AskDefine | Define acquire

Dictionary Definition



1 come into the possession of something concrete or abstract; "She got a lot of paintings from her uncle"; "They acquired a new pet"; "Get your results the next day"; "Get permission to take a few days off from work" [syn: get]
2 take on a certain form, attribute, or aspect; "His voice took on a sad tone"; "The story took a new turn"; "he adopted an air of superiority"; "She assumed strange manners"; "The gods assume human or animal form in these fables" [syn: assume, adopt, take on, take]
3 come to have or undergo a change of (physical features and attributes); "He grew a beard"; "The patient developed abdominal pains"; "I got funny spots all over my body"; "Well-developed breasts" [syn: grow, develop, produce, get]
4 locate (a moving entity) by means of a tracking system such as radar
5 win something through one's efforts; "I acquired a passing knowledge of Chinese"; "Gain an understanding of international finance" [syn: win, gain] [ant: lose]
6 acquire or gain knowledge or skills; "She learned dancing from her sister"; "I learned Sanskrit"; "Children acquire language at an amazing rate" [syn: learn, larn]
7 gain through experience; "I acquired a strong aversion to television"; "Children must develop a sense of right and wrong"; "Dave developed leadership qualities in his new position"; "develop a passion for painting" [syn: develop, evolve]

User Contributed Dictionary




  • IPA: WEAE /ʌ.kwaɪ.ɚ/


  1. to get.
  2. to gain, usually by one's own exertions; to get as one's own; as, to acquire a title, riches, knowledge, skill, good or bad habits.
    No virtue is acquired in an instant, but step by step. — Barrow?
    Descent is the title whereby a man, on the death of his ancestor, acquires his estate, by right of representation, as his heir at law. — William Blackstone


to get
to gain, usually by one's own exertions; to get as one's own

Extensive Definition

Acquire is a board game designed by Sid Sackson. The game was originally published in 1962 by 3M as a part of their bookshelf games series. In the most versions, the theme of the game was investing in hotel chains. In the most recent edition, published by Hasbro, the hotel chains are replaced by generic corporations, though the actual gameplay is unchanged.


  • The game board, a rectangular array with twelve columns labeled 1 to 12 and nine rows labeled from A to I. Each of the 108 spaces on the board will hold one tile.
  • 108 wooden tiles (later versions having plastic), one for each space of the board. Each tile has its location such as 7A or 1H printed on one side; that is the only location in which the tile may be played. Each tile represents a hotel, and adjacent tiles represent hotel chains. (In some German editions of the game, the spaces on the board are represented by cards; generic buildings are placed on the board when spaces are claimed.)
  • Seven markers for hotel chains: two indicating relatively cheap chains, two indicating relatively expensive chains, and three indicating medium cost chains.
  • Twenty-five shares of stock for each of the seven hotel chains.
  • A supply of play money.
  • Racks in which the players hold the tiles they have drawn (not present in most editions).


