toggle menu
1000+ books


used in a sentence
(click/touch triangles for details)
Definition to gain or reach something with effort
  • She was the first woman to attain the rank of general.
attain = gain or reach something with effort
  • Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.
    Helen Keller
  • They hope to attain effective law and order in the region before withdrawing troops.
  • attain = gain or reach something with effort
  • Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.
    Abigail Adams
  • "I have only to go stubbornly on towards my aim, and I shall attain my end,"
    Tolstoy, Leo  --  Anna Karenina
  • There are men whose desire for truth is so great that to attain it they will shatter the very foundation of their world.
    Maugham, W. Somerset  --  Moon and Sixpence
  • Jack drew up his legs, clasped his knees, and frowned in an effort to attain clarity.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
  • attain = gain or reach something with effort
  • He was too simple to wonder when he had attained humility.
    Ernest Hemingway  --  The Old Man and the Sea
  • attained = achieved (gained with effort)
  • Pearl, therefore—so large were the attainments of her three years' lifetime—could have borne a fair examination in the New England Primer, or the first column of the Westminster Catechisms, although unacquainted with the outward form of either of those celebrated works.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • attainments = achievements
  • Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained.
    Abraham Lincoln  --  Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address
  • attained = reached (with effort)
  • When I had attained the age of seventeen my parents resolved that I should become a student at the university of Ingolstadt.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
  • attained = reached
  • It occurred to me that he had been very slowly bending toward her all evening to attain this proximity, and even while I watched I saw him stoop one ultimate degree and kiss at her cheek.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • attain = gain or reach something with effort
  • ...But 'tis a common proof,
    That lowliness is young ambition's ladder,
    Whereto the climber-upward turns his face;
    But, when he once attains the upmost round,
    He then unto the ladder turns his back,
    Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
    By which he did ascend.
    William Shakespeare  --  Julius Caesar
  • attains = gains or reaches something with effort
  • There was much joy throughout the town when this greatly desirable object was attained.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • attained = obtained
  • His spirit rose, as it were, with a bound, and attained a nearer prospect of the sky, than throughout all the misery which had kept him grovelling on the earth.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • attained = achieved
  • He was heard to speak of Sir Kenelm Digby and other famous men—whose scientific attainments were esteemed hardly less than supernatural—as having been his correspondents or associates.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • attainments = achievements
  • He seemed away from us, although we saw him but a few yards off; remote, though we passed close beside his chair; unattainable, though we might have stretched forth our hands and touched his own.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • unattainable = unreachable
    (Editor's note:  The prefix "un-" in unattainable means not and reverses the meaning of attainable. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.)
  • Now, however, her interview with the Reverend Mr. Dimmesdale, on the night of his vigil, had given her a new theme of reflection, and held up to her an object that appeared worthy of any exertion and sacrifice for its attainment.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • attainment = realization (fulfillment or achievement of something)
  • It was to teach them, that the holiest amongst us has but attained so far above his fellows as to discern more clearly the Mercy which looks down, and repudiate more utterly the phantom of human merit, which would look aspiringly upward.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • attained = reached
  • When, however, it forms its judgment, as it usually does, on the intuitions of its great and warm heart, the conclusions thus attained are often so profound and so unerring as to possess the character of truth supernaturally revealed.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
attained = reached

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list —®
Search for other examples by interest
General — Google News®
General — Time® Magazine
General — Wikipedia®
Architecture — Google® books - Architecture
Business — Bloomberg®
Business — The Economist®
Classic Literature — Google® books - Classical Literature
Engineering — Google® books - Engineering
Engineering — Popular Mechanics®
Engineering — Discover Magazine®
Fine Arts & Music — Google® books - Art
History — Google® books - History
Human Behavior — Google® books - Psychology
Human Behavior — Psychology Today®
Law — FindLaw®
Law — Google® books - Law
Logic & Reasoning — Google® books - Reasoning
Medicine — Web MD®
Medicine — Google® books - Medicine
Nature & Ecology — National Geographic®
Nature & Ecology — Google® books - Nature
Personal Finance — Kiplinger® (Personal Finance)
Philosophy — Google® books - Philosophy
Public Policy & Politics — Newsweek®
Public Policy & Politics — Real Clear Politics®
Public Policy & Politics — Google® books - Politics
Religion & Spirtuality — Google® books - Religion
Religion - Christianity — Bible Gateway®
Religion - Christianity — Google® books - Christianity
Science — Popular Science®
Science — Scientific American®
Science — Google® books - Science
Sports — Sports Illustrated®