• acquiesce
  • audio pronunciation
  • \ak-wee-ESS\
  • DEFINITION

verb

: to accept, comply, or submit tacitly or passively — often used with in or to
  • EXAMPLES

The workers began to threaten a strike once it became clear that the company was unlikely to simply acquiesce to their demands.

"It is an uncomfortable truth: Dictatorship often rests on a measure of consent. A people acquiesce in their own servitude, forge their own chains." — From an article by Fouad Ajami in The Wall Street Journal, August 14, 2013

  • 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."

Word Family Quiz: What is the meaning of the related word "quiescent"? The answer is …

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