• WordNet 3.6
    • v attain reach a point in time, or a certain state or level "The thermometer hit 100 degrees","This car can reach a speed of 140 miles per hour"
    • v attain reach a destination, either real or abstract "We hit Detroit by noon","The water reached the doorstep","We barely made it to the finish line","I have to hit the MAC machine before the weekend starts"
    • v attain find unexpectedly "the archeologists chanced upon an old tomb","she struck a goldmine","The hikers finally struck the main path to the lake"
    • v attain to gain with effort "she achieved her goal despite setbacks"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Dr. Guillotin merely proposed the machine that bears his name (which was rejected by the crown) and he never made a working model. The first working model was made by his assistant years later. When the machine attained infamy in the French Revolution, Dr.Guillotin protested its use and went to his grave claiming that the machine was unjustly named after him.
    • n Attain Attainment.
    • Attain To achieve or accomplish, that is, to reach by efforts; to gain; to compass; as, to attain rest. "Is he wise who hopes to attain the end without the means?"
    • Attain To come or arrive, by an effort of mind. "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I can not attain unto it."
    • Attain To come or arrive, by motion, growth, bodily exertion, or efforts toward a place, object, state, etc.; to reach. "If by any means they might attain to Phenice.""Nor nearer might the dogs attain .""To see your trees attain to the dignity of timber.""Few boroughs had as yet attained to power such as this."
    • Attain To gain or obtain possession of; to acquire.
    • Attain To get at the knowledge of; to ascertain. "Not well attaining his meaning."
    • Attain To overtake. "So forth he went and soon them overhent ."
    • Attain To reach in excellence or degree; to equal.
    • Attain To reach or come to, by progression or motion; to arrive at. "Canaan he now attains ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Never mind what you saw in the film "The Poseidon Adventure." The biggest wave on record, reported by a reliable source, was estimated to have attained a height of 112 feet. It was measured, at some distance, I hope, by a tanker traveling between Manila and San Diego in 1933. The wind was blowing at 70 mph at the time.
    • attain To touch; strike; hit.
    • attain To touch upon; mention.
    • attain To convict; condemn. Compare attaint, v., 3-5.
    • attain To come so near as to touch; reach, achieve, or accomplish (an end or object) by continued effort; come into possession of; acquire; gain.
    • attain To come to or arrive at (a place); reach (a place, time, or state).
    • attain To reach in excellence or degree; equal.
    • attain To overtake; come up with: as, “not attaining him in time,” Bacon.
    • attain To come to know; experience. Synonyms
    • attain To reach; come or arrive by motion, bodily or mental exertion, or efforts of any kind: followed by to or unto.
    • attain To pertain; have relation.
    • n attain Something attained. Glanville.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Attain at-tān′ to reach or gain by effort: to obtain: to reach a place: to reach
    • v.i Attain to come or arrive: to reach
    • ***


  • R. Palmer
    R. Palmer
    “It is a rare and difficult attainment to grow old gracefully and happily.”
  • Robert Graves
    Robert Graves
    “The award of a pure gold medal for poetry would flatter the recipient unduly: no poem ever attains such carat purity.”
  • Mary Baker Eddy
    “Chastity is the cement of civilization and progress. Without it there is no stability in society, and without it one cannot attain the Science of Life.”
  • John Milton
    “When complaints are freely heard, deeply considered and speedily reformed, then is the utmost bound of civil liberty attained that wise men look for.”
  • Samuel Johnson
    “Those who attain to any excellence commonly spend life in some single pursuit, for excellence is not often gained upon easier terms.”
  • Francis Quarles
    “Be always displeased at what thou art, if thou desire to attain to what thou art not; for where thou hast pleased thyself, there thou abidest.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Of. atteinen, atteignen, atainen, OF. ateindre, ataindre, F. atteindre, fr. L. attingere,; ad, + tangere, to touch, reach. See Tangent, and cf. Attinge Attaint


In literature:

