Definition of acknowledge in English:

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Pronunciation: /əkˈnäləj/


1 [reporting verb] Accept or admit the existence or truth of: [with object]: the plight of the refugees was acknowledged by the authorities [with clause]: the government acknowledged that the tax was unfair [with direct speech]: “That’s true,” she acknowledged
More example sentences
  • The health officer acknowledged that dozens of refugees had fallen sick due to lack of food, medicine, clean water, bedding and sanitation.
  • It is a truth universally acknowledged that American politics runs in generational cycles.
  • At the post-summit press conference he acknowledged that the measures agreed were not a complete answer to the problem of illegal immigration.
admit, accept, grant, allow, concede, accede to, confess, own, recognize
2 [with object] (Of a body of opinion) recognize the fact or importance or quality of: the art world has begun to acknowledge his genius he’s generally acknowledged to be the game’s finest coach
More example sentences
  • Ryan acknowledged the importance of quality childcare provision and family support and the influence it had on the life chances of children was becoming more and more evident in society.
  • In the years since its 1988 release, Fisherman's Blues has been acknowledged as an important staging post in the rebirth of folk music.
  • Following his second one-man show in Paris in 1883, Monet began to be acknowledged as the foremost landscape painter of his day.
2.1Express or display gratitude for or appreciation of: he received a letter acknowledging his services
More example sentences
  • Shortly thereafter, I received a letter that acknowledged my work ‘on behalf of the commonwealth of God.’
  • Since the release of the film Carter has made a point of acknowledging his gratitude to the Canadian group.
  • It is with much gratitude that Psychiatric Times acknowledges Dr. Moffic for his assistance in planning and reviewing this special report.
express gratitude for, show appreciation for, thank someone for
2.2Accept the validity or legitimacy of: Henry acknowledged Richard as his heir
More example sentences
  • They attack the term ‘amnesty’ for implicitly acknowledging the validity of borders.
  • Then Lord Elgin, his family and descendants of the noblemen who acknowledged the king's legitimate enthronement at the time, will dip their family flags in homage to the Bruce.
  • I am heartened that they have acknowledged the validity of our marriage.
recognized, accepted, approved, accredited, confirmed, declared, confessed, avowed
3 [with object] Show that one has noticed or recognized (someone) by making a gesture or greeting: she refused to acknowledge my presence
More example sentences
  • ‘Rutherford never notices or acknowledges anyone around him,’ Marc pointed out.
  • Whenever I go out, people refuse to acknowledge me if I start talking to them.
  • Craven waved and smiled happily at Ms Markovich, but he refused to acknowledge his mother, who also sat in the public gallery.
greet, salute, address;
nod to, wave to, raise one's hat to, say hello to
3.1Confirm (receipt of something).
Example sentences
  • The accused had acknowledged receipt of the document and signed the acknowledgement.
  • She received a letter back acknowledging the processing fees and advising that she could now apply for her holiday.
  • That letter was acknowledged by NCIS by letter dated 17th March, received into these offices on 20th March.
answer, reply to, respond to


Late 15th century: from the obsolete Middle English verb knowledge, influenced by obsolete acknow 'acknowledge, confess'.

Words that rhyme with acknowledge

college, foreknowledge, knowledge

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ac·knowl·edge

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