Receive vs Attain - What's the difference?

receive | attain |

As verbs the difference between receive and attain

is that receive is to take, as something that is offered, given, committed, sent, paid, etc; to accept; to be given something while attain is to accomplish; to achieve.

As a noun receive

is (telecommunications) an operation in which data is received.

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?



Alternative forms

* (obsolete)


  • To take, as something that is offered, given, committed, sent, paid, etc.; to accept; to be given something.
  • :
  • *(William Shakespeare) (c.1564–1616)
  • *:Our hearts receive your warnings.
  • *(John Locke) (1632-1705)
  • *:The idea of solidity we receive by our touch.
  • *(Bible), viii.64:
  • *:The brazen altar that was before the Lord was too little to receive the burnt offerings.
  • *, chapter=19
  • , title= The Mirror and the Lamp , passage=Nothing was too small to receive attention, if a supervising eye could suggest improvements likely to conduce to the common welfare. Mr. Gordon Burnage, for instance, personally visited dust-bins and back premises, accompanied by a sort of village bailiff, going his round like a commanding officer doing billets.}}
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-05-25, volume=407, issue=8837, page=74, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= No hiding place , passage=In America alone, people spent $170 billion on “direct marketing”—junk mail of both the physical and electronic varieties—last year. Yet of those who received unsolicited adverts through the post, only 3% bought anything as a result.}}
  • To take possession of.
  • To act as a host for guests; to give admittance to; to permit to enter, as into one's house, presence, company, etc.
  • :
  • *(Bible), (w) xxviii.2:
  • *:They kindled a fire, and received us every one.
  • *
  • *:In former days every tavern of repute kept such a room for its own select circle, a club, or society, of habitués, who met every evening, for a pipe and a cheerful glass.Strangers might enter the room, but they were made to feel that they were there on sufferance: they were received with distance and suspicion.
  • To suffer from (an injury).
  • :
  • To allow (a custom, tradition, etc.); to give credence or acceptance to.
  • *(Bible), (w) vii.4:
  • *:Many other things there be which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots.
  • (lb) To detect a signal from a transmitter.
  • (lb) To be in a position to take possession, or hit back the ball.
  • # To be in a position to hit back a service.
  • #(lb) To be in a position to catch a forward pass.
  • To accept into the mind; to understand.
  • *, I.57:
  • *:I cannot receive that manner, whereby we establish the continuance of our life.
  • Noun

    (en noun)
  • (telecommunications) An operation in which data is received.
  • sends and receives




    (en verb)
  • To accomplish; to achieve.
  • To attain such a high level of proficiency requires hours of practice each day.
  • To get at the knowledge of; to ascertain.
  • * Fuller
  • not well attaining his meaning
  • To reach or come to, by progression or motion; to arrive at.
  • * Milton
  • Canaan he now attains .
  • * Bible, Psalms cxxxix. 6
  • Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I can not attain unto it.
  • To come or arrive, by motion, growth, bodily exertion, or efforts toward a place, object, state, etc.; to reach.
  • * Bible, Acts xxvii. 12
  • if by any means they might attain to Phenice
  • * Sir Walter Scott
  • Nor nearer might the dogs attain .
  • * Cowper
  • to see your trees attain to the dignity of timber
  • * J. R. Green
  • Few boroughs had as yet attained to power such as this.
  • To reach in excellence or degree; to equal.
  • (obsolete) To overtake.
  • (Francis Bacon)