[ ak-nol-ij ]
See synonyms for: acknowledgeacknowledgedacknowledgesacknowledging on

verb (used with object),ac·knowl·edged, ac·knowl·edg·ing.
  1. to admit to be real or true; recognize the existence, truth, or fact of: to acknowledge one's mistakes.

  2. to show or express recognition or realization of: to acknowledge an acquaintance by nodding.

  1. to recognize the authority, validity, or claims of: The students acknowledged the authority of the student council.

  2. to show or express appreciation or gratitude for: to acknowledge a favor.

  3. to indicate or make known the receipt of: to acknowledge a letter.

  4. to take notice of or reply to: to acknowledge a greeting.

  5. Law. to confirm as binding or of legal force: to acknowledge a deed.

Origin of acknowledge

First recorded in 1475–85; late Middle English acknowleche, apparently either Middle English aknou(en) “to recognize” + -leche, noun suffix, variant of -lac; or a blend of aknouen and knouleche knowledge; then a- was mistaken for ac-

synonym study For acknowledge

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.

Other words for acknowledge

Opposites for acknowledge

Other words from acknowledge

  • ac·knowl·edge·a·ble, adjective
  • ac·knowl·edg·er, noun
  • pre·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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use acknowledge in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for acknowledge


/ (əkˈnɒlɪdʒ) /

  1. (may take a clause as object) to recognize or admit the existence, truth, or reality of

  2. to indicate recognition or awareness of, as by a greeting, glance, etc

  1. to express appreciation or thanks for: to acknowledge a gift

  2. to make the receipt of known to the sender: to acknowledge a letter

  3. to recognize, esp in legal form, the authority, rights, or claims of

Origin of acknowledge

C15: probably from earlier knowledge, on the model of Old English oncnāwan, Middle English aknowen to confess, recognize

Derived forms of acknowledge

  • acknowledgeable, adjective
  • acknowledger, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012