Is there a word denoting an action after some object appears but it's unknown whether it was found or created?

Single variant I have is arrange but I doubt that it fits perfectly. What are some other variants?

  • Feels like I'm asking question that was asked many times before bu I cannot find anything useful. Apr 5, 2017 at 15:12
  • 3
    This question needs to be re-written, I do not understand what you are asking.
    – Dean2690
    Apr 5, 2017 at 15:17
  • 1
    arrange doesn't mean anything like what you describe. Maybe obtain is the word you want?
    – stangdon
    Apr 5, 2017 at 15:20
  • 1
    Acquire could work. To come into possession of something is to possess it.
    – Davo
    Apr 5, 2017 at 15:26
  • Why not simply ask, "Where did you get this?" this may mean aquire, create, steal, find, obtain, get, earn. Apr 5, 2017 at 16:27

3 Answers 3


You might be able to use the word "obtain" in your context.

"Obtain" means "get" or "achieve". "Achieve" and "create" have some overlap. Something can be "obtained" either legally or illegally. Thus, "obtain" is sometimes used when the speaker wants to be vague about whether something was bought, borrowed, stolen, or "cobbled together".

  • Great explanation! How often is achieve used with tangible objects? Apr 5, 2017 at 16:18
  • @GeorgeSovetov -- "Achieve" is sometimes used with tangible objects that represent intangible ideas. For example, Boy Scout merit badges, earning a diploma, or coming up with a way to make a tangible object.
    – Jasper
    Apr 5, 2017 at 19:07

Come from

In American English at least, it is common to ask where something comes from.

Maybe the answer has to do with causality:

Q: Where did that bruise on your shin come from?

A: I kicked a chair.

Maybe the answer has to do with some action taken by the person being queried:

Q: Nice Hat! Where'd that come from?

A: I picked it up at a garage sale for fifty cents!

Maybe the answer has to do with unknown provenance:

Q: That's a weird looking symbol on the wall there. I wonder where it came from.

A: Creepy! I am sure it wasn't there when I went to sleep last night.


If anyone is still looking for alternatives

request (transitive), provide(intransitive/transitive)

might be a good options. Also for certain special cases:

mount, ask, load, install, demand, etc.

comes to mind. All these options include looking for something and providing it, they do not specify whether that thing is created, searched, extracted, etc.

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