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From attain +‎ -able.[1]



attainable (comparative more attainable, superlative most attainable)

  1. Able to be accomplished, achieved, or obtained.
    Antonyms: unaccomplishable, unachievable, unattainable, unobtainable
    • 1679, John Fox, “How Time Must be Redeemed”, in Time and the End of Time, in Two Discourses; [], London: Printed by William Rawlins, and are to be sold by George Calvert [], and Samuel Sprint [], OCLC 1061965086, pages 24–25:
      Chriſtians, this aſſuring Faith is attainable; pray for it, and vigorouſly preſs after it that you may be ſealed up unto the day of Redemption, that ſo an Entrance may be miniſtred unto you, into the everlaſting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jeſus Chriſt, [...].
    • 1754, [William Guthrie], “Book II”, in The Friends. A Sentimental History: Describing Love as a Virtue, as well as a Passion. In Two Volumes, volume I, London: Printed for T. Waller, [], OCLC 723452225, page 55:
      He even neglected to open his Apprehenſions to Livia, leſt ſhe ſhould be ſo much alarmed, as to be upon her Guard, and thereby render the Enjoyment of his Pleaſures more ſeldom attainable.
    • 1804 August, “Art. 40. Military Observations Respecting Ireland, Its Attack and Defence, [] Dublin. 1804. [book review]”, in The Monthly Review; or, Literary Journal, Enlarged, volume XLIV, London: Printed by Strahan and Preston, []; and sold by T[homas] Becket, [], OCLC 901376714, page 434:
      He [...] invites Britain to treat her sister island with kindness and confidence. He deems peace attainable, and thinks that the interests of the empire require that it should be sought.
    • 1851 November 14, Herman Melville, “A Squeeze of the Hand”, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 57395299, page 464:
      For now, since by many prolonged, repeated experiences, I have perceived that in all cases man must eventually lower, or at least shift, his conceit of attainable felicity; not placing it anywhere in the intellect or the fancy; but in the wife, the heart, the bed, the table, the saddle, the fire-side, the country; now that I have perceived all this, I am ready to squeeze case eternally.
    • 2018 June 5, Jonah Engel Bromwich; Vanessa Friedman; Matthew Schneier, “Kate Spade, whose handbags carried women into adulthood, is dead at 55”, in The New York Times[1], New York, N.Y.: The New York Times Company, ISSN 0362-4331, OCLC 971436363:
      Her [Kate Spade's] name became a shorthand for the cute, clever bags that were an instant hit with cosmopolitan women in the early stages of their careers and, later, young girls – status symbols of a more attainable, all-American sort than a Fendi clutch or Chanel bag.

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attainable (plural attainables)

  1. Something that can be attained.
    • 1719, John Guyse, “The Preface”, in Jesus Christ God-man: Or, The Constitution of Christ’s Person, with the Evidence and Importance of the Doctrine of His True and Proper Godhead. [], London: Printed for R[obert] Cruttenden, [], OCLC 731610785, page vi:
      In this Account God gives of himſelf, there's a beautiful Variety of the moſt uſeful and noble Attainables, to excite our greatest Diligence, [...]
    • 1969, Dimensions in American Judaism, New York, N.Y: Union of American Hebrew Congregations, OCLC 891479459, page 11, column 2; republished in Murray Friedman, editor, Overcoming Middle Class Rage, Philadelphia, Pa.: The Westminster Press, 1971, →ISBN, page 223:
      So is good housing and medical care and all the other attainables which lead to a better life. But we've allowed these common goals to be compartmentalized and labeled for "special" groups only.



  1. ^ attainable, adj.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1885; “attainable, adj.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.