ac·​knowl·​edge | \ ik-ˈnä-lij How to pronounce acknowledge (audio) , ak- \
acknowledged; acknowledging

Definition of acknowledge

transitive verb

1 : to recognize the rights, authority, or status of They acknowledged him as their leader.
2 : to disclose knowledge of or agreement with She readily acknowledged her mistake.
3a : to express gratitude or obligation for acknowledge a gift
b : to take notice of failed to acknowledge my greeting
c : to make known the receipt of acknowledge a letter
4 : to recognize as genuine or valid acknowledge a debt

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Synonyms & Antonyms for acknowledge



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Choose the Right Synonym for acknowledge

acknowledge, admit, own, avow, confess mean to disclose against one's will or inclination. acknowledge implies the disclosing of something that has been or might be concealed. acknowledged an earlier peccadillo admit implies reluctance to disclose, grant, or concede and refers usually to facts rather than their implications. admitted the project was over budget own implies acknowledging something in close relation to oneself. must own I know little about computers avow implies boldly declaring, often in the face of hostility, what one might be expected to be silent about. avowed that he was a revolutionary confess may apply to an admission of a weakness, failure, omission, or guilt. confessed a weakness for sweets

Examples of acknowledge in a Sentence

They acknowledged that the decision was a mistake. Do you acknowledge that you caused this mess? They readily acknowledged their mistake. She won't acknowledge responsibility for her actions. He quickly acknowledges all of my e-mails when he receives them. Please acknowledge receipt of this letter. She acknowledged the gift with a card. She acknowledged his greeting with a smile.
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Recent Examples on the Web But the pollsters acknowledge that the problem goes back to at least 2012, with their polls consistently showing strong performances for Democrats that later fail to materialize on Election Day. Michael Lee, Washington Examiner, "Democratic pollsters admit 'major' polling errors and lay some blame on Trump and his supporters," 13 Apr. 2021 The technology suppliers acknowledge that their programs aren’t flawless. Aarian Marshall, Wired, "AI Comes to Car Repair, and Body Shop Owners Aren’t Happy," 13 Apr. 2021 Powell did acknowledge for some the recovery is still going to take some time with some 8.4 million who have not yet had their jobs come back. Sarah Ewall-wice, CBS News, "U.S. deficit hits $1.7 trillion over last six months," 12 Apr. 2021 But while the military is one of the country’s most diverse institutions — some 43% of those on active duty are people of color — Defense Department officials acknowledge that the views of its white service members skew conservative., "After Capitol riot, Pentagon announces new efforts to weed out extremism among troops," 10 Apr. 2021 Church leaders openly acknowledge this longtime trend, but single Latter-day Saints say additional shifts are needed from the pulpit and in the pews to make the faith more welcoming. The Salt Lake Tribune, "They make up most of the adult LDS membership. So why do they feel like outsiders? Because they’re single.," 10 Apr. 2021 Eventually Taylor Swift did acknowledge the song on social media. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Taylor Swift Just Surprise-Dropped a New Song Ahead of the Fearless Rerelease," 7 Apr. 2021 Then, acknowledge that red alert your body has sent you. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, "My Reopening Anxiety Is Real, But Here's How I'm Handling It," 6 Apr. 2021 Police leaders acknowledge the morale problems and Portland’s particular place in the national reckoning against racial injustice and police violence. oregonlive, "‘Overworked, overwhelmed and burned out’: Why Portland cops say they’re leaving in droves," 4 Apr. 2021

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

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First Known Use of acknowledge

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for acknowledge

ac- (in acknow "to confess knowledge of," going back to Middle English aknowen, going back to Old English oncnāwan, acnāwan "to know, recognize, admit, confess," from a-, on-, prefixal use of on on entry 1 + cnāwan "to know entry 1") + knowledge

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Time Traveler for acknowledge

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for acknowledge

Last Updated

16 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Acknowledge.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for acknowledge



English Language Learners Definition of acknowledge

: to say that you accept or do not deny the truth or existence of (something)
: to regard or describe (someone or something) as having or deserving a particular status
: to tell or show someone that something (such as a letter or message) has been received


ac·​knowl·​edge | \ ik-ˈnä-lij How to pronounce acknowledge (audio) , ak- \
acknowledged; acknowledging

Kids Definition of acknowledge

1 : to admit the truth or existence of They acknowledged their mistake.
2 : to make known that something has been received or noticed He refuses to acknowledge my generosity.
3 : to recognize the rights or authority of They acknowledged her as captain.
4 : to express thanks or appreciation for acknowledge a gift


transitive verb
acknowledged; acknowledging

Legal Definition of acknowledge

1 : to indicate recognition and acceptance of the power of taxation in the general and state governments is acknowledged to be concurrentMcCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316 (1819)
2a : to show by word or act that one has knowledge of and accepts responsibility for (a duty, obligation, or indebtedness)
b : to admit paternity of will acknowledge the child as his — compare filiate
3 : to make known to a sender or giver the receipt of (what has been sent or given) or the fact of (one's having received what has been sent or given) acknowledge receipt of a letter
4 : to recognize as genuine so as to give validity : avow or admit in legal form the execution of any such power of attorney shall be acknowledged before one of the officersU.S. Code

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