Definition of accept in English:

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Pronunciation: /əkˈsept/


[with object]
1Consent to receive (a thing offered): he accepted a pen as a present
More example sentences
  • He was delighted when Edinburgh Council agreed to accept the nativity scene sculpture and to display it in such a prominent position.
  • For me, that moment was walking up the steps to the podium to accept the World Cup at home in Paris.
  • Finally, she meets her secret friend face-to-face, accepts the book and thanks him for all he has done for David.
receive, take, get, gain, obtain, acquire
1.1Give an affirmative answer to (an offer or proposal); say yes to: he would accept their offer and see what happened [no object]: Tim offered Brian a lift home and he accepted
More example sentences
  • The proposal was accepted and a policy was issued by Powell on behalf of the Defendants.
  • If he accepts the proposal, the NIU would be left with only nine members and would lose its status as a group.
  • The type of train system - the options include elevated, ground, monorail, light rail - would be decided before accepting proposals, he said.
say yes to, agree to
go along with, agree to, consent to, acquiesce in, concur with, assent to, acknowledge, comply with, abide by, follow, adhere to, act in accordance with, defer to, yield to, surrender to, bow to, give in to, submit to, respect
formal accede to
1.2 dated Say yes to a proposal of marriage from (a man): Ronald is a good match and she ought to accept him
More example sentences
  • If I did that that would be as good as accepting him in marriage and I would never marry without love.
  • She prefers her other suitor, George Neville, but when Griffith loses his inheritance for her sake she accepts him, hoping for a contented marriage without undue submission.
  • Jane accepts Edward Rochester's hand in marriage, they linger in the garden for a few more moments, kissing.
1.3Receive as adequate, valid, or suitable: the college accepted her as a student credit cards are widely accepted
More example sentences
  • Other American students who have not yet been accepted to college use a gap year specifically to build their resumes.
  • He's just going through the motions, like a high school senior who's already been accepted to college.
  • Katie Charing, currently on a gap year, has been accepted into Somerville College, Oxford to study English.
1.4Regard favorably or with approval; welcome: the Harvard literati never accepted him as one of them
More example sentences
  • I love the people at my church; they have welcomed me and accepted me as one of their own very quickly.
  • And, marvelously, he accepts us and welcomes us to his table of grace.
  • Gee, does that mean I'm accepted into your approved pigpen of the cognoscenti?
welcome, greet, receive, receive favorably, embrace, adopt
1.5(Of a thing) be designed to allow (something) to be inserted or applied: vending machines that accepted 100-yen coins for cans of beer
More example sentences
  • However, she said it would still accept debit cards and allow transactions to be made through other card readers in the store.
  • It also accepts pre Euro coins and both can be left at the Pet Proud shop in Eyre Street, Newbridge.
  • The phone would not accept the card in any direction we inserted it.
2Believe or come to recognize (an opinion, explanation, etc.) as valid or correct: this tentative explanation came to be accepted by the group [with clause]: it is accepted that aging is a continuous process
More example sentences
  • For my part I would accept those propositions as broadly correct.
  • He accepts the proposition that he instinctively warms to people he perceives as battlers against the system.
  • Yet if we accept the proposition that we live in a global economy, we need to consider how we're going to make our voices heard.
believe, regard as true, give credence to, credit, trust
informal buy, swallow
recognized, acknowledged, established, traditional, orthodox, sanctioned;
usual, customary, habitual, common, current, normal, general, prevailing, accustomed, familiar, wonted, popular, well established, expected, routine, standard, stock
2.1Take upon oneself (a responsibility or liability); acknowledge: Jenkins is willing to accept his responsibility [with clause]: he accepts that he made a mistake
More example sentences
  • It was a shameful thing for Jim to admit, but he accepted responsibility for what he had done.
  • Surely any deficiency in the Pension Fund was the sole responsibility of the Wiltshire County Council and they should have accepted liability.
  • And he came forward and immediately confessed and accepted his responsibility.
2.2Tolerate or submit to (something unpleasant or undesired): they accepted the need to cut expenses
More example sentences
  • He accepted their silence tolerantly and moved in to stand beside Kaezik.
  • We're not accepting or tolerating homophobia, xenophobia, racism, any of that.
  • Many things that were not to be tolerated in a civilised society in 1968 are now accepted - if not always welcomed.
tolerate, endure, put up with, bear, take, submit to, stomach, swallow;
reconcile oneself to, resign oneself to, get used to, adjust to, learn to live with, make the best of;
face up to


Accept, which means ‘take (that which is offered),’ may be confused with the verb except, which means ‘exclude.’ Thus: I accept the terms of your offer, but I wish to except the clause calling for repayment of the deposit.


Late Middle English: from Latin acceptare, frequentative of accipere 'take something to oneself', from ad- 'to' + capere 'take'.

  • capable from mid 16th century:

    The first recorded sense of this was ‘able to take in’, physically or mentally. It comes from Latin capere ‘take or hold’ which is found in many other English words including: accept (Late Middle English) from ad- ‘to’ and capere; anticipation (Late Middle English) ‘acting or taking in advance’; capacity (Late Middle English) ‘ability to hold’; caption (Late Middle English) originally an act of capture; captive (Late Middle English); catch (Middle English); chase (Middle English); conceive (Middle English) literally ‘take together’; except (Late Middle English) ‘take out of’; incapacity (early 17th century) inability to hold; intercept (Late Middle English) to take between; perceive (Middle English) to hold entirely; prince; receive (Middle English) ‘take back’; susceptible (early 17th century) literally ‘that can be taken from below’.

Words that rhyme with accept

crept, except, incept, inept, intercept, kept, leapt, overleaped, sept, slept, swept, upswept, wept, yclept

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ac·cept

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