Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English achieven, acheven, from Anglo-Norman achever, Old French achever, achiever et al., apparently from Late Latin *accappāre, present active infinitive of *accappō, from ad (to) + caput (head) + (verbal suffix), or alternatively a construction based on Old French chief (head). Compare Catalan, Occitan, Portuguese and Spanish acabar, French achever.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /əˈtʃiːv/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːv


achieve (third-person singular simple present achieves, present participle achieving, simple past and past participle achieved)

  1. (intransitive) To succeed in something, now especially in academic performance. [from 14th c.]
  2. (transitive) To carry out successfully; to accomplish. [from 14th c.]
    You can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.
    Hannah achieved her lifelong dream of winning a medal at the Olympics.
    • 1832, Isaac Taylor, Saturday Evening
      Supposing faculties and powers to be the same, far more may be achieved in any line by the aid of a capital, invigorating motive than without it.
  3. (obsolete, transitive) To conclude, finish, especially successfully. [14th-18th c.]
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.1:
      Full many Countreyes they did overronne, / From the uprising to the setting Sunne, / And many hard adventures did atchieve []
  4. (transitive) To obtain, or gain (a desired result, objective etc.), as the result of exertion; to succeed in gaining; to win. [from 14th c.]
  5. (obsolete, intransitive) To conclude, to turn out. [14th-16th c.]
  6. (transitive, now literary) To obtain (a material thing). [from 15th c.]
    Show all the spoils by valiant kings achieved.


(carry out successfully): accomplish, fulfil, fulfill, realize (conclude): conclude, end, finalize, complete {{sense|obtain or gain a desired result) attain, obtain, get one's hands on

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further readingEdit