Definition of obtain in English:

obtain

verb

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

    ‘an opportunity to obtain advanced degrees’
    • ‘We understand that over one million people in South Africa have fraudulently obtained licences or have none at all.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Consent was also obtained from parents and students.’
    • ‘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 parameter estimates were obtained using simulated maximum likelihood with Halton sequences as described by Train.’
    • ‘Probes were obtained by PCR amplification of the indicated loci.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He suggested that his apparent support for official policy was obtained under duress.’
    • ‘The licensed acupuncturist also obtains informed consent from each patient.’
    • ‘Maps obtained in these studies are based on the third and the fourth extractions.’
    • ‘The volume of apoplastic fluid obtained by centrifugation increased gradually when the centrifugal forces increased.’
    • ‘But the bill does not definitively bar statements obtained under torture or other abuse.’
    • ‘The analysis was performed on natural log-transformed data, and parameters were obtained directly from the analysis.’
    • ‘After genetic isolation of P insertion chromosomes, the flanking sequences were obtained by inverse PCR and sequenced.’
    • ‘A new strain was one that had not been isolated from sputum samples previously obtained from an individual patient.’
    • ‘Do they use the same sort of violence and threats to obtain what they want?’
    • ‘The results obtained by the 2 methods of specimen handling and DNA extraction were indistinguishable.’
    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’
    • ‘But Descartes insists that a rational distinction also obtains between any two attributes of a substance.’
    • ‘It'll be my turn to prod the jelly tomorrow if silence still obtains.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Fifteen years later, no shared national understanding obtains about those events.’
    • ‘Sadly, Dr Mumba's discovery at the ministry of Lands gives a clear picture of what obtains in the entire civil service.’
    • ‘Or are we to go semi-professional like obtains on the domestic soccer front in Ireland, with such little attraction for fans.’
    • ‘The same foolishness, the same sterility, obtains in the ‘not serious’ as in the ‘serious’.’
    • ‘A genus-species relation obtains when a proper definition of the form X = YZ is possible.’
    • ‘But how does all this fit with what obtains here at home?’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘The same of course obtains with respect to the ethnic grievance groups that oppose such measures in the name of equal treatment.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This gender inequality obtains everywhere in this sector.’
    • ‘Overall equilibrium obtains when these three markets are in equilibrium.’
    • ‘That situation still obtains in the case of the distribution of power, resources and opportunities among the four provinces of the state.’
    • ‘It is also suggested in the article that the same obtains in the United States, although no real source for that information is given.’
    • ‘A Catholic would say the same thing obtains with the Blessed Virgin.’
    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

/əbˈtān//äbˈtān/