Meaning of “obtain” in the English Dictionary

"obtain" in British English

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obtainverb

uk /əbˈteɪn/ us /əbˈteɪn/ formal

obtain verb (GET)

B2 [ T ] to get something, especially by asking for it, buying it, working for it, or producing it from something else:

to obtain permission
First editions of these books are now almost impossible to obtain.
In the second experiment they obtained a very clear result.
Sugar is obtained by crushing and processing sugar cane.

More examples

  • It's hard to obtain truly independent financial advice.
  • The education director is persevering in his attempt to obtain additional funding for the school.
  • The money was dishonestly obtained.
  • The documents are the first substantive information obtained by the investigators.
  • He was found guilty of obtaining money by deception.

(Definition of “obtain” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"obtain" in American English

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obtainverb [ T ]

us /əbˈteɪn, ɑb-/

to get something, esp. by a planned effort:

to obtain knowledge
She was finally able to obtain legal possession of the house.
obtainable
adjective [ not gradable ] us /əbˈteɪ·nə·bəl, ɑb-/

That drug is now obtainable without a prescription.

(Definition of “obtain” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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