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The word acquire and its family (acquired, acquires, acquiring, acquisition, acquisitions) are included in the Academic Word List by Dr. Averil Coxhead, which contains the 570 most frequent word families used in academic texts from a variety of subject areas, of interest for students that learn the words most needed to study at tertiary institutions.

Video footage: People of the Pueblos of New Mexico acquire education in the arts and farming. (1950s)
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Definition of the verb acquire

What does acquire mean as a doing word?

Acquire is one of the top 1000 most common verbs in the English language.

verb - inflections: acquired | acquiring | acquires

  1. come into the possession of something concrete or abstract
    • examples: They acquired a new pet | The children acquire the ball
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme]Carmen bought a dress | Carmen obtained the spare part
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme] for [Asset]Carmen purchased a dress for $50
      [Agent - being or organization] [Verb] [Theme] from [Source]Carmen bought a dress from Diana | Carmen obtained the spare part from Diana
      [Asset - currency] [Verb] [Theme]$50 won't even buy a dress | $50 won't even purchase a dress

      Verbs of Change of Possession (with the same syntax): obtain, purchase.

    • lexical domain: Possession - verbs of buying, selling, owning
    • synonym of acquire: get
    • more specific terms:
  2. take on a certain form, attribute, or aspect
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • synonyms of acquire: adopt / assume / take / take on
    • more generic word: change = undergo a change; become different in essence
    • more specific word: re-assume = take on again, as after a time lapse
  3. come to have or undergo a change of (physical features and attributes)
    • lexical domain: Body Actions - verbs of grooming, dressing and bodily care
    • synonyms of acquire: develop / get / grow / produce
    • more generic word: change = undergo a change; become different in essence
    • more specific terms:
  4. locate (a moving entity) by means of a tracking system such as radar
    • lexical domain: Stative - verbs of being, having, spatial relations
    • more generic words: locate / situate = determine or indicate the place, site, or limits of, as if by an instrument or by a survey
  5. win something through one's efforts
    • example: I acquired a passing knowledge of Chinese
    • lexical domain: Possession - verbs of buying, selling, owning
    • synonyms of acquire: gain / win
    • more generic word: get = come into the possession of something concrete or abstract
    • more specific word: cozen = cheat or trick
  6. gain knowledge or skills
  7. gain through experience
    • example: I acquired a strong aversion to television
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • synonyms of acquire: develop / evolve
    • more generic word: change = undergo a change; become different in essence

Alternative definition of the verb acquire


  1. To get.
  2. To gain, usually by one's own exertions; to get as one's own, as, to acquire a title, riches, knowledge, skill, good or bad habits.


Acquire Corp. is a video game developer based in Japan, mainly known for their Tenchu and Way of the Samurai series.


Acquire is a board game designed by Sid Sackson. The game was originally published in 1962 by 3M as a part of their bookshelf games series. In most versions, the theme of the game is investing in hotel chains. In the 1990s Hasbro edition, the hotel chains were replaced by generic corporations, though the actual gameplay was unchanged.

  • genres: German-style, Economic simulation
  • publisher: Avalon Hill

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Acquire

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewThe Business Philosopher (1919)

The Magazine of Practical Business Building

The Desire to Acquire is the great mainspring of Human Activity. Were it to cease to flow the clock of civilization and Human Progress would soon run down. , The Desire to Acquire is a law of Human Nature. It is a Universal Rule of Being and ...

Google previewFormal Techniques for Distributed Objects, Components, and Systems (2015)

35th IFIP WG 6.1 International Conference, FORTE 2015, Held as Part of the 10th International Federated Conference on Distributed Computing Techniques, DisCoTec 2015, Grenoble, France, June 2-4, 2015, Proceedings by Susanne Graf, Mahesh Viswanathan

The intuition behind release/acquire is that prior writes made to other memory locations by the thread executing the release become visible in the thread that performs the corresponding acquire. Crucially, the particular form of release/ acquire ...

Google previewThe Literary Digest (1899)

and as the right to acquire is a sovereign and inherent right, the right to govern is a sovereign right not limited in the Constitution, and that these propositions are in accordance with the views of the framers of the Constitution, the decisions of ...

Google previewModern Cosmology (2003)

by Scott Dodelson

Clearly, then, one skill we must acquire is the ability to make predictions about the angular correlation function In Section 9.1 We will see that the angular correlation function is an integral over the 3D power spectrum. . Redshift surveys suffer ...

