to bring to a successful end; carry through; accomplish:
The police crackdown on speeders achieved its purpose.
to get or attain by effort; gain; obtain:
to achieve victory.
to bring about an intended result; accomplish some purpose or effect.
Contemporary Examples

It means going the extra mile needed to achieve internal logical consistency.
The AJC’s Next Logical Step: Condemn Israeli Settlements Sigal Samuel June 20, 2013

What we clearly disagree on is the question of how—or whether—this issue fits into efforts to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Lara Friedman Responds on Jewish Refugees Lara Friedman August 9, 2012

The objective is nothing less than “to achieve a new type of political life in the country.”
Mousavi’s New Revolutionary Manifesto Gary Sick June 20, 2009

So we should do everything we can to protect the whistleblowers, but we need better people in government to achieve that.
Ron Paul Hits Reddit The Daily Beast August 21, 2013

Flynn sees a loud, proud, and socially unacceptable atheism as the best chance to achieve Kurtz’s declared goals.
The Atheist Recruiting Machine Lauren Sandler November 2, 2009

Historical Examples

They should recognize for themselves when they achieve success in learning.
Sequential Problem Solving Fredric Lozo

As already seen, we ask for difficulties to conquer, successes to achieve.
The Conquest of Fear Basil King

Even if we take no formal steps, spiritual or corporeal, some rule of life we must achieve for ourselves.
Science and Morals and Other Essays Bertram Coghill Alan Windle

It was for him to set out on a purpose, and achieve or fail.
The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum

We do not dare to say that they will utterly fail, or that what they achieve is utterly valueless.
The Theistic Conception of the World B. F. (Benjamin Franklin) Cocker

verb (transitive)
to bring to a successful conclusion; accomplish; attain
to gain as by hard work or effort: to achieve success

early 14c., from Old French achever (12c.) “to finish, accomplish, complete,” from phrase à chef (venir) “at an end, finished,” or Vulgar Latin *accapare, from Late Latin ad caput (venire); both the French and Late Latin phrases meaning literally “to come to a head,” from stem of Latin caput “head” (see capitulum).

The Lat. caput, towards the end of the Empire, and in Merov[ingian] times, took the sense of an end, whence the phrase ad caput venire, in the sense of to come to an end …. Venire ad caput naturally produced the Fr. phrase venir à chef = venir à bout. … From this chief, O.Fr. form of chef (q.v.) in sense of term, end, comes the Fr. compd. achever = venir à chef, to end, finish. [Auguste Brachet, “An Etymological Dictionary of the French Language,” transl. G.W. Kitchin, Oxford, 1878]

Related: Achieved; achieving.


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