A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Attain (verb active)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 177

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 177

To Atta'in. v.a. [atteindre, Fr. attineo, Lat.]

  1. To gain; to procure; to obtain.

    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain unto it. Ps. cxxxix. 6.

    Is he wise who hopes to attain the end without the means, nay by means that are quite contrary to it? Tillotson.

  2. To overtake; to come up with: a sense now little in use.

    The earl hoping to have overtaken the Scottish king, and to have given him battle; but not attaining him in time, set down before the castle of Aton. Bacon's Henry VII.

  3. To come to; to enter upon.

    Canaan he now attains; I see his tents
    Pitch'd above Sichem.
    Milton's Paradise Lost, b. xii.

  4. To reach; to equal.

    So the first precedent, if it be good, is seldom attained by imitation. Bacon's Essays.

    To have knowledge in most objects of contemplation, is what the mind of one man can hardly attain unto. Locke.

Sources: Bacon, Francis (396) · Locke, John (269) · Milton, John (449) · The Bible - Psalms (29) · Tillotson, John (68)

Attributes: French (385) · Latin (690) · Verb Active (289)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Attain (verb active)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: February 15, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=3741.


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