe, effect, elicit, enter into possession, evoke, exist, fetch, fetch and carry, gain, get, get from, get out of, go after, go and get, go fetch, go for, go get, go to get, grasp, happen to be, harvest, have, have being, have coming in, have place, hold, induce, inspire, instigate, lead, live, make, motivate, net, occur, pick up, predominate, prevail, procure, provoke, pull down, purchase, reap, receive, reign, relate, retrieve, rouse, rule, run after, sack, score, secure, seize, shag, stand, stimulate, subsist, summon forth, summon up, superinduce, take, take in, take on, take over, take possession of, wangle, wangle out of, win, winkle out, worm out, worm out of
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