Definition of obtain in English:

obtain

Pronunciation /äbˈtān//əbˈtān/

verb

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

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

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

Origin

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

Pronunciation

obtain

/äbˈtān//əbˈtān/