At·tain v. t. [imp. & p. p. Attained p. pr. & vb. n. Attaining.]
1. To achieve or accomplish, that is, to reach by efforts; to gain; to compass; as, to attain rest.
Is he wise who hopes to attain the end without the means? --Abp. Tillotson.
2. To gain or obtain possession of; to acquire. [Obs. with a material object.]
3. To get at the knowledge of; to ascertain. [Obs.]
Not well attaining his meaning. --Fuller.
4. To reach or come to, by progression or motion; to arrive at. “Canaan he now attains.”
5. To overtake. [Obs.]
6. To reach in excellence or degree; to equal.
Syn: -- To Attain, Obtain, Procure.
Usage: Attain always implies an effort toward an object. Hence it is not synonymous with obtain and procure, which do not necessarily imply such effort or motion. We procure or obtain a thing by purchase or loan, and we obtain by inheritance, but we do not attain it by such means.
At·tain, v. i.
1. To come or arrive, by motion, growth, bodily exertion, or efforts toward a place, object, state, etc.; to reach.
If by any means they might attain to Phenice. --Acts xxvii. 12.
Nor nearer might the dogs attain. --Sir W. Scott.
To see your trees attain to the dignity of timber. --Cowper.
Few boroughs had as yet attained to power such as this. --J. R. Green.
2. To come or arrive, by an effort of mind.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I can not attain unto it. --Ps. cxxxix. 6.
At·tain, n. Attainment. [Obs.]
v 1: to gain with effort; "she achieved her goal despite
setbacks" [syn: achieve, accomplish, reach]
2: reach a point in time, or a certain state or level; "The
thermometer hit 100 degrees"; "This car can reach a speed
of 140 miles per hour" [syn: reach, hit]
3: find unexpectedly; "the archeologists chanced upon an old
tomb"; "she struck a goldmine"; "The hikers finally struck
the main path to the lake" [syn: fall upon, strike, come
upon, light upon, chance upon, come across, chance
on, happen upon, discover]
4: reach a destination, either real or abstract; "We hit
Detroit by noon"; "The water reached the doorstep"; "We
barely made it to the finish line"; "I have to hit the MAC
machine before the weekend starts" [syn: reach, make,
hit, arrive at, gain]