I drew back, almost frightened, half inclined to flee before he could attain the summit.
"Beyond the Frontier" by Randall Parrish
The captain informed the Governor that he had a young man on board fond of books, and of superior literary attainments.
"Benjamin Franklin, A Picture of the Struggles of Our Infant Nation One Hundred Years Ago" by John S. C. Abbott
This, I say, is not discovered or attained to by human reason.
"Epistle Sermons, Vol. III" by Martin Luther
James Tobey Pyke, a lyrical and philosophical poet of high scholastic attainments, contributes two poems; "Maia", and "The Poet".
"Writings in the United Amateur, 1915-1922" by Howard Phillips Lovecraft
The weaving now continues as before until the desired width of the mat is attained, when the third corner is turned.
"Philippine Mats" by Hugo H. Miller
It is often contended in Germany to-day that it would still have been possible to attain this end.
"My Three Years in America" by Johann Heinrich Andreas Hermann Albrecht Graf von Bernstorff
She had always been potentially an artist; but she at last had attained vision.
"Coquette" by Frank Swinnerton
Yesterday Mr. Good offered a resolution declaring the unalterable purpose of Congress to prosecute the war until independence is attained.
"A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital" by John Beauchamp Jones
It is that in which most persons like to excel, but which comparatively few attain.
"Talkers" by John Bate
No one could have attained or kept the position of archbishop at the time without being so.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 2" by Various

In poetry:

No matter if my hands attain
The golden crown or cross
Only to love is such a gain
That losing is not loss.
"Quand-Meme" by John Hay
What shall we be like when
We cast this earthly body and attain
To immortality?
What shall we be like then?
"Seeds" by John Oxenham
All is over.
You and I no more are love and lover;
Nought's to seek now, gain, attain, discover.
All is over.
"A Parting" by Edith Nesbit
Come, loss, more frequently than gain!
And failure than success! until
The spirit's struggle to attain
Is still!
"Dead Sea Fruit" by Madison Julius Cawein
Gleams of that divine completeness
God's angelic ones attain,
Pass amid our toils before us,
And we emulate in vain.
"Mona Lisa" by Mary Gardiner Horsford
He saw the midnight bright and bare
Fill with its quietude of stars
The silence that no human prayer
Attains or mars.
"The Poet's Song" by Archibald Lampman

In news:

The new XJ is whisper quiet and possesses that always difficult-to-attain combination of a comfortable ride and competent handling.
If you ever felt like being in the presence of angels, you could attain your desire by attending an event with the Morgan County special-needs mutual.
Despite Outpacing Men in Educational Attainment, Women's Pay Still Lagging .
Narcissism and leadership have been widely studied, and there is some evidence that narcissists succeed in attaining leadership positions.
The intervention related to international conventions on whaling which allowed countries to attain a special permit for killing whales for scientific research.
Laurie Johnson and Margaret Witt celebrate attaining their marriage license in Spokane, Washington (AP/The Spokesman-Review, Dan Pelle).
Syd Hoffman, 56, knows the secret to attaining age-defying vitality.
Giants Rookie Is Still Figuring Out How to Attain His Lofty Goals.
Today, Rathke said, aspiring toy makers can attain a BFA in toy design from universities like F.I.T.
It may not be the best, but it is the easiest heath goal for people to attain.
DAVISON, Michigan — Three miles seemed like an ambitious, but attainable, goal.
Respiratory care practitioners have the potential to attain new levels of responsibility and involvement in the area of skilled nursing care.
On the other hand, understanding of the metabolic changes that conspired to lead to type 2 diabetes had not attained the same level of certainty.
Muller , 18, the son of Jim and Jennifer Muller of Independence, has attained the elite rank of Eagle Scout.
In 2011, that goal will become even more attainable for the museum 's board of directors, who are anxiously anticipating a new facility and upgrade for an important piece of African American history.

In science:

When h > 0, all the local minima attain an energy of Ek + h∆zk with respect to the reference state with ¯z0 and E0 .
Energy landscapes in random systems, driven interfaces and wetting
The prevailing notion of random close packing (RCP) is that it is the maximum density that a large, random collection of spheres can attain and that this density is a universal quantity.
Is Random Close Packing of Spheres Well Defined?
This is similar with what we have attained with the earlier model.
Force-Induced Melting and Thermal Melting of a Double-Stranded Biopolymer
The ob ject w will be attained (with probability close to 1) by iterating U m |γ i.
Generalization of Grover's Algorithm to Multiobject Search in Quantum Computing, Part II: General Unitary Transformations
Obviously we would also like a definition of the entropy S that has a minimum value of zero, which it should attain for the pure vacuum state.
Defining Entropy Bounds