ac·​qui·​esce | \ˌa-kwē-ˈes \
acquiesced; acquiescing

Definition of acquiesce 

intransitive verb

: to accept, comply, or submit tacitly or passively often used with in or to

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Synonyms & Antonyms for acquiesce


accede, agree, assent, come round, consent, subscribe



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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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."

Examples of acquiesce in a Sentence

… the tender understanding with which he had acquiesced to her wish not to consummate their relationship out of wedlock. — Dorothy West, The Wedding, 1995 … he seems to have acquiesced in his Christian Scientist wife's refusal to provide medical care … — Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times Book Review, 17 Dec. 1995 The main body of Shi'is, in and around Iraq, accepted 'Abbasid rule, or at least acquiesced in it. — Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples, 1991 He passively acquired the reputation of being a snob, and acquiesced to it … — George V. Higgins, Harper's, September 1984 They demanded it, and he acquiesced. apparently the contractor expected me to acquiesce to my own fleecing
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Recent Examples on the Web

Given Flake’s standing as one of three Republicans who could sink Kavanaugh’s nomination, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ultimately acquiesced and backed calls to the White House for a supplemental FBI review. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Everything that’s happened since the Ford-Kavanaugh hearing, explained," 2 Oct. 2018 But instead of acquiescing to pressure from the president-elect and keeping production in the US, Ford decided to build the Focus in China — a decision that reportedly saved the company around $1 billion. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "The Ford Focus is dead in the US because of Trump’s trade war," 31 Aug. 2018 Almost every major car company now allows Apple’s and Google’s own respective in-car infotainment systems to work alongside their own stock software; even major holdouts like Toyota have acquiesced. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Amazon’s Echo Auto is another quick fix for the broken state of in-car infotainment," 21 Sep. 2018 Emails to Verizon requesting assistance were met with a sales pitch for a plan more than double cost, to which the Department acquiesced. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Verizon Stops Data Throttling Firefighters, Apologizes," 24 Aug. 2018 The industry was able to exert pressure when the original deadline neared in 2015, and the head of the Federal Railroad Administration, Sarah Feinberg, refused to grant an extension unless Congress acquiesced. Washington Post, "Railroad officials tell Congress many won’t meet deadline for lifesaving automatic braking systems," 15 Feb. 2018 Although most carriers have acquiesced, a handful of American companies continue to resist the order. Rebecca Tan, Washington Post, "The U.S. government has opened a huge new facility in Taiwan, and China isn’t happy," 18 June 2018 In keeping with its policy never simply to acquiesce to the department’s safety demands, the authority, instead, contested the results, conducted its own tests, and, not surprisingly, found contradictory and exonerating numbers. Ginia Bellafante, New York Times, "New York City’s Worst Landlord? It Might Be the City," 13 June 2018 The Trump administration appears to be trying to push Europe to acquiesce via intimidation instead of cooperation. Bryan R. Early, Washington Post, "E.U. countries want to save the Iran nuclear deal. Don’t expect cooperation on U.S. sanctions.," 25 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of acquiesce

1613, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for 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

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Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

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The first known use of acquiesce was in 1613

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More Definitions for acquiesce



English Language Learners Definition of acquiesce

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


ac·​qui·​esce | \ˌa-kwē-ˈes \
acquiesced; acquiescing

Kids Definition of acquiesce

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


intransitive verb
ac·​qui·​esce | \ˌa-kwē-ˈes \
acquiesced; acquiescing

Legal Definition of acquiesce 

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

Other Words from acquiesce

acquiescence \ˌa-​kwē-​ˈes-​ᵊns \ noun

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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