verb ac·knowl·edge \ik-ˈnä-lij, ak-\

: to say that you accept or do not deny the truth or existence of (something)

: to regard or describe (someone or something) as having or deserving a particular status

: to tell or show someone that something (such as a letter or message) has been received


Full Definition of ACKNOWLEDGE

transitive verb
:  to recognize the rights, authority, or status of
:  to disclose knowledge of or agreement with
a :  to express gratitude or obligation for <acknowledge a gift>
b :  to take notice of <failed to acknowledge my greeting>
c :  to make known the receipt of <acknowledge a letter>
:  to recognize as genuine or valid <acknowledge a debt>


  1. They acknowledged that the decision was a mistake.
  2. Do you acknowledge that you caused this mess?
  3. They readily acknowledged their mistake.
  4. She won't acknowledge responsibility for her actions.
  5. He quickly acknowledges all of my e-mails when he receives them.
  6. Please acknowledge receipt of this letter.
  7. She acknowledged the gift with a card.
  8. She acknowledged his greeting with a smile.


ac- (as in accord) + knowledge
First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of ACKNOWLEDGE

acknowledge, admit, own, avow, confess mean to disclose against one's will or inclination. acknowledge implies the disclosing of something that has been or might be concealed <acknowledged an earlier peccadillo>. admit implies reluctance to disclose, grant, or concede and refers usually to facts rather than their implications <admitted the project was over budget>. own implies acknowledging something in close relation to oneself <must own I know little about computers>. avow implies boldly declaring, often in the face of hostility, what one might be expected to be silent about <avowed that he was a revolutionary>. confess may apply to an admission of a weakness, failure, omission, or guilt <confessed a weakness for sweets>.



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