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Acceptation is older than its synonym "acceptance"; it first appeared in print in the 15th century, whereas "acceptance" took until 1574. Grammarian H. W. Fowler insisted in 1926 that "acceptation" and "acceptance" were not actually synonymous (he preferred to reserve "acceptation" for the "accepted meaning" use), but the earliest meaning of "acceptation" was indeed "acceptance." Both words descend from the Anglo-French word accepter ("to accept"), but "acceptation" took an extra step. Anglo-French added the "-ation" ending, which was changed to form "acceptacioun" in Middle English. (English embraced the present-day "-ation" ending later.) "Acceptance" simply comes from "accepter" plus the Anglo-French -ance.
First Known Use of acceptation
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