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.