Words-worth: Procurement

Procurement is the branch of management that deals with the acquisition of goods and services at the lowest price.

by MT Staff
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

It's what used to be called 'purchasing', but is more wide-ranging and ambitious. 'Procurement' was a military term, originally recorded in the US during the First World War and in Britain during the Second. To 'procure' is to get things, usually with some degree of difficulty. The word came into English from French in the 14th century, when it meant 'to take care of' or 'to try to bring about', and has its source in the Latin verb procurare, 'to manage'. Someone who works in 'procurement' is said to 'procure', but he or she is not a 'procurer' and never practises 'procuring'. A 'procurer', since the turn of the 17th century, is someone who obtains a woman as a prostitute or illicit sexual partner for someone else. 'Procuring', originally the entirely innocent act of acquiring things or bringing them about, is equally tainted and a criminal offence. To summarise: 'procurement' good, 'procuring' bad. Try not to mix them up.

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