If you achieve something, you've reached a goal. Achievements aren't accidents. If you stumble upon a treasure chest, you haven't achieved something; however, achieving a promotion to become CEO is another story.

If someone asks you to give an example of the word achieve, you can always reach for Shakespeare's much quoted remark from his play Twelfth Night. In Act II, Scene V, the character Malvolio says, ". . . some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em." Pundits like to throw that quote around when talking about politicians. Of course, they usually disagree about if, when, and how the politician achieved greatness.

Definitions of achieve

v gain with effort

“she achieved her goal despite setbacks”
accomplish, attain, reach
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get a certain number or letter indicating quality or performance
get to, make, progress to, reach
reach a goal, e.g., "make the first team"
achieve or accomplish in the least degree, usually used in the negative
come to, strike
reach the highest or most decisive point
bring about; accomplish
achieve or reach on average
finagle, manage, wangle
achieve something by means of trickery or devious methods
achieve a certain score or rating on a test
Type of:
bring home the bacon, come through, deliver the goods, succeed, win
attain success or reach a desired goal

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