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obtain - definition and synonyms


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verb obtain pronunciation in British English /əbˈteɪn/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleobtaining
past tenseobtained
past participleobtained
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  1. 1
    [transitive] to get something that you want or need, especially by going through a process that is difficult
    She has to obtain her parents’ permission before she does anything.
    Long delays in obtaining passports and visas often occur.
    obtain something by (doing) something: He was charged with obtaining property by deception.
    obtain something from someone/something: Details can be obtained from the Department for Education.
  2. 2
    [intransitive] formal if something such as a rule or condition obtains, it exists, is used, or is accepted
    This situation generally obtains in early language learning.
    Synonyms and related words


a fashion trend in which people intentionally wear ordinary, inexpensive, widely-available clothing

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a flower or small bunch of flowers worn on the lapel of a jacket on special occasions

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