verb ac·qui·esce \ ˌa-kwē-ˈes \
Updated on: 9 Feb 2018

Definition of acquiesce

acquiesced; acquiescing
intransitive verb
: to accept, comply, or submit tacitly or passively often used with in or to

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Examples of acquiesce in a Sentence

  1. … the tender understanding with which he had acquiesced to her wish not to consummate their relationship out of wedlock. —Dorothy WestThe Wedding1995
  2. … he seems to have acquiesced in his Christian Scientist wife's refusal to provide medical care … —Joyce Carol OatesNew York Times Book Review17 Dec. 1995
  3. The main body of Shi'is, in and around Iraq, accepted 'Abbasid rule, or at least acquiesced in it. —Albert HouraniA History of the Arab Peoples1991
  4. He passively acquired the reputation of being a snob, and acquiesced to it … —George V. HigginsHarper'sSeptember 1984
  5. They demanded it, and he acquiesced.

  6. apparently the contractor expected me to acquiesce to my own fleecing

Recent Examples of acquiesce from the Web

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

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."

Origin and Etymology of acquiesce

borrowed from French acquiescer, going back to Middle French, borrowed from Latin acquiēscere "to rest, find peace, be satisfied (with)," from ad- ad- + quiēscere "to repose, be quiet" — more at quiescent

Synonym Discussion of acquiesce

assent, consent, accede, acquiesce, agree, subscribe mean to concur with what has been proposed. assent implies an act involving the understanding or judgment and applies to propositions or opinions.
    • voters assented to the proposal
consent involves the will or feelings and indicates compliance with what is requested or desired.
    • consented to their daughter's going
accede implies a yielding, often under pressure, of assent or consent.
    • officials acceded to the prisoners' demands
acquiesce implies tacit acceptance or forbearance of opposition.
    • acquiesced to his boss's wishes
agree sometimes implies previous difference of opinion or attempts at persuasion.
    • finally agreed to come along
subscribe implies not only consent or assent but hearty approval and active support.
    • subscribes wholeheartedly to the idea

ACQUIESCE Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of acquiesce for English Language Learners

  • : to accept, agree, or allow something to happen by staying silent or by not arguing

ACQUIESCE Defined for Kids


verb ac·qui·esce \ ˌa-kwē-ˈes \

Definition of acquiesce for Students

acquiesced; acquiescing
: to accept, agree, or give consent by keeping silent or by not making objections
  • They acquiesced to the demands.

Law Dictionary


intransitive verb ac·qui·esce \ ˌa-kwē-ˈes \

legal Definition of acquiesce

acquiesced; acquiescing
: to accept, comply, or submit tacitly or passively often used with in and sometimes with to


play \ˌa-kwē-ˈes-ᵊns\ noun

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a eulogistic oration or writing

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