ac·​cep·​ta·​tion | \ ˌak-ˌsep-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce acceptation (audio) \

Definition of acceptation

1 : acceptance especially : favorable reception or approval
2 : a generally accepted meaning of a word or understanding of a concept

Did You Know?

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for acceptation

Middle English acceptacioun, borrowed from Anglo-French acceptation, borrowed from Late Latin acceptātiōn-, acceptātiō, from Latin acceptāre "to accept" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns

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The first known use of acceptation was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Acceptation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for acceptation

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