An acquisition is something you acquire — a book, a skill or if you are a mogul, a company. It describes things you have purchased, things you have learned, or things you have gotten.

Acquisition has a formal sense to it. We don't talk about our new jeans as our latest acquisition, unless we are the kind of person who refers to their latest copy of Vogue as their Bible. It is very commonly used to refer to paintings purchased by museums — in fact, large museums have acquisition departments.

Definitions of acquisition
  1. noun
    something acquired
    “a recent acquisition by the museum”
    see moresee less
    show 23 types...
    hide 23 types...
    accession, addition
    something added to what you already have
    something acquired by purchase
    something acquired without compensation
    stock buyback
    a corporation's purchase of its own outstanding stock; increases earnings/share so stock price rises (which can discourage a takeover attempt)
    bargain, buy, steal
    an advantageous purchase
    bequest, legacy
    (law) a gift of personal property by will
    (law) a gift of real property by will
    free lunch
    something acquired without effort or payment or obligation
    dower, dowery, dowry, portion
    money or property brought by a woman to her husband at marriage
    bride price
    money or property given (in some societies) by the bridegroom to the family of his bride
    largess, largesse
    a gift or money given (as for service or out of benevolence); usually given ostentatiously
    aid, economic aid, financial aid
    money to support a worthy person or cause
    award, prize
    something given for victory or superiority in a contest or competition or for winning a lottery
    something presented as a gift
    contribution, donation
    a voluntary gift (as of money or service or ideas) made to some worthwhile cause
    a gift that significantly increases the recipient's wealth
    a small gift (especially one given by a merchant to a customer who makes a purchase)
    bestowal, bestowment
    a gift that is bestowed or conferred
    freebee, freebie, swag
    something that is free (usually provided as part of a promotional scheme)
    a gift of public land or resources for the private gain of a limited group
    gift horse
    a gift (usually of inferior quality) that should be accepted uncritically
    something presented to a deity as a sacrifice or symbol of devotion
    something for which one is required to pay money
    type of:
    transferred possession, transferred property
    a possession whose ownership changes or lapses
  2. noun
    the act of contracting or assuming or acquiring possession of something
    “the acquisition of wealth”
    “the acquisition of one company by another”
    see moresee less
    show 18 types...
    hide 18 types...
    acquiring or coming into something (usually undesirable)
    the act of making money (and accumulating wealth)
    the formal act of acquiring something (especially territory) by conquest or occupation
    acquisition of government money for benefits to a specific locale
    the acquisition of something for payment
    the act of taking something that is offered
    succession, taking over
    acquisition of property by descent or by will
    assumption, laying claim
    the act of taking possession of or power over something
    heritage, inheritance
    hereditary succession to a title or an office or property
    procural, procurance, procurement
    the act of getting possession of something
    regaining, restitution, restoration, return
    getting something back again
    acquisition of a company by purchasing a controlling percentage of its stock
    buyback, redemption, repurchase
    the act of purchasing back something previously sold
    buying, purchasing
    the act of buying
    finding a way to take money back from people that they were given in another way
    leveraged buyout
    a buyout using borrowed money; the target company's assets are usually security for the loan
    strategic buyout
    an acquisition based on analysis of the benefits of consolidation in anticipation of increased earning power
    a change by sale or merger in the controlling interest of a corporation
    type of:
    acquiring, getting
    the act of acquiring something
  3. noun
    the cognitive process of acquiring skill or knowledge
    “the child's acquisition of language”
    synonyms: learning
    see moresee less
    show 28 types...
    hide 28 types...
    a learning process in which an organism's behavior becomes dependent on the occurrence of a stimulus in its environment
    developmental learning
    learning that takes place as a normal part of cognitive development
    learning and coming to understand ideas and information
    the gradual process of acquiring knowledge
    incorporation, internalisation, internalization
    learning (of values or attitudes etc.) that is incorporated within yourself
    a learning process in early life whereby species specific patterns of behavior are established
    language learning
    learning to use a language
    committal to memory, memorisation, memorization
    learning so as to be able to remember verbatim
    study, work
    applying the mind to learning and understanding a subject (especially by reading)
    carry-over, transfer, transfer of training
    application of a skill learned in one situation to a different but similar situation
    (psychology) unconscious internalization of aspects of the world (especially aspects of persons) within the self in such a way that the internalized representation takes over the psychological functions of the external objects
    (psychoanalysis) the internalization of the parent figures and their values; leads to the formation of the superego
    audio lingual acquisition
    system of language acquisition focusing intensively on listening and speaking
    rote, rote learning
    memorization by repetition
    in the theories of Jean Piaget: the modification of internal representations in order to accommodate a changing knowledge of reality
    in the theories of Jean Piaget: the application of a general schema to a particular instance
    generalisation, generalization, stimulus generalisation, stimulus generalization
    (psychology) transfer of a response learned to one stimulus to a similar stimulus
    acculturation, assimilation
    the process of assimilating new ideas into an existing cognitive structure
    becoming proficient in the use of something; having mastery of
    self-cultivation, self-education
    the process of educating yourself
    school, schooling
    the process of being formally educated at a school
    special education
    education of physically or mentally handicapped children whose needs cannot be met in an ordinary classroom
    vocational education, vocational training
    training for a specific vocation in industry or agriculture or trade
    experimental extinction, extinction
    a conditioning process in which the reinforcer is removed and a conditioned response becomes independent of the conditioned stimulus
    aversive conditioning
    conditioning to avoid an aversive stimulus
    classical conditioning
    conditioning that pairs a neutral stimulus with a stimulus that evokes a reflex; the stimulus that evokes the reflex is given whether or not the conditioned response occurs until eventually the neutral stimulus comes to evoke the reflex
    operant conditioning
    conditioning in which an operant response is brought under stimulus control by virtue of presenting reinforcement contingent upon the occurrence of the operant response
    counter conditioning
    conditioning in which a second incompatible response is conditioned to an already conditioned stimulus
    type of:
    basic cognitive process
    cognitive processes involved in obtaining and storing knowledge
  4. noun
    an ability that has been acquired by training
    synonyms: accomplishment, acquirement, attainment, skill
    see moresee less
    show 20 types...
    hide 20 types...
    craft, craftsmanship, workmanship
    skill in an occupation or trade
    skill in handling and riding horses
    the ability to read and write
    skill in shooting
    the skill of a master
    skill in preparing mixed drinks
    skill with numbers and mathematics
    skill as an oarsman
    skill in selling; skill in persuading people to buy
    skill in sailing
    the ability to present something (especially theatrical shows) in an attractive manner
    soldiering, soldiership
    skills that are required for the life of soldier
    skill in fencing
    skill in handling boats
    skill in domestic management
    the skills involved in the work of a priest
    skill in writing or staging plays
    skill acquired through experience in a trade; often used to discuss skill in espionage
    skill in the management of boats
    skill in carving or fashioning objects from wood
    type of:
    ability, power
    possession of the qualities (especially mental qualities) required to do something or get something done
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week