Google previewThe International Law of Property (2014)

by John G. Sprankling

The right to acquire means that a natural or legal person is entitled to obtain property without unjustifiable interference by the state or by third parties. The distinction between an opportunity and a guarantee is inherent in this definition.

Google previewThe Vampire Survival Guide (2008)

How to Fight, and Win, Against the Undead by Scott Bowen

Among the numerous survival skills the undead acquire is a magician's ability to cut glass with honed fingernails or self-made tools. They can remove panes of class so quickly and neatly that the pane appears to have simply fallen loose.

Google previewDBA Survivor (2010)

Become a Rock Star DBA by Thomas LaRock

In addition to having your own set of tools at your disposal, another good skill to acquire is the ability to remain unemotional. If you allow emotions to be a factor in your work then you will likely have clouded judgment. You need to focus on the ...

Google previewThe Routledge Dictionary of Philosophy (2009)

by Michael Proudfoot, A.R. Lacey

anidea we can acquire without our being presentedwithan instance inexperience, and without havingto constructitfrom ideas sopresented (as perhaps we constructunicorn from ...

Google previewDictionary of Military Terms (2009)

by U.S. Department of Defense

acquire ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Nebraska (1999)

by Nancy Capace

Notwithstanding any other provision in the Constitution, the Legislature may authorize any county or incorporated city or village, including cities operating under home rule charters, to acquire, own, develop, and lease real and personal ...

Google previewRoutledge Encyclopedia of Translation Technology (2014)

by Sin-Wai Chan

acquire. linguistic. knowledge. In the classic era, it was MT applications that were language specific, with each pair having its own special algorithms; CAT systems were the opposite, coming as empty ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Law and Society (2007)

American and Global Perspectives by David Scott Clark

To acquire capital with the earnings of capital, well-capitalized people use (1) the pretax earnings of capital, (2) collateral, (3) credit, (4) insurance and capital- market mechanisms to diversify and reduce risk, and (5) a monetary policy intended ...

Google previewGuns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law, 2nd Edition [3 volumes] (2012)

An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law by Gregg Lee Carter

nonlicensed residents of the state where the gun show is being held may acquire handguns or long guns from FFLs licensed in the state, provided that all ...

Google previewRoutledge Encyclopedia of Language Teaching and Learning (2013)

by Michael Byram, Adelheid Hu

process-oriented needs, which reflect what students need to do in order to actually acquire the language. Brown (1995/2001) identifies three dichotomies of needs: Situation versus language: information centering on the programme¬ęs human ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Law Enforcement (2004)

by Larry E Sullivan, Marie Simonetti Rosen, Dorothy M Schulz, M. R. Haberfeld

Firearms examiners deal with the toolmarks that bullets, cartridge cases, and shotshell components acquire by being fired and also that unfired cartridge cases and shotshells acquire by being worked through the action of a firearm.

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Acquire

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Usage statistics about acquire

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb acquire:


Photos about Acquire

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Acquiring satellites..

Photo credit: jersagfast

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Small photo of Tangerines,mandarin oranges and ornaments are synonymous to CNY decorations / Chinese New Year Symbols / The chinese characters means "big Gain" and "acquire wealth and bring luck"Small photo of Tangerines,mandarin oranges and ornaments are synonymous to CNY decorations / Chinese New Year Symbols / The chinese characters means "big Gain" and "acquire wealth and bring luck"Small photo of acquire - cube with letters, sign with wooden cubesSmall photo of Child performs preparatory tasks and acquire new knowledgeSmall photo of ?hild performs preparatory tasks at home and acquire new knowledgeSmall photo of Worker noting acquire of visitor in cafeSmall photo of acquire word on index card More...

Video language resources about Acquire

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See also the pronunciation examples of Acquire!

Quotes about Acquire

Acquire skill. Acquire knowledge.
You are not robbed.
Acquire wealth. Acquire power.
You are robbed.
Peace comes where safety rules.
18.11.2001, Pakd (Rm. Shanmugam Chettiar)
more quotes about acquire...

Scrabble value of A1C3Q10U1I1R1E1

The value of this 7-letter word is 18 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of ACQUIRE

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See also the blanagrams of Acquire!

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