to admit to be real or true; recognize the existence, truth, or fact of: to acknowledge one's mistakes.
to show or express recognition or realization of: to acknowledge an acquaintance by nodding.
to recognize the authority, validity, or claims of: The students acknowledged the authority of the student council.
to show or express appreciation or gratitude for: to acknowledge a favor.
to indicate or make known the receipt of: to acknowledge a letter.
to take notice of or reply to: to acknowledge a greeting.
Law. to confirm as binding or of legal force: to acknowledge a deed.
Origin of acknowledge
1475–85;acknowleche, apparently either Middle Englishaknou(en) to recognize (Old Englishoncnāwan; see a-1, know1) + -leche noun suffix (Old English*-lǣce, by-form of -lac; cf. knowledge, wedlock); or blend of aknouen and knoulecheknowledge; then a- was mistaken for ac-
Related formsac·knowl·edge·a·ble, adjectiveac·knowl·edg·er, nounpre·ac·knowl·edge, verb (used with object),pre·ac·knowl·edged,pre·ac·knowl·edg·ing.re·ac·knowl·edge, verb (used with object),re·ac·knowl·edged,re·ac·knowl·edg·ing.un·ac·knowl·edg·ing, adjective
1. Acknowledge,admit,confess agree in the idea of declaring something to be true. Acknowledge implies making a statement reluctantly, often about something previously denied: to acknowledge a fault.Admit especially implies acknowledging something under pressure: to admit a charge.Confess usually means stating somewhat formally an admission of wrongdoing, crime, or shortcoming: to confess guilt; to confess an inability to understand.
1550s, a blend of Middle English aknow (from Old English oncnawan "understand," from on + cnawan "recognize;" see know) and Middle English knowlechen "admit, acknowledge" (c.1200; see knowledge). In the merger, a parasitic -c- slipped in, so that while the kn- became a simple "n" sound (as in know), the -c- stepped up to preserve, in this word, the ancient "kn-" sound. Related: Acknowledged; acknowledging.