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Attainable vs. Obtainable – What’s the difference?

Have you ever wondered if there is a difference between attainable vs. obtainable?

Meaning and Difference

Attain is defined as achieving, accomplishing, or reaching the age of. Obtain means to acquire or get. There is sometimes common ground between these verbs, primarily when someone obtains something similar to something that is often attained. For instance, nuclear technology is something to be attained, while someone can only obtain a physical nuclear weapon.


“Even as he was encouraging young people to reach for greater heights for themselves, he was working to attain his own educational goals,” the school said. – The Guardian

And maybe he’s also reflecting that if humanity doesn’t or shouldn’t need war to make us realise that life has a purpose then equally the solitary man doesn’t or shouldn’t need the risks of flight to attain the same realisation. – The Guardian – Books

Membership is easy to obtain. For example, Jetsetter members can invite anyone to join, while travelers without a friend in the network can request membership on the site. requires travelers simply to register. – The New York Times – Travel

The bldg. is under the aegis of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, who had to condemn 164 bldgs. to obtain the present site. – The New Yorker

Related: For more articles on similar words, click here.

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By Connie Fisher

Connie Fisher is a freelance writer and editor specialising in business writing and marketing. She holds a bachelor's degree in media and journalist and has contributed to a slew of printed and online media including Contra Costa Times, Daily American, the The Tri-Town News, and many more.

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