noun \ə-ˈkwān-tən(t)s\

: someone who is known but who is not a close friend

: the state of knowing someone in a personal or social way : the state of knowing someone as an acquaintance

: knowledge about something

Full Definition of ACQUAINTANCE

a :  the state of being acquainted
b :  personal knowledge :  familiarity
a :  the persons with whom one is acquainted <should auld acquaintance be forgot — Robert Burns>
b :  a person whom one knows but who is not a particularly close friend <a casual acquaintance>
ac·quain·tance·ship \-ˌship\ noun


  1. She ran into an old acquaintance at the grocery store.
  2. our family's close acquaintance with our neighbors
  3. She struck up an acquaintance with a man from the city.
  4. He seemed cold at first, but on closer acquaintance I realized that he was just shy.
  5. While he has some acquaintance with the subject, he is not an expert.
  6. But Francis later found out that the dinner acquaintance who sweet-talked him got a thank-you check for three thousand pounds. —Julian Barnes, New Yorker, 20 Sept. 1993


(see acquaint)
First Known Use: 14th century


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