From Middle English acqueren, from Old French aquerre, from Latin acquirere; ad + quaerere (to seek for). See quest.



acquire (third-person singular simple present acquires, present participle acquiring, simple past and past participle acquired)

  1. (transitive) To get.
  2. (transitive) To gain, usually by one's own exertions; to get as one's own
    He acquired a title.
    all the riches he acquired were from hard work.
    One should acquire' as much knowledge as possible from reading.
    to acquire a skill
    to acquire decent habits and manners
    • (Can we date this quote by Isaac Barrow and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      No virtue is acquired in an instant, but step by step.
    • (Can we date this quote by William Blackstone and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      Descent is the title whereby a man, on the death of his ancestor, acquires his estate, by right of representation, as his heir at law.
    • 1922, Michael Arlen, “3/19/2”, in “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days:
      Ivor had acquired more than a mile of fishing rights with the house ; he was not at all a good fisherman, but one must do something ; one generally, however, banged a ball with a squash-racket against a wall.
  3. (medicine) To contract.
  4. (computing) To sample signals and convert them into digital values.



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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.




  1. second-person singular present active imperative of acquīrō