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From Middle English aqueren, from Old French aquerre, from Latin adquaerere; 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, as, to acquire a title, riches, knowledge, skill, good or bad habits.
    • Isaac Barrow (1630-1677)
      No virtue is acquired in an instant, but step by step.
    • William Blackstone (1723-1780)
      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, chapter 3/19/2, “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.


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  1. second-person singular present active imperative of acquīrō