Difference Between Acquire and Procure

Acquire vs Procure

Knowing the difference between acquire and procure is important to use them in the correct contexts as they appear similar though they are not. In any language, there are thousands and thousands of words; some of these may have more than one meaning while some other words may mean the very same or have similar or seemingly alike meanings. This complex nature of a language’s vocabulary makes the understanding and the remembering of meanings of such words difficult. However, since it is acknowledged that one’s mastery of language is apparent in their collection of vocabulary, strengthening your vocabulary is a must to anyone and everyone. Among the many words in English, which have similar yet subtly different meanings, the difference between acquire and procure is explored in this article. Acquire and procure are two verbs in English, which have related meanings. Yet, could they be used synonymously?

What does Acquire mean?

The verb acquire, pronounced / əˈkwʌɪə/, is a transitive verb with the meaning of buying or obtaining for oneself through one’s actions or efforts. In this sense, it is usually used for objects or assets.

E.g. – I acquired all the qualifications I needed.

In another context, acquire means to obtain something by buying or being given it.

E.g. – The company has just acquired new premises.

However, acquire simply means to obtain. Obtain either by one’s own efforts and actions or by buying or being given. This verb is categorized as formal and is also used to mean to get a particular position, reputation, name or disease or illness. Further, acquire means to gradually develop or learn something.

E.g. – He has never acquired a taste for wine.

It is better to acquire the habit of using public transport instead of private cars.

Acquire is a verb in British English.

What does Procure mean?

Procure, pronounced /prəˈkyo͝or,prō-/, is both a transitive and an intransitive verb meaning to obtain something, especially with difficulty. Procure is used as either procure something for someone or procure someone something.

E.g.- I told him to procure visas for his family.

He procured them some assistance with their luggage.

Also, when used as an intransitive verb, procure means to provide a prostitute for somebody.

E.g. -He was arrested for procuring.

Procure could be transitive too.

E.g. – He was arrested for procuring under-age girls.

Moreover, procure is the American equivalent of acquire. 

What is the difference between Acquire and Procure?

• Acquire is to obtain through one’s great efforts and actions while procure is to obtain something, especially with great difficulty.

• Acquire is British while procure is American.

• Procure is a synonym of acquire, while acquire is not often used as a synonym of procure.

• Acquire means to develop something or learn something gradually.

Considering the above differences which are subtle, it can be understood that acquire and procure are different in meaning.