Definition of obtain in English:



  • 1with object Get, acquire, or secure (something)

    ‘adequate insurance cover is difficult to obtain’
    • ‘Under the old billing system, accountants and corporate officers could not easily obtain necessary data or documents.’
    • ‘Probes were obtained by PCR amplification of the indicated loci.’
    • ‘The results obtained by the 2 methods of specimen handling and DNA extraction were indistinguishable.’
    • ‘All estimates are obtained using four driving values and bridge sampling.’
    • ‘Do they use the same sort of violence and threats to obtain what they want?’
    • ‘After genetic isolation of P insertion chromosomes, the flanking sequences were obtained by inverse PCR and sequenced.’
    • ‘He suggested that his apparent support for official policy was obtained under duress.’
    • ‘But the bill does not definitively bar statements obtained under torture or other abuse.’
    • ‘We understand that over one million people in South Africa have fraudulently obtained licences or have none at all.’
    • ‘The commissioner found that the leave form was not authorised and the sick certificate was fraudulently obtained.’
    • ‘A new strain was one that had not been isolated from sputum samples previously obtained from an individual patient.’
    • ‘If the consent is dishonestly obtained, then there is still dishonesty.’
    • ‘Consent was also obtained from parents and students.’
    • ‘Serum samples were also obtained from 25 healthy blood donors which served as controls.’
    • ‘The analysis was performed on natural log-transformed data, and parameters were obtained directly from the analysis.’
    • ‘Because he felt as if he could never obtain what the couple shared.’
    • ‘The parameter estimates were obtained using simulated maximum likelihood with Halton sequences as described by Train.’
    • ‘The volume of apoplastic fluid obtained by centrifugation increased gradually when the centrifugal forces increased.’
    • ‘The licensed acupuncturist also obtains informed consent from each patient.’
    • ‘Maps obtained in these studies are based on the third and the fourth extractions.’
    get, acquire, come by, secure, procure, come into possession of, pick up, be given
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  • 2formal no object Be prevalent, customary, or established.

    ‘the price of silver fell to that obtaining elsewhere in the ancient world’
    • ‘The same pattern obtains for Islam, as Woodward includes miracles associated with Muhammad and then a number of Sufi saints.’
    • ‘Suppose you start off with no information about which of the four possible combinations of truth values for A and B obtains.’
    • ‘It'll be my turn to prod the jelly tomorrow if silence still obtains.’
    • ‘The same foolishness, the same sterility, obtains in the ‘not serious’ as in the ‘serious’.’
    • ‘Overall equilibrium obtains when these three markets are in equilibrium.’
    • ‘There is absolutely no desire here to tinker with what obtains.’
    • ‘I should note that Welborn Rule obtains here: all posts to me are subject to possible posting, so be forewarned!’
    • ‘It is our hope the situation obtaining on the Copperbelt is not a passing phase.’
    • ‘This might seem unusual, yet something similar may well be obtaining in many marriages.’
    • ‘A genus-species relation obtains when a proper definition of the form X = YZ is possible.’
    • ‘But Descartes insists that a rational distinction also obtains between any two attributes of a substance.’
    • ‘That situation still obtains in the case of the distribution of power, resources and opportunities among the four provinces of the state.’
    • ‘Sadly, Dr Mumba's discovery at the ministry of Lands gives a clear picture of what obtains in the entire civil service.’
    • ‘A Catholic would say the same thing obtains with the Blessed Virgin.’
    • ‘Fifteen years later, no shared national understanding obtains about those events.’
    • ‘It is also suggested in the article that the same obtains in the United States, although no real source for that information is given.’
    • ‘This gender inequality obtains everywhere in this sector.’
    • ‘But how does all this fit with what obtains here at home?’
    • ‘The same of course obtains with respect to the ethnic grievance groups that oppose such measures in the name of equal treatment.’
    • ‘Or are we to go semi-professional like obtains on the domestic soccer front in Ireland, with such little attraction for fans.’
    prevail, be in force, apply, exist, be in use, be established, be customary, be effective, be prevalent, stand, hold, be the case
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Late Middle English: from Old French obtenir, from Latin obtinere ‘obtain, gain’.