verb ac·cept \ ik-ˈsept , ak- also ek- \
|Updated on: 19 Aug 2018

Definition of accept

accepted; accepting; accepts
1 a : to receive (something offered) willingly
  • accept a gift
b : to be able or designed to take or hold (something applied or added)
  • a surface that will not accept ink
2 : to give admittance or approval to
  • accept her as one of the group
3 a : to endure without protest or reaction
  • accept poor living conditions
b : to regard as proper, normal, or inevitable
  • an idea that is widely accepted
c : to recognize as true : believe
  • refused to accept the explanation
4 a : to make a favorable response to
  • accept an offer
b : to agree to undertake (a responsibility)
  • accept a job
5 : to assume an obligation to pay; also : to take in payment
  • we don't accept personal checks
6 of a deliberative body : to receive (a legislative report) officially
: to receive favorably something offered usually used with of
  • a heart more disposed to accept of his
  • —Jane Austen

Examples of accept in a Sentence

  1. When Bess was born, my mother had a hard time accepting many of our parenting choices. —Kelly Coyle DiNorciaMotheringMarch & April 2008
  2. Despite Alexander's general skepticism about speed measurements, he does accept the cheetah as probably the fastest known running species. The measurement he finds most reliable, 29 m/s (about 65 mph), comes from a 1997 record along a 200-meter course clocked by an experienced timekeeper for athletic races. —Susan MiliusScience News16 Aug. 2008
  3. The Edinburgh Christ in the House of Martha and Mary doesn't look like a Vermeer, although its signature has been accepted as genuine. —James FentonNew York Review of Books6 Nov. 2008
  4. They offered him the job, and he accepted it.

  5. They offered him the job, and he accepted.

  6. The store doesn't accept credit cards.

  7. a surface that will not accept ink

  8. a computer program ready to accept commands

  9. They accepted some applications and rejected others.

  10. She's still trying to get her manuscript accepted for publication.

  11. They refused to accept his resignation.

  12. a word that has come to be accepted as standard

  13. This treatment is now accepted by many doctors.

Recent Examples of accept from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accept.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of accept

Middle English accepten "to receive graciously, favor, approve of, judge worthy," borrowed from Anglo-French accepter, borrowed from Medieval Latin acceptāre, going back to Latin, "to receive regularly, submit to, admit of," frequentative of accipere "to take, receive, accept, learn, interpret," from ad- ad- + capere "to take" — more at 1heave

ACCEPT Defined for Kids


verb ac·cept \ ik-ˈsept , ak- \

Definition of accept for Students

accepted; accepting
1 : to receive or take willingly
  • accept a gift
  • accept as a member
2 : to agree to
  • He accepted my invitation.
3 : to stop resisting
  • accept change
4 : to admit deserving
  • accept blame
  • accept responsibility

Word Root of accept

The Latin word capere, meaning “to seize” or “to take,” and its form captus give us the roots cap, capt, and cept. Words from the Latin capere have something to do with taking. To capture is to take something or someone by using force. To accept is to take something willingly. Anyone capable of doing something is able to take on that task.

Law Dictionary


transitive verb ac·cept \ ik-ˈsept, ak- \

legal Definition of accept

1 a : to receive with consent
  • accept a gift
  • accept service
b : to assent to the receipt of and treat in such a way as to indicate ownership of
  • accepted the shipment despite discovering defects in the merchandise
— compare reject
Note: Under section 2-606(1) of the Uniform Commercial Code, a buyer accepts goods if: 1) he or she indicates to the seller after a reasonable opportunity to inspect them that he or she will keep them; 2) he or she fails to effectively reject them; 3) he or she acts in a way that is inconsistent with the seller's ownership of the goods.
2 : to make an affirmative or favorable response to; specifically : to indicate by words or action one's assent to (an offer) and willingness to enter into a contract
Note: A contract is created when the offer is accepted.
3 : to assume orally, in writing, or by conduct an obligation to pay
  • accepting a draft
4 of a deliberative body : to receive (a report) officially (as from a committee)
1 : to receive favorably something offered usually used with of
  • no person…shall…accept of any present
  • U.S. Constitution art. I
2 : to receive and assume ownership of goods
  • under section 2-606(1), buyer has accepted if he has done any of the acts described therein
  • —J. J. White and R. S. Summers


play \ik-ˈsep-təns, ak-\ noun


or acceptor play \-tər\ noun

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up accept? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


resembling the blue of the sky

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet-pasta-spelling-help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!