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    • Join Date: Sep 2006
    • Posts: 90

    attain vs achieve

    Can somebody please explain to me the difference between "attain" and "achieve"? I've looked them up in several dictionaries, but they all basically give interchangeable definitions or list them as synonyms. But there must be a difference! Does anyone know what it is?

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434

    Re: attain vs achieve

    verb bring about or accomplish by effort, skill, or courage. — ORIGIN Old French achever ‘come or bring to a head'

    The student achieved excellent results in his exams

    verb succeed in accomplishing.
    — ORIGIN Latin attingere, from tangere ‘to touch’.

    After much study, the student attained a first class degree

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