ac·​qui·​esce | \ ˌa-kwē-ˈes How to pronounce acquiesce (audio) \
acquiesced; acquiescing

Essential Meaning of acquiesce

formal : to accept, agree, or allow something to happen by staying silent or by not arguing They demanded it, and he acquiesced.

Full 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



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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

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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 But the companies did eventually acquiesce, which ultimately doesn't bode well for other demands that will inevitably be coming. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, 17 Sep. 2021 Cleveland, seeking to maintain its status as an epicenter of rock and roll, had no choice but to acquiesce. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, 13 Aug. 2021 The biggest source of residual anger inside the Trump bubble was Mr. Graham’s refusal, as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to acquiesce to White House demands for hearings into Hunter Biden’s business dealings. New York Times, 14 Aug. 2021 Even as Western nations condemn China's treatment of Uyghurs, activists fear that countries in the Middle East and beyond will be willing to acquiesce to Beijing's crackdown on members of the ethnic group. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, 9 June 2021 The corollary is that the world will simply have to acquiesce to its burgeoning list of demands, including its maritime claims to the South China Sea and reunification (if necessary by force) with Taiwan. Bret Stephens New York Times, Star Tribune, 6 July 2021 The attorney for Jodi Montgomery, Spears’s current conservator over her person, tried to interject some ground rules in case Spears brought up medical issues, but Judge Brenda Penny, who oversaw the hearing, didn’t acquiesce. Claudia Rosenbaum, Vulture, 24 June 2021 In a stunning moment in the annals of world summitry, then-President Trump stood by the former KGB officer and Russia’s longest-serving leader since Stalin and appeared to eagerly acquiesce to his claims. Eli Stokols, Los Angeles Times, 14 June 2021 Why acquiesce to an irresponsible person something of such huge significance? Roxana Hadadi, Vulture, 17 June 2021

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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The first known use of acquiesce was in 1613

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Last Updated

30 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Acquiesce.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for acquiesce


ac·​qui·​esce | \ ˌa-kwē-ˈes How to pronounce acquiesce (audio) \
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 How to pronounce acquiesce (audio) \
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 How to pronounce acquiesce (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on acquiesce

Nglish: Translation of acquiesce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of acquiesce for Arabic Speakers


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