c. 1300, "bring about, cause, effect," from Old French procurer "care for, be occupied with; bring about, cause; acquire, provide" (13c.) and directly from Late Latin procurare "manage, take care of;" from pro "in behalf of" (see pro-) + curare "care for" (see cure (v.)).
The main modern sense of "obtain; recruit" (late 14c.) is via the meaning "take pains to get or bring about" (mid-14c.). It had broader meanings in Middle English: to procure to slay was "cause to be slain;" procure to break, "cause to be broken," etc. The meaning "to obtain (women) for sexual gratification" of others is attested from c. 1600. Related: Procured; procuring.
updated on November 28, 2020