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something accomplished, especially by superior ability, special effort, great courage, etc.; a great or heroic deed:
his remarkable achievements in art.
act of ; attainment or accomplishment:
the achievement of one’s object.
Heraldry. the full display of the armorial bearings of an individual or corporation.
Contemporary Examples

In fact, all tests are achievement tests—they reveal not inborn ability but the skills a person has acquired up to that point.
The Myth of Innate Genius David Shenk May 12, 2011

They know that in America there should be no ceilings on achievement, glass or otherwise.
Sarah Palin’s Lost Speeches Shushannah Walshe, Scott Conroy November 2, 2009

Like Kasich, Walker has a record of achievement to point to in Wisconsin.
The Governors Who Could Beat Christie Michelle Cottle November 7, 2013

With Obama at 69%, it seems to be reward first, achievement later.
Marking My Predictions to Market David Frum June 11, 2012

Republicans may have been reluctant to attack the president over an achievement that even Dick Cheney applauded.
Myths of the Bin Laden Raid Richard Miniter November 6, 2011

Historical Examples

A sense of achievement; of conquering the unconquerable; of pitting human wits against giants and winning—a sporting chance.
Through Glacier Park Mary Roberts Rinehart

But the loneliness was lighted by a glow of pride, of triumph, of achievement.
The Incomplete Amorist E. Nesbit

To carry that bridge would be an achievement which would have forever a place in the history of the nation.
Following the Flag Charles Carleton Coffin

That, Harte hints, is the achievement of scribblers like Blackmore (p. 12).
An Essay on Satire, Particularly on the Dunciad Walter Harte

Rochester’s best love-poetry reaches the topmost pinnacle of achievement in that kind.
Milton Sir Walter Alexander Raleigh

something that has been accomplished, esp by hard work, ability, or heroism
successful completion; accomplishment
(heraldry) a less common word for hatchment

late 15c., “act of completing” (something), from Middle French achèvement “a finishing,” noun of action from Old French achever (see achieve). Meaning “thing achieved” is recorded from 1590s.


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  • Achievement age

    the level of educational development of an individual as determined by an achievement test and based on a comparison of the examinee’s score with the average score of individuals of the same chronological age. noun (psychol) the age at which a child should be able to perform a standardized test successfully Compare mental age achievement […]

  • Achievement quotient

    achievement age divided by chronological age, usually expressed as a multiple of 100. The achievement quotient of a ten-year-old child whose achievement age equals that of the average twelve-year-old is 1.2, or 120. Abbreviation: AQ. noun (psychol) a measure of ability derived by dividing an individual’s achievement age by his actual age AQ achievement quotient […]

  • Achievement test

    a test designed to measure the knowledge or proficiency of an individual in something that has been learned or taught, as arithmetic or typing. Contemporary Examples Prior to kindergarten, the children participating all took some variety of intelligence test or achievement test. The New Child-Testing Craze Po Bronson, Ashley Merryman February 16, 2010 noun (psychol) […]

  • Achiever

    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 Early in life, Robert Ingersoll, talented orator and “self-made American achiever,” had ambitions to […]

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