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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Obtain


OBTA'IN, verb transitive [Latin obtineo; ob and teneo, to hold.]

1. To get; to gain; to procure; in a general sense, to gain possession of a thing, whether temporary or permanent; to acquiare. this word usually implies exertion to get possession, and in this it differs from receive, which may or may not imply exertion. it differs from acquire, as genus from species; acquire being properly applied only to things permanently possessed; but obtain is applied both to things of temporary and of permanent possession. We obtain loans of money on application; we obtain answers to letters; we obtain spirit from liquors by distillation and salts by evaporation. We obtain by seeking; we often receive without seeking. We acquire or obtain a good title to lands by deed, or by a judgment of court; but we do not acquire spirit by distillation; nor do we acquire an answer to a letter or an application.

He shall obtain the kingdom by flatteries. Daniel 11:21.

In whom we have obtained an inheritance. Ephesians 1:11.

2. To keep; to hold.

OBTA'IN, verb intransitive

1. To be received in customary or common use; to continue in use; to be established in practice.

The Theodosian code, several hundred years after Justinian's time, obtained in the western parts of the empire.

2. To be established; to subsist in nature.

The general laws of fluidity, elasticity and gravity, obtain in animal and inanimate tubes.

3. To prevail; to succeed. [Little used.]