Senior Member
The following sentence is cited from TOEFL reading materials:
This development, coming as it did when the bottom had fallen out of the European economy, provided an impetus to a long-held desire to secure direct relations with the East by establishing a sea trade.
I've looked up this word in WR dictionary.
1. (transitive) to obtain or get possession of: I will secure some good seats
So secure here means obtain? However, in my opinion, it means build. Does build make sense?
  • Wandering JJ

    Senior Member
    British English
    Other definitions include: "to succeed in obtaining" or "to bring about", often with some difficulty. I think this meaning fits well in your example.

    Your use of "build" does indeed make sense here, in the sense of "to establish", but the nuance of "with some difficulty" is lacking.