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verb ac·qui·esce \ˌa-kwē-ˈes\

Simple Definition of acquiesce

  • : to accept, agree, or allow something to happen by staying silent or by not arguing

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of acquiesce



  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to accept, comply, or submit tacitly or passively —often used with in and sometimes with to

Examples of acquiesce in a sentence

  1. … the tender understanding with which he had acquiesced to her wish not to consummate their relationship out of wedlock. —Dorothy West, The Wedding, 1995

  2. … he seems to have acquiesced in his Christian Scientist wife's refusal to provide medical care … —Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times Book Review, 17 Dec. 1995

  3. The main body of Shi'is, in and around Iraq, accepted 'Abbasid rule, or at least acquiesced in it. —Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples, 1991

  4. He passively acquired the reputation of being a snob, and acquiesced to it … —George V. Higgins, Harper's, September 1984

  5. They demanded it, and he acquiesced.

  6. <apparently the contractor expected me to acquiesce to my own fleecing>

Did You Know?

Acquiesce means essentially "to comply quietly," so it should not surprise you to learn that it is ultimately derived from the Latin verb quiescere, meaning "to be quiet." It arrived in English around 1620, via the French acquiescer, with the now obsolete sense "to rest satisfied." The earliest known recorded use of the word acquiesce in the sense of "to agree or comply" appeared in the writings of the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes in 1651. In his masterpiece Leviathan, Hobbes argued that people must subject themselves completely to a sovereign and should obey the teachings of the church. Encouraging his readers to adopt his position he wrote, "Our Beleefe . . . is in the Church; whose word we take, and acquiesce therein."

Origin and Etymology of acquiesce

French acquiescer, from Latin acquiescere, from ad- + quiescere to be quiet — more at quiescent

First Known Use: 1651

Synonym Discussion of acquiesce

assent, consent, accede, acquiesce, agree, subscribe mean to concur with what has been proposed. assent implies an act involving the understanding or judgment and applies to propositions or opinions <voters assented to the proposal>. consent involves the will or feelings and indicates compliance with what is requested or desired <consented to their daughter's going>. accede implies a yielding, often under pressure, of assent or consent <officials acceded to the prisoners' demands>. acquiesce implies tacit acceptance or forbearance of opposition <acquiesced to his boss's wishes>. agree sometimes implies previous difference of opinion or attempts at persuasion <finally agreed to come along>. subscribe implies not only consent or assent but hearty approval and active support <subscribes wholeheartedly to the idea>.

ACQUIESCE Defined for Kids


verb ac·qui·esce \ˌa-kwē-ˈes\

Definition of acquiesce for Students



  1. :  to accept, agree, or give consent by keeping silent or by not making objections <They acquiesced to the demands.>

Law Dictionary


intransitive verb ac·qui·esce \ˌa-kwē-ˈes\

Legal Definition of acquiesce



  1. :  to accept, comply, or submit tacitly or passively —often used with in and sometimes with to


\ˌa-kwē-ˈes-əns\ play noun

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