Definition of obtain in US English:

obtain

verb

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

    ‘an opportunity to obtain advanced degrees’
    • ‘The volume of apoplastic fluid obtained by centrifugation increased gradually when the centrifugal forces increased.’
    • ‘The results obtained by the 2 methods of specimen handling and DNA extraction were indistinguishable.’
    • ‘Because he felt as if he could never obtain what the couple shared.’
    • ‘After genetic isolation of P insertion chromosomes, the flanking sequences were obtained by inverse PCR and sequenced.’
    • ‘Maps obtained in these studies are based on the third and the fourth extractions.’
    • ‘All estimates are obtained using four driving values and bridge sampling.’
    • ‘The parameter estimates were obtained using simulated maximum likelihood with Halton sequences as described by Train.’
    • ‘Consent was also obtained from parents and students.’
    • ‘Probes were obtained by PCR amplification of the indicated loci.’
    • ‘The licensed acupuncturist also obtains informed consent from each patient.’
    • ‘Serum samples were also obtained from 25 healthy blood donors which served as controls.’
    • ‘But the bill does not definitively bar statements obtained under torture or other abuse.’
    • ‘Under the old billing system, accountants and corporate officers could not easily obtain necessary data or documents.’
    • ‘We understand that over one million people in South Africa have fraudulently obtained licences or have none at all.’
    • ‘A new strain was one that had not been isolated from sputum samples previously obtained from an individual patient.’
    • ‘The analysis was performed on natural log-transformed data, and parameters were obtained directly from the analysis.’
    • ‘He suggested that his apparent support for official policy was obtained under duress.’
    • ‘If the consent is dishonestly obtained, then there is still dishonesty.’
    • ‘The commissioner found that the leave form was not authorised and the sick certificate was fraudulently obtained.’
    • ‘Do they use the same sort of violence and threats to obtain what they want?’
    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’
    • ‘It'll be my turn to prod the jelly tomorrow if silence still obtains.’
    • ‘The same of course obtains with respect to the ethnic grievance groups that oppose such measures in the name of equal treatment.’
    • ‘It is also suggested in the article that the same obtains in the United States, although no real source for that information is given.’
    • ‘Or are we to go semi-professional like obtains on the domestic soccer front in Ireland, with such little attraction for fans.’
    • ‘A Catholic would say the same thing obtains with the Blessed Virgin.’
    • ‘This gender inequality obtains everywhere in this sector.’
    • ‘A genus-species relation obtains when a proper definition of the form X = YZ is possible.’
    • ‘I should note that Welborn Rule obtains here: all posts to me are subject to possible posting, so be forewarned!’
    • ‘Suppose you start off with no information about which of the four possible combinations of truth values for A and B obtains.’
    • ‘There is absolutely no desire here to tinker with what obtains.’
    • ‘Overall equilibrium obtains when these three markets are in equilibrium.’
    • ‘Fifteen years later, no shared national understanding obtains about those events.’
    • ‘But how does all this fit with what obtains here at home?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The same foolishness, the same sterility, obtains in the ‘not serious’ as in the ‘serious’.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘That situation still obtains in the case of the distribution of power, resources and opportunities among the four provinces of the state.’
    • ‘The same pattern obtains for Islam, as Woodward includes miracles associated with Muhammad and then a number of Sufi saints.’
    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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Origin

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

Pronunciation