Definition of acknowledge in English:


Syllabification: ac·knowl·edge
Pronunciation: /akˈnälij


  • 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
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    • Jane Austen couldn't have been more right: it's a truth universally acknowledged that a young man with sufficient name and money must be in want of a bride!
    • It is a truth universally acknowledged that when two or three pundits gather together to discuss the future of the Edinburgh Festival, they worry.
    • He acknowledged that he had admitted the rapes at court, although he did believe that there was insufficient evidence to gain a conviction had he pleaded not guilty.
    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
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    • 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
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    • 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).
    More 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'.

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