For two to six players. Standard tournament games are played with four. When there are only two players, special rules apply when there is a merger (see below).
The game starts with one tile per player picked randomly and placed in their locations. This is used as a convenient way to determine which player goes first: each player draws one of the tiles for the initial setup, and the player with the lowest-numbered tile goes first (for example 1A goes before 1C which goes before 2B). A player will also be chosen as the stock market banker and s/he will take cares of all the money and stock transactions between the players and the bank.
Each player begins the game with $6000 in cash ($1000 x 4, $500 x 3, $100 x 5) and six tiles picked at random for their starting racks. On each turn of the game, the player whose turn it is
  1. must play one tile
  2. must deal with the merger or founding of a new company if one results
  3. may buy three (or fewer) stock of any combination
  4. must draw one tile
Whenever a player places a tile horizontally or vertically adjacent to a tile which is not already part of a hotel chain, that player has the option of founding a new hotel chain, unless all seven hotel chains are already in play, in which case that tile becomes temporarily unplayable. The player may choose to found any chain not already in play, and receives one share of stock in the new chain at no charge. Note that if there is no more stock of that founded company in the stock market, the player will not receive that free share of stock.
Each player may, after playing a tile on his turn, purchase up to three shares of stock in existing hotel chains (hotel chains that are on the board). Only the player whose turn it is may buy stock. According to the official rule, a player may also ask the banker how many shares of a chain are not purchased yet.
When a new tile is placed adjacent to an existing hotel chain, the chain becomes larger and its stock increases in value. When a new tile is placed adjacent to tiles from two or more different chains, those chains merge into a single hotel chain, with the largest chain taking over the smaller one(s). If there is a tie among the largest chains, the player placing the merging tile chooses which of those will take over. In the case of a multiple merger, that is, a merger that merges three or more companies, the largest chain being acquired is dealt with first, and so on for each smaller chain.
When a hotel chain is merged out of existence, the players with the most (majority stockholder) and second-most (minority stockholder) shares receive cash bonuses. If there is a tie between/among the majority stockholders (2 or more), the bonuses of the majority and minority holder are added and divided by the number of players causing the tie. Each player will then receive an equal amount of bonus. Note that any divided bonus that is not a multiple of 100 will be rounded up to the next nearest 100. For example, if the divided bonus is $2250, each player will receive $2300. The same rule applies when there is a tie between/among the minority stockholders, in which case it will the minority stockholder bonus that is being divided (instead of the sum of majority and minority stockholder bonuses). If only one player owns the stock of the acquired chain, s/he will receive both the majority and minority stockholder bonuses. The bonuses are paid by the bank.
In the case when there are only two players, the stock market is also considered a stockholder of the defunct chain to determine who the majority and minority stockholders are. A tile will be drawn randomly to decide how many shares the stock market has. For example, if 8F is drawn, the stock market is considered to have 8 shares. It does not matter if the total number of stocks are over 25, which is the number of physical stocks that can be purchased by the human players. Bonuses deemed to be paid to the stock market will simply be retained with the stock market. The same rule applied at the end of the game when each lasting company is being liquidated.
Each player decides what to do with their shares in the now-defunct chain in the same order of how they place tile on the board, starting with the player who places the merging tile (for example, if they are placing tiles in the clockwise direction, each stockholder will decide what to do with their shares in the clockwise direction also). They may:
  1. Trade them in for cash at face value (the value is calculated based on the number of tiles of the acquired chain BEFORE the merger)
  2. Trade them in at a ratio of two to one for shares of the chain that is taking over (this option is not valid if there is no more stock of the acquiring company in the stock market)
  3. Keep the shares in the hopes that the hotel chain will be founded again later
Note that if a player decides to keep the shares and the chain is never founded again later, the shares will become worthless.
Hotel chains with eleven or more tiles are deemed too big to be merged out. In this situation, the chain is claimed to be safe. A tile which would connect two safe chains is unplayable and may be placed to the side at the end of the player's turn in exchange for a fresh tile.
A player may declare that game is over at the end of his/her turn when
  1. one hotel chain reaching forty-one tiles, or
  2. when all chains are safe
At the end of the game, all hotel chains pay bonuses to the largest shareholders as if they were being merged out, and all shares of stock are cashed in for face value. The richest player wins.


  • Some players play with all information (except the tiles held by players) open at all times, while others play that the cash and stock holdings of players are kept secret. The inventor said that his original intent was for holdings to be hidden, but that either open or secret was acceptable; the last version published during his life (the 1999 Hasbro edition) explicitly states that the players should mutually decide before beginning, but the default is secret. Various versions of the rules indicate which method is to be used. Some editions used an intermediate rule, where player stock holdings are placed in separate piles before them, so that it is clear who is invested in each chain, but not how much.


GAMES magazine has inducted Acquire into their buyers' guide Hall of Fame.


External links

  • Acquire homepage at Wizards of the Coast
  • Sid Sackson's Acquire homepage
Online Variants
  • NetAcquire - Free Windows software that lets one play online with others
  • Mergers - A free browser-based, play-by-email, Acquire-based game at 100% AJAX, no flash or installs required.
  • Get Hostile - A real-time online implementation of Acquire playable in your browser
Electronic Versions
  • Acquire - Acquire for the Game Boy Advance that was never published
acquire in Danish: Acquire
acquire in German: Acquire
acquire in French: Acquire
acquire in Japanese: アクワイア

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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